BCBS Massachusetts - Making a Difference with Smarter Computing

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA’s new data environment

Published on 17-Jul-2012

Validated on 15 Jan 2014

Customer:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Industry:
Healthcare, Insurance

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
BA - Business Intelligence, Big Data, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Customers, Big Data & Analytics: Improve IT, Data Warehouse, Smarter Computing

Overview

As Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts worked to improve the health of their members and provide better service, they faced a significant challenge in mounting data volumes – it became difficult to achieve high levels of service and performance because of the time and expense required to mine useful information.

Business need:
One of the primary challenges, was trying to get an environment where we have a very high performance backend system that is pushing data out faster or at the speed that the analysts want.

Solution:
Their solution was adopting the IBM Netezza Appliance. Providing comprehensive management of infrastructure, storage, and databases, Netezza made possible unprecedented performance improvements and engagement with BCBSMA business partners.

Benefits:
Query run time: 80 hours down to 5 hours. That is huge, huge value proposition there

Video

As Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts worked to improve the health of their members and provide better service, they faced a significant challenge in mounting data volumes – it became difficult to achieve high levels of service and performance because of the time and expense required to mine useful information. Their solution was adopting the IBM Netezza Appliance. Providing comprehensive management of infrastructure, storage, and databases, Netezza made possible unprecedented performance improvements and engagement with BCBSMA business partners.




Video Transcript


IBM Smarter Computing Customer Reference Video – Blue Cross Blue Shield MA

As Produced Transcript

Joy Mukherjee, Director of Business Intelligence, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

The efforts of most insurers right now, is to improve the health of their members, not only does it make the member’s health better, it also reduces expenses


Everybody is talking BI and data warehousing and there’s a reason for that because information makes a difference.

Health care is one of the more complicated industries in terms of the amount or the variety of information.

Being able to analyze data and extract the intelligence out of it is going to be the only differentiator in the marketplace going forward. the more information you have, is going to make you stronger in terms of interpreting what steps you can take to get competitive, to establish a stronger relationship with your members and going forward, basically make a difference in their lives and in the in the overall image of the company.

One of the primary pain points in this whole analysis and -- and this -- this comes into play with a growth in -- in the volume of data, is that you are spending way too much time pulling information out as opposed to extracting value out of that information.

One of our primary challenges, was trying to get an environment where we have a very high performance backend system that is pushing data out faster or at the speed that the analysts want.

What Netezza did for us is kind of took that “Can it be done?” from the database performance perspective completely out of the picture.

What it does, you know, for you is basically takes away a lot of time, effort and money that you spend on managing your infrastructure, specifically for an enterprise data warehouse and lets you focus on the value proposition that you can bring to the business, using your information, rather than trying to spend more time on the IT aspects.

With the Netezza appliance and you don't have to worry about storage, you don't have to worry about database objects, like indexes and table spaces and all those things, all of a sudden disappear and you just create tables for data in there and run your queries.

We were able to get that down to five hours, from 80 hours to five hours on a Netezza platform. So that's a huge, huge value proposition there.

Not only business users but even our IT folks were kind of awestruck by the performance gain that we achieved.

Smarter computing for us is essentially a point where I don’t have to spend hours and hours worrying about my IT environment, be it my software, be it infrastructure, and basically spending more time in extracting value out of an IT investment, out of large volumes of data in our instance and bringing it closer and closer to our business users and making it a lot easier for them to make a difference to the company, basically using information to drive decisions.

The less I have to manage my hardware and my software and make sure it’s performing at the peak level on a day-to-day basis, the more time I can spend sitting in meetings with my business partners and talking to them about what can we do next to make the company better in terms of decision making, in terms of what new programs can we launch, where can we make a difference to our member’s lives.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM Netezza High Capacity Appliance

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