Have you ever wondered how it all started back in the day? Well, as another part of our MANTA Cases series, we’ll introduce to you the very first way MANTA was ever used, “Patient Zero”.
Patient Zero of MANTA was a member of the Société Générale Group, the Czech bank Komercni Banka. Back then, MANTA was no more than an internal tool of a Czech consultancy company, Profinit, which was hired to solve a data quality issue within Komercni Banka.
The problem was that some parts of Komercni Banka’s data warehouse had different coding because of special Czech diacritics that were more space-consuming than regular letters and symbols. This was creating a lot of mess throughout the piles of custom code. The customer was using a Teradata database, whose price varies according to the amount of data stored. As Komercni Banka had to store a phenomenal amount of customer data, they were trying to store it as compactly as possible to save money on database space.
In a Teradata database, you can store data in Unicode or in ASCII. In Unicode, you can store Czech letters like “š” or “ů” or any other language-specific symbols, as it has a larger format. ASCII is able to store only classic letters and numbers, but therefore takes up less space on the database. As not all Czech words and names have diacritics, this was an opportunity to store some data in a more compact format. (This use case could work with any language that has language-specific symbols, not only Czech.)
Komercni Banka first looked into the source systems to identify all source columns in the database that might have contained Unicode and those that contained only ASCII, and with the help of MANTA, they identified where the Unicode data was propagated and where it was clear that there was only ASCII data. After that, the company used MANTA Checker, a tool that MANTA originally developed to quickly fix errors in code, to perform an automatic add conversion function to the data that could be converted from Unicode to ASCII.
The bank has estimated that thanks to the use of both MANTA and MANTA Checker, they have saved quite a lot of money on storage fees, freed up several FTEs in the organization, and have been able to both monitor their environment and develop new code more efficiently than ever before.
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