• September 13, 2004
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Business Intelligence Boosts Marketers' Productivity

For most manufacturers, implementing the proper marketing initiatives can be the difference between seeing their products flourish or flat line. Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS), a diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions provider, wanted to implement a business intelligence (BI) project to ensure the success of its marketing efforts. After a thorough interviewing process with several BI vendors, TAMS found its medicine in Cognos ReportNet and Cognos' enterprise business intelligence (EBI) suite. TAMS selected Cognos because it "had a [reporting] tool for each stage in the developmental cycle of a BI project," says John Totoiu, a senior information system analyst at TAMS. With its formal beginning in January 2003, the project consisted of building a BI solution for TAMS's marketing department that would extend to the enterprise. For three months TAMS defined the scope of the project and created three environments for development, quality assurance, and production. The next stage was the developmental cycle, which lasted six months. Phase One went live in September 2003. Phase One encompassed TAMS implementing what Totoiu refers to as "two subject business areas or two data marts" for the marketing department -- win/loss and customer satisfaction analysis -- in addition to deploying Cognos tools including Cognos Impromptu, Cognos PowerPlay, and Cognos UpFront. After going live and completing Phase One, "we started the development of Phase Two where the goal was to add more data marts," Totoiu says. "We added three data marts. One for sales, one for order management, and one for industry data and market share." Totoiu tells CRM magazine that within the same time frame TAMS substituted Cognos Impromptu for Cognos ReportNet. "It offered a feature that really made our project successful and that feature is creating reports using multiple objects," he says. As a result, TAMS has seen a huge increase in productivity for its marketing analysts. "We are putting together marketing studies that may take five days for one person to build," Totoiu says. "Right now all of these market studies are predefined in ReportNet. We just have to schedule them and run them overnight so that was a huge gain in productivity: from five days to minutes." Phase Two is near completion and will continue with Phase Three, although this segment is not clearly defined just yet. Totoiu expects Phase Two to go live in three to four weeks and once it does, TAMS will have the capability of standardizing of all its marketing reporting, allowing the reports to have the same look and feel. "Once we go live we will also be able to measure some key performance indicators," he says, "such as customer satisfaction, customer retention, and product performance as a result of implementation." Related articles:
Get Smart! Enterprises are relying more and more on analytics to derive added value from their CRM systems. Here are the latest trends and hot analytics tools giving organizations better insight into their businesses. Getting the Most From CRM Technology Cognos Launches ReportNet
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