7 Companies That Have Used Data Integration to Revitalize Their Business
by Aaron Nelson on December 04, 2014
Last month, we gave an overview of data integration and discussed the wealth of benefits it can bring to businesses, particularly those in the financial sector. As our post explained, data-integrated companies operate more efficiently by condensing and categorizing relevant information and eliminating redundant information. In the end, cost-savings are realized in surprising places and the company can make informed decisions about its processes and strategies.
In this post, we’ll highlight seven companies have used data integration—both in old and new ways—to revitalize their business.
When Lucent Technologies separated from AT&T in 1996, Bell Labs became its innovation engine. Bell Labs took a systematic approach to innovation by using roadmaps to chart the development of technology and then identified “what’s needed” through market research. The system created a feedback loop, and Lucent was converting ideas into patents at a rate of three every business day. Lucent was purchased by Alcatel SA in 2006. Today, the combined Alcatel-Lucent is recognized as a Top 100 Global Innovator by Thomson Reuters and the group leader in the Technology Hardware & Equipment Industry group in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for 2014.
MG Car Company
MG Car Company is an iconic brand in England. Its sports cars are considered classics and an affordable luxury along the lines of the Mazda MX-5 and Honda CRX—cars that could be driven daily but priced low enough to be feasible as a family’s second car—but an economic downturn in the UK had left the company reeling. It went from selling 2.3 million cars in 1989 to just 1.57 million in 1992. As the economy began to recover, MG was getting left behind. The company integrated data from their target audiences—including those who were already part of other market segments—to define the direction MG would take. The process took three years, but in 1995 MG came back bigger than ever because of effective collection and processing of data.
Microsoft was one of the first companies to integrate data from e-commerce operations to link all members of the value chain—from raw materials to point of sale. By integrating supply orders for virtually all goods within the company, Microsoft was better able to manage its inventories across the board. Ultimately, the company managed to reduce its cost for processing direct orders to $5 from $60: an annual cost savings of $3 million per annum.
Pirelli Tires is a respected brand, but its products simply weren’t appealing to motorcycle drivers. Sales of its motorcycle tires were disproportionately low compared to its other divisions. Rather than use general market data to guess what its customers were looking for, Pirelli started to talk to its potential customers at industry events like shows, rallies, and races, collecting information that they would view as a whole as well as deconstruct into distinct demographics. Based on the integration of the data gathered from their research, Pirelli developed three brand extensions—Diablo, Scorpion, and Dragon—that spoke directly to the different types of riders it identified. It worked. Pirelli was one of the few motorcycle tire manufacturers with positive growth and sales numbers after the financial markets collapsed in 2008.
Premier Healthcare had used a series of different applications to manage its roughly 2,600 hospitals and more than 84,000 healthcare sites, but those data sources were disconnected and lacking in scale. Privacy and accuracy were also an issue. Rather than solve those issues individually, the company opted for an integrated solution and launched a new platform to manage its data. The new platform ties everything together and provides Premier with detailed information on customer demographics, common diagnoses, emerging healthcare issues, and near real-time identification of when patients receive sub-therapeutic doses of medicines. According to a recent case study on the company, “in one Premier project, 157 participating hospitals saved an estimated 24,800 lives while reducing healthcare spending by USD 2.85 billion.”
Ryanair is a discount airline based in Europe that offers regional international service. The company was one of the first airlines to adopt a low-cost business model and it is arguably the lowest priced airline in Europe, as well as Europe’s largest carrier by market capitalization and passenger numbers. Ryanair gets a lot of attention for its “no-frills” approach—limiting many comforts and services that are standard on other airlines to reduce costs—but what is often missed is Ryanair’s use of data to set its fares. The company bases its fares on route length, route frequency, and how often those routes are fully booked. It also discounts fares using less popular airports and destinations. In essence, Ryanair competes “against itself” in price instead of focusing solely on its competitors.
Scotiabank is one of the largest and oldest financial institutions in North America. Established in 1832, the company serves some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries. As reporting requirements became more strict in recent years, Scotiabank found that its reports and information overall was not delivered as quickly as needed. Real-time balance and transaction data was also an issue. The company was becoming a dinosaur. Scotiabank decided to up its efforts and launched a new reporting system to streamline the process. Today, the company saves $1m CAN in printing costs alone thanks to improved availability of online reports and statements.
At D&S Global Solutions, we utilize data integration every day to get the best results for our clients. With our proprietary software, we’re able to manage workflows and provide customized reporting and real-time client access to contacts, statuses, and calling campaigns. Furthermore, integrating our data—with the technology and expertise to interpret that data—enables us to translate seemingly meaningless information into figures that drive business decisions and mitigate risk for ourselves and our clients. When it comes to our recovery process, our access to meaningful information equips us with the tools to collect efficiently, effectively, and professionally.