Jakki Geiger

Jakki Geiger

The Surprising Link Between Hurricanes and Strawberry Pop-Tarts: Brought to you by Clean, Consistent and Connected Data

What do you think Wal-Mart’s best-seller is right before a hurricane? If you guessed water like I did, you’d be wrong. According to this New York Times article, “What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers’ Habits” the retailer sells 7X more strawberry Pop-Tarts in Florida right before a hurricane than any other time. Armed with predictive analytics and a solid information management foundation, the team stocks up on strawberry Pop-Tarts to make sure they have enough supply to meet demand.

Andrew Donaher advises IT leaders to ask business  leaders how much bad data is costing them.

Andrew Donaher
advises IT leaders to ask business
leaders how much bad data is costing them.

I learned this fun fact from Andrew Donaher, Director of Information Management Strategy at Groundswell Group, a consulting firm based in western Canada that specializes in information management services. In this interview, Andy and I discuss how IT leaders can increase the value of data to drive business value, explain how some IT leaders are collaborating with business leaders to improve predictive analytics, and share advice about how to talk to business leaders, such as the CFO about investing in an information management strategy.

Q. Andy, what can IT leaders do to increase the value of data to drive business value?

A. Simply put, each business leader in a company needs to focus on achieving their goals. The first step IT leaders should take is to engage with each business leader to understand their long and short-term goals and ask some key questions, such as:

  • What type of information is critical to achieving their goals?
  • Do they have the information they need to make the next decision or take the next best action?
  • Is all the data they need in house? If not, where is it?
  • What challenges are they facing when it comes to their data?
  • How much time are people spending trying to pull together the information they need?
  • How much time are people spending fixing bad data?
  • How much is this costing them?
  • What opportunities exist if they had all the information they need and could trust it?
You need a solid information management strategy to make the shift from looking into the rear-view mirror realizing the potential business value of predictive analytics.

If you want to get the business value you’re expecting by shifting from rear-view mirror style reporting to predictive analytics, you need to use clean, consistent and connected data

Q. How are IT leaders collaborating with business partners to improve predictive analytics?

A. Wal-Mart’s IT team collaborated with the business to improve the forecasting and demand planning process. Once they found out what was important, IT figured out how to gather, store and seamlessly integrate external data like historical weather and future weather forecasts into the process. This enabled the business to get more valuable insights, tailor product selections at particular stores, and generate more revenue.

Q. Why is it difficult for IT leaders to convince business leaders to invest in an information management strategy?

A. In most cases, business leaders don’t see the value in an information management strategy or they haven’t seen value before. Unfortunately this often happens because IT isn’t able to connect the dots between the information management strategy and the outcomes that matter to the business.

Business leaders see value in having control over their business-critical information, being able to access it quickly and to allocate their resources to get any additional information they need. Relinquishing control takes a lot of trust. When IT leaders want to get buy-in from business leaders to invest in an information management strategy they need to be clear about how it will impact business priorities. Data integration, data quality and master data management (MDM) should be built into the budget for predictive or advanced analytics initiatives to ensure the data the business is relying on is clean, consistent and connected.

Q: You liked this quotation from an IT leader at a beer manufacturing company, “We don’t just make beer. We make beer and data. We need to manage our product supply chain and information supply chain equally efficiently.”

A.What I like about that quote is the IT leader was able to connect the dots between the primary revenue generator for the company and the role data plays in improving organizational performance. That’s something that a lot of IT leaders struggle with. IT leaders should always be thinking about what’s the next thing they can do to increase business value with the data they have in house and other data that the company may not yet be tapping into.

Q. According to a recent survey by Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation, 60% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are investing in analytics and improved decision-making as their #1 IT priority. What’s your advice for IT Leaders who need to get buy-in from the CFO to invest in information management?

A. Read your company’s financial statements, especially the Management Discussion and Analysis section. You’ll learn about the company’s direction, what the stakeholders are looking for, and what the CFO needs to deliver. Offer to get your CFO the information s/he needs to make decisions and to deliver. When you talk to a CFO about investing in information management, focus on the two things that matter most:

  1. Risk mitigation: CFOs know that bad decisions based on bad information can negatively impact revenue, expenses and market value. If you have to caveat all your decisions because you can’t trust the information, or it isn’t current, then you have problems. CFOs need to trust their information. They need to feel confident they can use it to make important financial decisions and deliver accurate reports for compliance.
  2. Opportunity: Once you have mitigated the risk and can trust the data, you can take advantage of predictive analytics. Wal-Mart doesn’t just do forecasting and demand planning. They do “demand shaping.” They use accurate, consistent and connected data to plan events and promotions not just to drive inventory turns, but to optimize inventory and the supply chain process. Some companies in the energy market are using accurate, consistent and connected data for predictive asset maintenance. By preventing unplanned maintenance they are saving millions of dollars, protecting revenue streams, and gaining health and safety benefits.

To do either of these things you need a solid information management plan to manage clean, consistent and connected information.  It takes a commitment but the pays offs can be very significant.

Q. What are the top three business requirements when building an information management and integration strategy?
A: In my experience, IT leaders should focus on:

  1. Business value: A solid information management and integration strategy that has a chance of getting funded must be focused on delivering business value. Otherwise, your strategy will lack clarity and won’t drive priorities. If you focus on business value, it will be much easier to gain organizational buy-in. Get that dollar figure before you start anything. Whether it is risk mitigation, time savings, revenue generation or cost savings, you need to calculate that value to the business and get their buy-in.
  2. Trust: When people know they can trust the information they are getting it liberates them to explore new ideas and not have to worry about issues in the data itself.
  3. Flexibility: Flexibility should be banked right into the strategy. Business drivers will evolve and change. You must be able to adapt to change. One of the most neglected, and I would argue most important, parts of a solid strategy is the ability to make continuous small improvements that may require more effort than a typical maintenance event, but don’t create long delays. This will be very much appreciated by the business. We work with our clients to ensure that this is addressed.
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Posted in Business/IT Collaboration, Data Integration, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management, Master Data Management, Partners, Retail | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hospitality Execs: Invest in Great Customer Information to Support A Customer-Obsessed Culture

I love exploring new places. I’ve had exceptional experiences at the W in Hong Kong, El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya and Ventana Inn in Big Sur. I belong to almost every loyalty program under the sun, but not all hospitality companies are capitalizing on the potential of my customer information. Imagine if employees had access to it so they could personalize their interactions with me and send me marketing offers that appeal to my interests.

Do I have high expectations? Yes. But so do many travelers. This puts pressure on marketing and sales executives who want to compete to win. According to Deloitte’s report, “Hospitality 2015: Game changers or spectators?,” hospitality companies need to adapt to meet consumers’ increasing expectations to know their preferences and tastes and to customize packages that suit individual needs.

Jeff Klagenberg helps companies to use their data as a strategic asset

Jeff Klagenberg helps companies use data as a strategic asset and get the most value out of it.

In this interview, Jeff Klagenberg, senior principal at Myers-Holum, explains how one of the largest, most customer-focused companies in the hospitality industry is investing in better customer, product, and asset information. Why? To personalize customer interactions, bundle appealing promotion packages and personalize marketing offers across channels.

Q: What are the company’s goals?
A: The executive team at one of the world’s leading providers of family travel and leisure experiences is focused on achieving excellence in quality and guest services. They generate revenues from the sales of room nights at hotels, food and beverages, merchandise, admissions and vacation club properties. The executive team believes their future success depends on stronger execution based on better measurement and a better understanding of customers.

Q: What role does customer, product and asset information play in achieving these goals?
A: Without the highest quality business-critical data, how can employees continually improve customer interactions? How can they bundle appealing promotional packages or personalize marketing offers? How can they accurately measure the impact of sales and marketing efforts? The team recognized the powerful role of high quality information in their pursuit of excellence.

Q: What are they doing to improve the quality of this business-critical information?
A: To get the most value out of their data and deliver the highest quality information to business and analytical applications, they knew they needed to invest in an integrated information management infrastructure to support their data governance process. Now they use the Informatica Total Customer Relationship Solution, which combines data integration, data quality, and master data management (MDM). It pulls together fragmented customer information, product information, and asset information scattered across hundreds of applications in their global operations into one central, trusted location where it can be managed and shared with analytical and operational applications on an ongoing basis.

Many marketers overlook the importance of using high quality customer information in their personalization capabilities.

Many marketers overlook the importance of using high quality customer information in their investments in personalization.

Q: How will this impact marketing and sales?
A: With clean, consistent and connected customer information, product information, and asset information in the company’s applications, they are optimizing marketing, sales and customer service processes. They get limitless insights into who their customers are and their valuable relationships, including households, corporate hierarchies and influencer networks. They see which products and services customers have purchased in the past, their preferences and tastes. High quality information enables the marketing and sales team to personalize customer interactions across touch points, bundle appealing promotional packages, and personalize marketing offers across channels. They have a better understanding of which marketing, advertising and promotional programs work and which don’t.

Q: What is the role did the marketing and sales leaders play in this initiative?
A: The marketing leaders and sales leaders played a key role in getting this initiative off the ground. With an integrated information management infrastructure in place, they’ll benefit from better integration between business-critical master data about customers, products and assets and transaction data.

Q. How will this help them gain customer insights from “Big Data”?
A. We helped the business leaders understand that getting customer insights from “Big Data” such as weblogs, call logs, social and mobile data requires a strong backbone of integrated business-critical data. By investing in a data-centric approach, they future-proofed their business. They are ready to incorporate any type of data they will want to analyze, such as interaction data. A key realization was there is no such thing as “Small Data.” The future is about getting very bit of understanding out of every data source.

Q: What advice do you have for hospitality industry executives?
A: Ask yourself, “Which of our strategic initiatives can be achieved with inaccurate, inconsistent and disconnected information?” Most executives know that the business-critical data in their applications, used by employees across the globe, is not the highest quality. But they are shocked to learn how much this is costing the company. My advice is talk to IT about the current state of your customer, product and asset information. Find out if it is holding you back from achieving your strategic initiatives.

Also, many business executives are excited about the prospect of analyzing “Big Data” to gain revenue-generating insights about customers. But the business-critical data about customers, products and assets is often in terrible shape. To use an analogy: look at a wheat field and imagine the bread it will yield. But don’t forget if you don’t separate the grain from the chaff you’ll be disappointed with the outcome. If you are working on a Big Data initiative, don’t forget to invest in the integrated information management infrastructure required to give you the clean, consistent and connected information you need to achieve great things.

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Posted in Customer Acquisition & Retention, Customers, Data Integration, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Citrix Boosts Lead Conversion Rates by 20% with Better Customer Information

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevancy a lot less.” I saw this powerful Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation in an MDM Summit presentation by Dagmar Garcia, senior manager of marketing data management at Citrix.  In this interview, Dagmar explains how Citrix is achieving a measurable impact on marketing results by improving the quality of customer information and prospect information.

improving the quality of customer information at Citrix

To  improve marketing campaign effectiveness Dagmar Garcia delivers clean, consistent and connected customer information.

Q: What is Citrix’s mission?
A: Citrix is a $2.6 billion company. We help people work and collaborate from anywhere by easily accessing enterprise applications and data from any device. More than 250,000 organizations around the globe use our solutions and we have over 10,000 partners in 100 countries who resell Citrix solutions.  

Q: What are marketing’s goals?
A: We operate in a hyper-competitive market. It’s critical to retain and expand relationships with existing enterprise and SMB customers and attract new ones. The marketing team’s goals are to boost campaign effectiveness and lead-to-opportunity conversion rates, while improving operational efficiencies.

But, it’s difficult to create meaningful customer segments and target them with relevant cross-sell and up-sell offers if marketing lacks access to clean, consistent and connected customer information  and visibility into the total customer relationship across product lines.

Q: What is your role in achieving these goals?
A:
I’ve been responsible for global marketing data management at Citrix for six years. My role is to identify, implement and maintain technical and business data management processes.I work with marketing leadership, GEO-based team members, sales operations, and operational experts to understand requirements, develop solutions and communicate results. I strive to create innovative solutions to improve the quality of master data at Citrix, including the roll-out and successful adoption of data governance and stewardship practices within Marketing and across other departments.

Q: What drove the decision to tackle inaccurate, inconsistent and disconnected customer and prospect information?
A: In 2011, the quality of customer information and prospect information was identified as the #1 problem by our sales and marketing teams. Account and contact information was incomplete, inaccurate and duplicated in our CRM system.

Another challenge was fragmented and inconsistent master account information scattered across the organization’s multiple applications.  It was difficult to know which source had the most accurate and up-to-date customer and prospect information.

To be successful, we needed a single source of the truth, one system of reference where data management best practices were centralized and consistent. This was a requirement to understand the total customer relationship across product lines. We asked ourselves:

  1. How can we improve campaign effectiveness if more than 40% of the contacts in our customer relationship management system (CRM) are inactive?
  2. How can we create meaningful customer segments for targeted cross-sell and up-sell offers when we don’t have visibility into all the products they already have?
  3. How can we improve lead to opportunity conversion rates if we have incomplete prospect data?
  4. How can we improve operational efficiencies if we have double the duplicate customer and prospect information than the industry standard?
  5. How can we maintain high data quality standards in our global operations if we lack the data quality technology and processes needed to be successful?
Customer information

Citrix is investing in a marketing data management foundation to deliver better quality customer information to operational and analytical applications.

Q: How are you managing customer and prospect information now?
A: We built a marketing data management foundation. We centralized our data management and reduced manual, error-prone and time-consuming data quality efforts. To decrease the duplicate account and contact rate, we focused on managing the quality of our data as close to the source as possible by improving data validation at points of entry.

Q: What role does Informatica play?
A: We using master data management (MDM) to:

  • pull together fragmented customer, prospect and partner information scattered across applications into one central, trusted location where it can be mastered, managed and shared on an ongoing basis,
  • organize customer, prospect and partner information so we know how companies and people are related to each other, which hierarchies and networks they belong to, including their roles and organizations, and
  • syndicate clean, consistent and connected customer, partner and product information to applications, such as CRM and data warehouses for analytics.

Q: Why did you choose Informatica?
A
:  After completing a thorough analysis of our gaps, we knew the best solution was a combination of MDM technology and a data governance process. We wanted to empower the business to manage customer information, navigate multiple hierarchies, handle exceptions and make changes with a transparent process through an easy-to-use interface.

At the same time, we did extensive industry research and learned Informatica MDM was ranked as a visionary and thought leader in the master data management solution space and could support our data governance process.

Q: Can you share some of the results you’ve achieved?
A:
Now that marketing uses clean, consistent and connected customer and prospect information and an understanding of the total customer relationship, we’ve seen a positive impact on these key metrics:

↑ 20% lead-to-opportunity conversion rates
↑ 20% operational efficiency
↑ 50% quality data at point of entry
↓ 50% in prospect accounts duplication rate
↓ 50% in creation of duplicate prospect accounts and contacts
↓ 50% in junk data rate

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Posted in Customer Acquisition & Retention, Data Governance, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Aboard! Engineer Your Mission-Critical Asset Information So It Doesn’t Go Off The Rails

Do you know what year the first steam engine locomotive was invented? 1804. It traveled 9 miles in two hours. Now, you and I would be pretty upset of we boarded a train and it took 2 hours to go 9 miles. But, 200 years ago, this was a huge innovation and led to the invention of the modern day train and railway.

Tremendous Growth In Demand for Rail Travel Puts Pressure on Rail Infrastructure
Today, Britain is experiencing tremendous growth in demand for rail travel. One million more trains and 500 million more passengers travel by train than just 5 years ago. Over the next 30 years passenger demand for rail will more than double and freight demand is expected to go up by 140%. This puts tremendous pressure on the rail infrastructure.

Is it hard to make sense of your mission-critical asset information because it's scattered across multiple applications?

Is it hard to make sense of your valuable asset information because it’s scattered across multiple applications?

Network Rail is in the modern-day rail business. Employees work day and night running, maintaining and updating Britain’s rail infrastructure, including millions of assets, such as 22,000 miles of track, 6,500 crossings, 43,000 bridges, viaducts and tunnels. Improving the rail network provides faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys between Britain’s towns and cities.

Network Rail is investing more in the rail infrastructure than in Victorian times. In the last six months, they spent about $25 million a day! In a recent news release, Patrick Bucher, group finance director said, “We continue to invest record amounts to deliver a bigger, better railway for passengers and businesses across Britain. We are also driving down the cost of running Britain’s railway to help make it more affordable in the years ahead.”

Employees Need to Trust Asset Information to Pinpoint and Fix Problems Quickly
To pinpoint and fix problems quickly, keep their operating costs low and maintain a strong safety record, Network Rail’s employees need to trust their mission-critical asset information, such as:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Where is it?
  3. What equipment, tools and skills are needed to fix it?
  4. Who is closest to the problem that could fix it?

Difficult to Make Sense of Asset Information Scattered across Applications
Similar to many companies their size, Network Rail’s mission-critical asset information was scattered across many applications, which made it difficult for employees to make sense of asset information and the interaction between assets.

The asset information team recognized the limitations of employees depending on an application-centric view of their business. To operate more efficiently and effectively, they needed clean asset information, consistent asset information, and connected asset information.

Investing in Rail Infrastructure AND the Information Infrastructure to Support It
Network Rail now uses a combination of data integration, data quality, and master data management (MDM) to manage their mission-critical asset information in a central location on an ongoing basis, to:

  1. make sense of asset information,
  2. understand the relationships between assets, and
  3. track changes to asset information.

In a news release, Patrick Bossert Director of Network Rail’s Asset Information services business said, “With more accurate and reliable information about assets and their condition our team can make better business decisions, enable innovation in our asset management policy, planning and execution, and improve  rail-system-wide investment decisions that benefit the rail industry as a whole.”

If you work for a company that revolves around mission-critical asset information, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can our employees makes sense of our asset information?
  2. Can they easily see relationships between assets and how they interact?
  3. Can they see the history of changes to asset information over time?

Or are are they limited by an application-centric view of the business because asset information is scattered across in multiple systems?

Have a similar story about how you are managing your mission-critical asset information? Please share it in the comments below.

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Posted in Data Integration, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inside Dreamforce ’13: Why sales may be building 360-degree customer views outside Salesforce

I had a disturbing conversation at Dreamforce. Long story short, thousands of highly skilled and highly paid financial advisors (read sales reps) at a large financial services company are spending most of their day pulling together information about their clients in a spreadsheet, leaving only a few hours to engage with clients and generate revenue.

Not all valuable customer information is in Salesforce

360_degree_city-1024x640

Are you in sales? Your time is too valuable to squander on jobs technology can do. Stop building 360-degree customer views in spreadsheets. Get it delivered in Salesforce.

Why? They don’t have a 360-degree customer view within Salesforce.

Why not? Not all client information that’s valuable to the financial advisors is in Salesforce.  Important client information is in other applications too, such as:

  • Marketing automation application
  • Customer support application
  • Account management applications
  • Finance applications
  • Business intelligence applications

Are you in sales? Do you work for a company that has multiple products or lines of business? Then you can probably relate. In my 15 years of experience working with sales, I’ve found this to be a harsh reality. You have to manually pull together customer information, which is a time-consuming process that doesn’t boost job satisfaction.

Stop building 360-degree customer views in spreadsheets 

So what can you do about it? Stop building 360-degree customer views in spreadsheets. There is a better way and your sales operations leader can help.

One of my favorite customer success stories is about one of the world’s leading wealth management companies, with 16,000 financial advisors globally.  Like most companies, their goal is to increase revenue by understanding their customers’ needs and making relevant cross-sell and up-sell offers.

But, the financial advisors needed an up-to-date view of the “total customer relationship” with the bank before they talked to their high net-worth clients. They wanted to appear knowledgeable and offer a product the client might actually want.

Can you guess what was holding them back? The bank operated in an account-centric world. Each line of business had its own account management application. To get a 360-degree customer view, the financial advisors spent 70% of their time pulling important client information from different applications into spreadsheets. Sound familiar?

Once the head of sales realized this, he decided to invest in information management technology that provides clean, consistent and connected customer information and delivers a 360-degree customer view within Salesforce.

The result? They’ve had a $50 million dollar impact annually and a 30% increase in productivity. In fact, word spread to other banks and the 360-degree customer view in Salesforce became an incentive to attract top talent in the industry.

Ask sales operations to give you 360-degree customer views within Salesforce

I urge you to take action. In particular, talk to your sales operations leader if he or she is at all interested in improving performance and productivity, acquiring and retaining top sales talent, and cutting costs.

Want to see how you can get 360-degree customer views in Salesforce? Check out this demo: Enrich Customer Data in Your CRM Application with MDM. Then schedule a meeting with your sales operations leader.

Have a similar experience to share? Please share it in the comments below.

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Posted in Customer Acquisition & Retention, Customers, Data Integration, Data Quality, Financial Services, Master Data Management, Operational Efficiency, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunshine Act Spotlights Requirement for Accurate Physician Information

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act shines a spotlight on the disorganized state of physician information, which is scattered across systems, often incomplete, inaccurate and inconsistent in most pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies.

According to the recent Wall Street Journal article Doctors Face New Scrutiny over Gifts, “Drug companies collectively pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and gifts to doctors every year. In 2012, Pfizer Inc., the biggest drug maker by sales, paid $173.2 million to U.S. health-care professionals.”

The Risks of Creating Reports with Inaccurate Physician Information

TheSunshineAct

Failure to comply with the federal Sunshine Act opens companies up to damaging relationships with physicians they’ve spent years cultivating.

There are serious risks of filing inaccurate reports. Just imagine dealing with:

  • An angry call from a physician who received a $25 meal, which was inaccurately reported as $250 or who reportedly, received a gift that actually went to someone with a similar name.
  • Hefty fines and increased scrutiny from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Fines range from $1,000 to $10,000 for each transaction with a maximum penalty of maximum $1.15 million.
  • Negative media attention. Reports will be available for anyone to access on a publicly accessible website.

How prepared are manufacturers to track and report physician payment information?

One of the major obstacles is getting a complete picture of the total payments made to one physician. Manufacturers need to know if Dr. Sriram Mennon and Dr. Sri Menon are one and the same.

On top of that, they need to understand the complicated connections between Dr. Sriram Menon, sales representatives’ expense report spreadsheets (T&E), marketing and R&D expenses, event data, and accounts payable data.

3 Steps to Ensure Physician Information is Accurate

In recent years, some pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device manufacturers were required to respond to “Sunshine Act” type laws in states like California and Massachusetts. To simplify, automate and ensure physician payment reports are filed correctly and on time, they use an Aggregate Spend Repository or Physician Spend Management solution.

They also use these solutions to proactively track and review physician payments on a regular basis to ensure mandated thresholds are met before reports are due. Aggregate Spend Repository and Physician Spend Management solutions rely on a foundation of  data integration, data quality, and master data management (MDM) software to better manage physician information.

For those manufacturers who want to avoid the risk of losing valuable physician relationships, paying hefty fines, and receiving scrutiny from CMS and negative media attention, here are three steps to ensure accurate physician information:

  1. Bring all your scattered physician information, including identifiers, addresses and specialties into a central place to fix incorrect, missing or inconsistent information and uniquely identify each physician.
  2. Identify connections between physicians and the hospitals and clinics where they work to help aggregate accurate payment information for each physician.
  3. Standardize transaction information so it’s easy to identify the purpose of payments and related products and link transaction information to physician information.

Physicians Will Review Reports for Accuracy in January 2014

In January 2014, after physicians review the federally mandated financial disclosures, they may question the accuracy of reported payments. Within two months manufacturers will need to fix any discrepancies and file their Sunshine Act reports, which will become part of  a permanent archive. Time is precious for those companies who haven’t built an Aggregate Spend Repository or Physician Spend Management solution to drive their Sunshine Act compliance reports.

If you work for one of the pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing companies already using an Aggregate Spend Repository or Physician Spend Management solution, please share your tips and tricks with others who are behind.

Tick tock, tick tock….

 

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Posted in Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s worse, a disaster or your company’s delayed response?

Just in time for Halloween, I’m sharing a scary story. Warning: this is a true story. You may wonder:

  • Could this happen to me?
  • Can this situation be avoided?
  • How can I prevent this from happening to me?

Last summer, the worst wildfire in Colorado history burned hundreds of acres, 360 homes, killing two people and forcing 38,000 people to evacuate the area.

Colorado Wildfire 2013

When disaster strikes, how long will it take your organization to identify, contact and communicate with employees who need to be evacuated or deployed elsewhere? It took one company 2 days. Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Unfortunately, it was during the Colorado wildfire that a large integrated healthcare provider with hospitals, doctors, healthcare providers and employees located throughout the United States (who shall remain nameless) realized they had a problem. They couldn’t respond in real time to the disaster by mobilizing their workforce quickly. They struggled to identify, contact and communicate with doctors, healthcare providers and employees located at the disaster area to warn them not to go to the hospital or redirect them to alternative sites where they could help.

This healthcare provider’s inability to respond to this disaster in real time was an “Aha” moment. What was holding them back was a major information problem. Because their employee information was scattered across hundreds of systems, they couldn’t pull a single, comprehensive and accurate list of doctors, healthcare providers and employees in the disaster area. They didn’t know which employees needed to be evacuated or which could be sent to assist people in other locations. So, they had to email everyone in the company.

When Disaster Strikes Blog Call OutThe good news is that we’re in the process of helping them create and maintain a central location called an “employee master” built on our  data integration, data quality, and master data management (MDM) software. This will be their “go-to” place for an up-to-date, complete and accurate list of employees and their contact information, such as work email, phone, pager (doctors still use them), home phone and personal email as well as their location, so they know exactly who is working where and how best to contact them.

This healthcare provider will no longer be held back by an information problem. In three months, they’ll be able to respond to disasters in real time by mobilizing their workforce quickly.

An interesting side note: Immediately before our Informatica team of experts arrived to talk to this healthcare provider about how we can help them, there was a power outage in the building.  They struggled to alert the employees who were impacted. So our team personally experienced the pain of this organization’s employee information problem.

When disaster strikes, will you be ready to respond in real time? Or do you have an information problem that could hold you back from mobilizing your own employees?

I want your opinion. Are you interested in more scary stories? Let me know in the comments below. I’m thinking about making this a regular series.

 

 

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Posted in Data Integration, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management, Healthcare, Master Data Management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing Potential at Work Community: Unleashing information potential from the server room to the boardroom

I’m excited to announce our new exclusive Potential at Work Community. If you are interested in unleashing the power and potential of information to transform your career, your company and your world, then this is the community for you.

If you have any doubt about the revolutionary impact information can have, you should check out Rick Smolan’s book, “The Human Face of Big Data.” He was the keynote speaker at Informatica World 2013 and opened our eyes to how data is helping combat some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Below is a Q&A on the Potential at Work Community. If you have additional questions, please post them to the comments section. I’ll be happy to answer them. eloqua

Q: Why launch the Potential at Work Community now?

A: This is an exciting time to be involved in information initiatives. The world of data and information are growing in importance. The mainstream media, such as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week, are covering data initiatives, including big data and Hadoop.

Never before have people in such a wide variety of roles been so deeply involved in harnessing and utilizing information. And, these people are reaching out to us, the data experts, to help them tap into all that data and information, advancing them in their jobs and supporting business innovation.

Q: Who should join?

A: We currently have six flavors of the Potential at Work Community providing actionable insights to data visionaries and information leaders like you. You can join as many communities as you like—each is designed for a specific role.

  • Developers, including integration and application developers
  • Architects, including data and enterprise architects
  • Information leaders, such as those leading analytics, information management and data integration teams
  • Application leaders, such as those responsible for enterprise applications such as CRM, ERP or core transaction management
  • IT leaders, such as CIOs, Chief Data Officers and VPs of IT
  • Sales and marketing leaders, such CMOs, heads of sales, and sales and marketing operations leads

Q: How is it different from other communities?

A: The Potential at Work Community focuses on the power and potential of information. It will transform the way you think about the role of data in today’s world.

When you join, you’ll get an exclusive inside look at:

  • actionable insights and one-of-a-kind analysis about changes taking place in the world of data
  • insights and advice from industry leaders to build your skills and your career path
  • ideas and opinions to transform how you harness data for your organization

Q: How can I engage with the community?

A: There are four ways you can engage:

  • Sign up with the Potential at Work Community at www.informatica.com/potential-at-work
  • Get Alerts delivered to your inbox, notifying you when new content is available
  • Read analyses of the latest trends shaping the world of information
  • Vote in weekly poll questions and see how your peers are responding

Q: How can I get started?

A: Visit Potential at Work Community to sign up and start putting your potential to work. Follow us @PotentialAtWork

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Logitech MDM Case Study: Live Questions, Answers and Attendee Poll Results (Part II of II)

Last week, I posted this blog:  Logitech MDM Case Study: Seven Lessons for Mastering Product and Customer Data (Part I of II) which shares highlights from recent webinar. Logitech’s Severin Stoll, Senior Business Engagement Manager of Global IT Solutions spoke with David Decloux, MDM technical lead in EMEA about Logitech’s Global MDM implementation, in which they are mastering product, customer and consumer data.

Logitech’s Severin Stoll and Informatica's David Decloux answer questions from webinar attendees about building an MDM business case, implementation time, data governance, and real-time MDM.

In this blog, I’ll share some of the highlights of the Q&A I led and results from two polls. (more…)

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Posted in Customers, Data Governance, Manufacturing, Master Data Management, Retail | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment