SAS customer General Electric Rail Services (GERS) has been selected by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) as a co-winner of its Enterprise BI Best Practices Award for 2008.

GERS received the honor for deploying a comprehensive information delivery solution with an enterprise BI portal that meets a wide spectrum of user needs, resulting in improved business efficiency and significant financial savings, SAS said in an announcement.

This project includes self-service and ad-hoc analysis, standardized metric reports organized by business function, dashboards and sophisticated strategic and operational analytics applications. It was created with SAS software.

“BI is a strategic investment that has helped us improve the efficiency of operational, commercial, financial and services aspects of the business, generating significant financial benefits and a unique competitive advantage” said GERS Chief Information Officer Bill O’Neill.

"As we executed our BI strategy, we have really come to appreciate analytics, the ability to anticipate outcomes and apply the appropriate business responses" said Vijitha Kaduwela, GERS Director of Business Intelligence. "Clearly, the analytics have yielded the most business value, and SAS is the key technology partner that made it possible for us to deliver on our vision.”

TDWI, represented by a panel of independent judges, chose GERS for its demonstrated excellence in building an enterprise-wide platform that provides intelligence and analytics from data spanning various source systems. The award also recognized the development, deployment and maintenance of BI applications that contributed to the company’s success.

Analytics applications at GERS include: capital allocation model, profitability analysis, delinquency behavior analytics, customer segmentation, lead generation, and the shoptimizer model.

Shoptimizer, an operational analytics application, helps GERS optimally assign railcars in need of repairs to shops, subject to capacity constraints and shop capabilities.