Hawaii says aloha to new, integrated data mart

There was trouble in paradise.

Hawaii's legacy Financial Accounting and Management Information System (FAMIS), developed by KPMG Peat Marwick of New York in the 1980s, had 'a lot of data, but it was very inaccessible,' said Lester Nakamura, administrator for the Information and Communication Services Division of Hawaii's Accounting and General Services Department. Data was stowed mainly in old IBM VSAM files.

The state's Central Accounting Division used FAMIS expenditure data to produce voluminous monthly financial reports, Nakamura said. But the FAMIS expenditure reports weren't printed until the end of the month, delaying publication of the accounting division's monthly reports until about the middle of the following month.

Making life easier

In late 2002, Nakamura and his team sought to speed up the process by building an integrated data mart for financial data.

Running Linux on the mainframe, the division used IBM's DB2 UDB Enterprise Edition as its database and DB2 Warehouse Manager to merge the financial and budget data. The front-end gateway for the system was built using IBM WebSphere.

Now the data is refreshed nightly. Accounting staff can load expenditure data into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and have the financial information available when they need it, Nakamura said. 'It's made life a lot easier,' he said.

The division wants to add an ad hoc query feature to the system, but like most states, Hawaii is grappling with tight budgets and so is delaying adding extra features to the data mart. Nakamura's division is adding querying and other capabilities to the data mart 'incrementally, as we can pool our money together.'

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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