Customer Stories: Data integration after an acquisition
In June 2017, our client, a biotechnology company found itself in a scenario that is becoming more common in business across all industries; they were acquired. The deal put the trailblazing company in a position to not only scale and grow its business, but also expand access to their current and other future immunotherapy drugs to the Asian market.
This acquisition presented a huge growth potential, while also being a complex transaction affecting many business components. Changes to financial systems, IT solutions, and overall organizational structure began to take place. The company's Seattle-based Medical & Operations team began exploring how to successfully separate its data and analytics systems from their previous parent company, while continuing daily business operations and preparing for the future growth made possible by the acquisition. They needed to migrate their operational data into a new system within a defined timeline and with minimal impact to their business and their ongoing research. They were looking for a partner to build a new data warehouse and reporting platform post-acquisition, including the extraction and then the integration of their essential data.
The biotech company partnered with Logic20/20 because our expert teams are highly skilled and knowledgeable at delivering enterprise data warehouses (EDWs) and business intelligence (BI) solutions. Applying our own proven frameworks and methodologies, we implement current best practices towards all IT and BI solutions. We focus on clarity to drive simple, efficient and fully integrated customer outcomes that allow for improved business insights and foster a culture of data-driven decisions.
With M&A, discovery is key
Logic20/20’s approach to merger & acquisition data management includes a thorough discovery phase. We believe this is key to project success. In this project, the three-month discovery phase was launched to establish reporting priorities and understand the team’s specific EDW and BI needs. Discovery included an in-depth understanding of the data, the client’s working processes, business requirements, and the goals for using data in a more efficient way going forward. We spoke with all stakeholders of the current system to understand what was working and what the “wish list” was for their new and improved system.
Change management begins day 1
Logic20/20 is committed to establishing and applying change management principles from the very beginning of a project; we’ve found it to be a key component of our technology projects that ultimately improves engagement, process integration, and ROI. We involved their stakeholders from the start of this project and included them in key decisions all of the way through. This interaction with stakeholders not only minimized resistance to the change of the reporting tools, but also built a bond of trust between our client and Logic20/20. Because of our engagement and transparency throughout the project, user training and adoption of the new reporting solution was smooth and quick.
The data warehouse and business intelligence solution
Once Logic20/20 analyzed the biotech company's current BI platform, evaluated its needs, and designed the best approach, it was time to build the solution. There were two parts to this project: building a new data warehouse and developing a new operational dashboard and reporting platform.
The data warehouse
Logic20/20 architected and delivered a new Oracle data warehouse, which included data modeling integration of data from nine different source systems (both in-house and cloud-based systems) using the Talend Data Management Platform. Much of the data involved is highly confidential and sensitive, including patient data, drug manufacturing information, and financial data. Data is essential to the core of our client's business and protecting it was important. Logic20/20 maintained a high-level of security and confidentiality when extracting and transferring the data.
The BI platform
Pre-acquisition, our client was using Qlik View as their Business Intelligence platform. The change in company ownership and subsequent IT change gave them an opportunity to explore whether a new platform might be a better fit for their needs and support their future business growth. After a benchmark analysis to the available BI platforms, our client chose to switch to Qlik Sense, a BI platform with self-service functionality. Logic20/20 was tasked with driving the implementation and execution of Qlik Sense. Being an authorized Qlik partner and experts in deploying such solutions, Logic20/20 had the experience and knowledge to set up and deploy Qlik Sense in a quick and efficient manner.
To avoid downtime and allow business to continue without disruption, Logic20/20 proposed to start with a rebuild of the existing core reports on a new instance of Qlik Sense, so that users could continue to access the familiar interactive dashboard and reports they needed to do their jobs. Logic20/20 rebuilt a total of 68 reports. Concurrently, we developed new visualizations based on the business user requirements that were discovered during discovery-phase meetings. After the development phase, we set up meetings with a selected group of business users representing each department to showcase the new dashboards. In these meetings, we walked through a pre-production release of the solution with users to better understand user behaviors and needs. This feedback allowed us to further refine the new reports and dashboards.
We also built custom master dimensions (master items) to be maintained in one place and to make the self-service feature more usable. Users have the freedom to explore the data in various ways with less effort in addition to viewing the pre-made sheets with visualizations built by Logic20/20. As the biotech company evolves, we have created a backlog to collect new requirements for more enhancements to the reports.
A challenge revealed an opportunity
This acquisition introduced the challenge of changing IT systems and integrating data in a short window of time and while critical research was ongoing. At the same time, though, the biotech company was presented an opportunity to start fresh with a new IT solution that would allow for scale and advanced business insights and that introduce operational efficiencies. They were given a reset button and a chance to take a more agile approach.
Logic20/20 worked collaboratively with our client to ensure that the new system was the best solution to implement within the time constraints and budget and without negative effect to daily business operations. We did encounter a few challenges along the way. For example, both the Oracle data warehouse and the Qlik View tool involved complex business logic and there were changes to the data sources. In addition, the high volume of reports that were rebuilt required extra effort and resources.
Overall, Logic20/20 architected and implemented an improved solution that successfully integrates information across systems and allows for flexibility into the visualization of the data. This system supports the biotech companies future growth potential made possible by their acquisition. They can continue to seek cancer fighting solutions using the power of data to drive research innovation and business decisions.