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.
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:
- What is the problem?
- Where is it?
- What equipment, tools and skills are needed to fix it?
- 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:
- make sense of asset information,
- understand the relationships between assets, and
- 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:
- Can our employees makes sense of our asset information?
- Can they easily see relationships between assets and how they interact?
- 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.
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
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.
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
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:
- 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.
- Identify connections between physicians and the hospitals and clinics where they work to help aggregate accurate payment information for each physician.
- 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….
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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
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.
In this blog, I’ll share some of the highlights of the Q&A I led and results from two polls. (more…)
Expert Advice for ACO Success: Gain Consensus on Metrics and Use High Quality Healthcare Data for Better Patient Care
It’s amazing how often Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are in the news. This Fierce Healthcare article, Maps of 2012 Medicare Accountable Care Organizations, states that ACOs are “the biggest change to Medicare in decades.” This Forbes’ article, Obamacare’s Accountable Care Approach Reaches 1 in 10 in US, reveals that “more than 2.4 million Medicare beneficiaries will be receiving care from more than 150 ACOs that have signed up to participate.”
But what do ACOs need to deliver on their promise of giving coordinated high quality care to Medicare patients at the right time, avoiding unnecessary services and preventing medical errors?
Healthcare industry experts agree on two basics required for ACO success. At a minimum, physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers need:
1) consensus on ACO success metrics to measure performance, and
2) access to timely, high quality healthcare data to better manage patient care and track performance.
Without an agreed upon set of ACO success metrics and better healthcare data management, how can ACOs better manage patients and identify and monitor at-risk patients? Without these basics, how can they improve patient experience, outcomes and healthcare costs?
Bridging the gap and reaching consensus on ACO metrics is one of the greatest challenges for ACOs. The good news is there are experts who can help. Please join us on Wednesday January 23rd for a live Let’s Talk Healthcare Webinar: Bridging the Gap: Reaching Consensus on ACO Metrics. Three healthcare experts:
- Senthil Balasubramanian, Manager of Decision Support at University of Pennsylvania Health System
- Maury DePalo, Director of Edgewater’s Healthcare Practices
- Richard Cramer, Informatica’s Healthcare Strategist
will talk about gaining consensus on ACO metrics, monitoring metrics, making adjustments as needed, and leveraging high quality healthcare data to better manage patient care, healthcare costs and performance.
Logitech’s Severin Stoll, Senior Business Engagement Manager of Global IT Solutions participated in a webinar with David Decloux, MDM technical lead in EMEA about Logitech’s Global MDM Implementation.
Severin shared the business challenges that led the global electronics company to pursue an MDM program, their business requirements, and the seven lessons for mastering product and customer data. Their next step is mastering consumer data.
In the next two blogs I’ll share some of the highlights from the discussion, the Q&A session and the poll results from this popular webinar which attracted more than 800 registrants. (more…)
I hosted a party last weekend. My friend Tara who works at a recruiting firm wanted to understand the value of master data management (MDM). Her firm, which operates across the country, is struggling with inconsistent and duplicate candidate information in their recruiting software.
Tara may have just placed candidate “Anita Gupta” at Company A and updated her record in the recruiting system to show that Anita was “just hired.” The recruiting firm will get their fee and Tara her bonus if Anita stays 90 days. (more…)