By Sam Tyler (Senior Consultant)

Buying an item is often not what you are trying to buy. For example, households do not purchase a shiny metal box with lights on it. They buy convenience in the form of a microwave.

Within analytics, executives often ask “What do I do with this data?” Let’s answer that question – via a story.

Recently, m4 innovation’s healthcare sales and marketing analytics practice (what we affectionately abbreviate as “m4 analytics”) engaged with a client to create a dashboard. Clients commonly engage in this way because the dashboard is an item to buy – a microwave, if you will.

(As an aside, m4 analytics has a design philosophy: “One set-up, many uses”. We create an underlying data framework using our proprietary methods that fits a large potential of questions and not just one dashboard.)

While we were working on the dashboard, the client sensed an issue: generic drug utilization was lower than expected. They then asked us if we could we dig deeper to figure out why? In less than a half-hour, we found not only the root of the problem, but also indications that the subsequent quarter would be even lower and that expectations would need to be adjusted.

A few weeks later, the client asked us if we could look at uses of a particular set of drugs and see if there were hot-spots. Within 6 hours, we had a map of the hot-spots. It’s important to note that we didn’t have to reinvent the work. The primary effort was on the geocoding.

This story is the result of an initial decision that began with the client’s foresight months ago to take on an effort with m4 analytics to structure & validate their pharmacy data. They engaged with us because they wanted a dashboard. The result has been that the enterprise is now benefitting with increased speed-to-insight.

Clients don’t buy a pretty piece of paper (a shiny metal box with lights on it). They buy decision-making time reduction. Our analytics framework & dashboard approach help make this happen.