DecisionSuite Eureka! Tapped to Streamline Super Bowl Charity Event

By the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, organizers of an NFL-affiliated charity hope their annual event will have raised more than $500,000 for hunger relief. Moreover, organizers of the event, Taste of the NFL (, will have begun building a data mart of donor information on which to base future fund-raising decisions.

Business intelligence isn’t just for business anymore.

Information Advantage ( will provide its new DecisionSuite Eureka! software for the Jan. 30 charity event. The software should streamline and automate a silent auction, which has been a growing revenue stream for the event, and help organizers build a decision-support infrastructure.

"In the past, we probably would have never even pursued an event like this with our technology, built a warehouse and put OLAP on top of that," says Jim Plantan, director of CRM marketing at Information Advantage. "With the acquisition of IQ [Software] and the introduction of Eureka it makes a lot more sense." Information Advantage, a provider of Web-based business intelligence tools, completed the acquisition of IQ Software, an enterprise reporting vendor, in September. Earlier that month, the companies jointly released DecisionSuite Eureka!, positioned as a portal to business intelligence.

Taste of the NFL started with the 1992 Super Bowl in Minneapolis. A chef and a former player from each NFL city were brought together, and attendees were able to sample food and wine and meet the players. That year, the pre-Super Bowl event attracted 1,200 people and raised $90,000, including about $20,000 from an auction on footballs and helmets signed by the players.

At last year’s Super Bowl in San Diego, the event raised $429,000 for hunger-relief organizations. The silent auction had become much more elaborate, raising $130,000.

Event chairman Wayne Kostroski says the first thing Taste of the NFL needs the software to do is maintain a smooth experience for the attendees. "You take 2,200 people and 150-plus items, and when the auction ends, all those people want to find out if they won. Then they’ve got to find out how they can get their stuff. In the meantime, everybody want to get back to the party."

Information Advantage will have about half a dozen employees on hand to keep the database updated of the highest bids on each item, Plantan says. The company will use large screens to cycle through pictures of individual products with information on the highest bid entered. Later, the software will correlate the individual bidders with their winning bids.

While running the enterprise reporting system and relational database on a Windows NT server may be overkill, the real goals are to build a database of donors to target for charitable mailings, to analyze the kinds of items that bring the best returns and to enhance other business-related decisions, Plantan says.

For Information Advantage, an added bonus of the $20,000 sponsorship, about half of which the company expects to spend on in-kind contributions of software, setup and support, is visibility among the many executives who attend the charity event.

Kostroski sees this year’s auction with Information Advantage as a test, and he has high hopes for the matchup in coming years. "Really what we’re dealing with is meteoric growth. We don’t want to miss the opportunity to properly track what we do wrong and what we do right," says Kostroski, a Minneapolis-area restaurateur. "It sure beats keeping little post-it notes in my pocket."