Management of Information Systems Business Strategy Lessons Research Paper

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Management of Information Systems Business Strategy: Lessons to Be Learned From the Clinic and Resort Cases about the Creation, Implementation and Use of Business Intelligence

The objective of this work is to examine the lessons to be learned from the clinic and resort cases about the creation, implementation and use of business intelligence in management of information systems business strategy.

Business intelligence is described as the "business capability of extracting actionable insight from business and market data to support better decision-making and improved corporate performance." (The Business Intelligence Guide, 2011) Furthermore, Business Intelligence is the business reported to be the "most wanted technology by business across the world" because business intelligence "even in current times of economic downturn, when IT budgets are being cut, is still at the top of the list of urgently needed business capabilities." (The Business Intelligence Guide, 2011) The critical need for business intelligence was learned by the clinic and resort cases, which are reviewed in this study.

I. The Clinic Case Study

Konitzer and Cummens (2011) write that Marshfield Clinic "with more than 50 regional locations staffed by 6,500 administrative and healthcare workers and over 800 physicians…is a true innovator in patient care, efficiently managing more than 375,000 patients every year." Konitzer and Cummens report that the management team at Marshfield Clinic invested early in electronic patient records and provided staff with electronic tablets that were used in history taking which in turn "automatically populate a centralized patient data warehouse.' (2011) Each patient's financial and clinical care information…including histories, lab tests, medications and diagnostic records…" are all stored safety and update continuously which means that Marshfield Clinic is always ready for reporting and analysis. (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011)

Konitzer and Cummens report that Marshfield Clinic "is intensely interested in the accuracy and consistency of billing codes assigned to a patient care visit." (2011) This requires an investment in the right analytics software in order to "augment the clinic's existing processes for evaluating medical coding appropriateness. It would enable the clinic to compare its coding to national benchmark data to help utilization review nursing staff identify physician training needs as they apply to medical coding." (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011) Konitzer, manager of Analytics, Marshfield Clinic states that the analytical tools "helped us identify outliers, increase medical coding accuracy, and decrease the variance by $5 million." (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011)

Prior to implementation of SAP BusinessObjects solutions for analytics and reporting, Marshfield Clinic was reliant on "complex ad hoc query tools for which users needed to undergo extensive training." (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011) It is reported that the limitations of the analytics software being used were well-known. The IS department wanted a tool-set that would make provision of "self-service reporting and analytics [and] more meaningful visual displays, and more powerful analytics functionality." (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011)

Cummens stated, "Our existing software wasn't designed to support the fast decisions that our physicians, management, and clinical care teams need to make every day, right down to each individual patient. It was by improving these frontline decisions that we could actually improve patient outcomes -- one of the primary metrics the federal government is using to determine payment bonuses." (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011)

Marshfield examined its options and made the choice to deploy "three SAP BusinessObjects solutions: (1) SAP BusinessObjects enterprise software; (2) SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius enterprise software; and (3) Sap BusinessObjects Web Intelligence software. (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011) Installation and configuration of the software was accomplished quickly because the new software did not have to be deployed across the many locations of Marshfield Clinic. The reported challenge of the rollout was the conversion of the existing 60 Cognos catalogs of the clinic 'into new semantic layers that worked with SAP BusinessObjects software." (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011)

The entire process took nine months. The applications of SAP BusinessObjects have supported Marshfield Clinic in meeting all of the goals that were set. Other accomplishments include: (1) physicians' key metrics are at their fingertips, right from their desktops; (2) The clinic uses the applications to constantly monitor and track more than 30 metrics across six different categories (such as primary care) and subcategories (such as cardiology); and (3) Reports and dashboards are available by clinic, region, specialty, physician, patient, and more. (Konitzer and Cummens, 2011)

II. The Resort Case Study

The work of Briggs (2011) reports a case study on a vacation-property management company that adopted business intelligence analytics software to maintain a high standard of customer service and to increase their ability to compete against national chains. Brigg states that family -- owned 'Twiddy & Company' uses high-end analytics software to ensure that the vacation experience is never a horrible experience when renting from their company. Briggs states that everyone can relate to the vacation, which was scheduled, far in advance only, to realize upon arrival that they vacation house they have rented has no working air conditioning and a dirty pool. Twiddy & Company rents " rents primarily to families for a week at a time, managing homes ranging from simple two-bedroom residences to huge estates" and employees "some 90 full-time employees and seasonal help." (Briggs, 2011)

Twiddy & Company is reported as having "an extraordinary amounts of disparate data to keep track of -- not just rental properties, homeowners and potentials guests, but maintenance and upkeep details that include relationships with hundreds of plumbers, electricians, pool and spa cleaning and repair companies, and other maintenance personnel throughout the area." (Briggs, 2011) Furthermore, the competition for management of vacation rental homes in the area has been experiencing rapid growth. Briggs reports that technology such as that offered by SAS "is greatly enhancing staff efficiency and effectiveness" which is critical if Twiddy & Company are to remain competitive in this market." (Briggs, 2011)

At the time that Twiddy & Company began its search for a solution, locating information was often not easily accomplished. The staff at Twiddy & Company were required to conduct a search through software records by hand in order to locate the needed vendor which was a time-eater and labor-intensive process. According to operations manager Clark Twiddy: "If a guest had a broken air-conditioning system we would rely on [staff] to comb through our software system and try to link a demand ... To a resource." In addition to excess time spent on the search, the process didn't necessarily unearth the best or most cost-effective resource." (Briggs, 2004)

A great deal of the data is reported to have been stored "in a SQL database, using software specific to the vacation home rental industry, with some custom Microsoft Access reports. To get at needed information, data would be exported into Excel, manipulated, and a report printed." (Briggs, 2004) The problem stated is that the next time the company needed to run the report a ten-step process was required to be conducted to get the information again. Twiddy and Company began its search for analytics software and chose SAS, which is, located in Cary, North Carolina just as is Twiddy & Company however, what appealed to Clark Twiddy was the customer service offered by SAS.

It is reported that the company's day-to-day operations data as well as information on service and repair companies in the region are still on the company's data warehouse, which is accessed by SAS. The SAS operations system enables the company to search transactions quickly with a great level of detail not previously available. Briggs reports "Over a holiday week this spring, the company dealt with 1,000-plus work orders, each requiring a call to a vendor. With a single report, he can streamline and summarize that workload by grouping transactions by expense, by location, by vendor, or by category of work." (Briggs, 2011)

The new software packages also assist the homeowners through showing them "what market…[continue]

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