Data, including big data, is only as valuable as it is actionable. Vizient, a member-owned healthcare company that specializes in helping its members to do business more efficiently, focuses on not only broadening its intelligence, but also improving its ability to act on that intelligence.
Vizient found that some of its systems could not easily integrate data, limiting the company’s ability to gain and act on intelligence. “This intelligence could come in the form of insight into the inventory, but it goes beyond knowing what is flowing through the system, or what is normal,” explains Chuck DeVries, Vizient’s vice president of tech strategy and enterprise architecture. “It means delving into all the other aspects that could be driving the particular situation, including seasonality.”
Another challenge that Vizient faced was that the company could not easily apply differentiated security protocols across its diverse members. “Many hospitals need to be able to see data all the way down to a patient and a particular incident of care, but not all hospitals need that same level of access,” says DeVries.
The Power of a Data Services Layer
Vizient wrapped its key data sources, including from Salesfore.com, inside of a data services layer, enabled by the Denodo Platform. The Denodo Platform uses data virtualization to provide real-time views of the integrated data, without replication.
Wrapped in the data services layer, Vizient’s external Salesforce environment became an internal reporting environment, greatly reducing the need for individual access accounts. “Using the Denodo Platform,” says DeVries, “we can provide shared member information without having to make distinct calls.”
With real-time access to unified data, Vizient gained sharper, more actionable intelligence, helping the company to help its customers save money and provide better care. “When we look at the supplier spend data that comes in from the hospital,” says DeVries, “we’re able to immediately see how much they’re spending in particular areas and identify areas of cost-saving opportunity. These could be on the order of millions of dollars.”
DeVries says that the Denodo Platform also helped Vizient to be able to provide unified answers to financial questions. “We have recently been through a series of mergers and acquisitions,” says DeVries, “So a number of different systems were storing important financial data. The ability to really knit those systems together, using the Denodo Platform, provides us with a much better self-service solution than we could develop if we tried integrating the data using brute force.”
Finally, because the unified data services layer provides a single point for accessing the Vizient’s data sources, it provided a streamlined system for setting highly granular security protocols across all systems, also from a single point.
Vizient has no regrets about its decision to implement the Denodo Platform. “The Denodo Platform is more than a data virtualization platform, it’s a data integration platform,” says DeVries. “We use it to provide services and bring data together, but we also use it to feed a lot of our other processes, like MDM or data governance. The Denodo Platform is a very valuable tool in our toolkit.”
Watch as Chuck DeVries tells the Vizient story of leveraging the Denodo Platform:
For more information about Vizient’s use of data virtualization, see Vizient’s case study. To learn more about how forward-thinking companies are leveraging data virtualization across numerous industries, see the collection of Denodo case studies.
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