ZIFFPAGE TITLEStickier MetricsBy Connie Winkler | Posted 2005-05-23 Email Print
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In 2005, more companies are requiring their executives to make decisions based on savvy use of business analytics software.
National Account Service Co. is at an earlier stage in its analytics project. The Atlanta-based company, which provides information processing services to 37 Blue Cross Blue Shield health-care insurers nationwide, is identifying the basic metrics it needs to provide its customers with meaningful key-performance data.
"It's very common to measure systems availability or claims worked during the day, but that doesn't tell the customer anything," says Mark Badia, chief product technologist at NASCO. What customers really care about, he explains, is how many claims are accurate, and how quickly they are processed. By providing useful metrics, NASCO wants its customer relationships to grow "stickier."
Manpower, a staffing firm with 4,300 offices worldwide, has also had its customers asking for detailed drill-downs on data. One problem: The company couldn't provide summarized status information for customers worldwide about how many people it had placed, or what their skill sets were.
Yet one of Manpower's main selling points to customers is that it can offload the entire staffing effort and save them time and money, thus adding value. "We don't have an easy way to aggregate data worldwide, even though many of our customers ask for that," says Sajan Thomas, technology leader in Manpower's global information systems group in Milwaukee.
Today, he says, preparing that information involves a lot of manual work, gathering it from various operating units and pulling together a report.
To better meet its customers' needs, Manpower plans a big move to financial and analytics modules from PeopleSoft (which is now part of Oracle) in a project that will run through 2006. Deploying the PeopleSoft suite, Thomas says, will avoid the need for Manpower to build a separate data warehouse and still consolidate information from the company's far-flung offices.