3 Chicago technologists share the impact data has on their most exciting projects

by Michael Hines
May 8, 2019

Ask any tech worker about an exciting project they’re working on, and chances are data will be part of the conversation. That’s because data enables technologists to do some pretty exciting things, like optimizing a company’s billion-dollar product portfolio or making healthcare more efficient.  

We recently spoke to three Chicago technologists to learn more about how data is driving forward the most exciting projects they’re currently working on.

 

Bounteous Chicago tech jobs

Bounteous is a full-service digital consulting firm that specializes in optimizing the flow of data, insights and interactions to help companies create customer experiences that drive growth. The company is currently working on a project to optimize a client’s billion-dollar product portfolio. Director of Data Science, Analytics and Insight Eugene Catrambone said data analysis has played a pivotal role in the project.

 

Tell us about a project you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about. How is your team leveraging data to drive this initiative forward?

We are working on a project for a large agricultural firm with a goal of maximizing their product portfolio. In order to do this, we need to determine what variables have the most significant impact on an individual product. Incidentally, by impact, we are typically referring to profitability. Thankfully, we can use data analysis to identify and measure these variables. For this particular effort, we are leveraging data to perform a value of information analysis, or VIA calculation. We do this for every variable in a model and, in the end, we are able to identify these “high-impact” variables.

Without the data, we would be unable to perform this key step. What we are finding is similar to what we typically find: Not all variables are created equal, and it comes down to a half dozen or so variables that have the biggest impact on the model. In this particular project, the VIA calculation told us to focus on a very specific set of fixed costs.

In the end, leveraging data allows our firm to develop models that outperform — in terms of return — alternative methods, such as gut intuition or common scorecard approaches.”

 

What impact will this project have on your business or your customers?

This project will have a transformational impact on our client in that it will change the makeup of a billion-dollar portfolio of agricultural products. Further, it will allow the client the ability to identify products that need to be phased out. In the end, leveraging data allows our firm to develop models that outperform — in terms of return — alternative methods, such as gut intuition or common scorecard approaches.

 

Analytics8 Chicago tech jobs

Analytics8 is a consulting firm that helps companies make sense of their data and mine meaningful and actionable information from it. The insurance industry is full of data, yet has been slow to adopt technology that allows the field to leverage it. Senior Consultant Sean Costello said his team is working on a project that will allow a specialty insurance company to do more with its data — and shift the way it makes decisions.

 

Tell us about a project you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about. How is your team leveraging data to drive this initiative forward?

I am currently working on a data warehouse implementation for a specialty insurance client. We’re integrating data from several disparate sources into a Kimball dimensional model that accurately reflects their business processes.

We also replaced Excel-based analysis with modern business intelligence dashboards and powerful data visualizations, which enable an enterprise-wide view of the business and improves time-to-insight, moving from lagging indicators to near-real-time operational analysis. The new data warehouse and powerful analytics will foster a culture that encourages data-driven decision-making over anecdotal evidence and “gut feel.”

With the ability to quickly analyze over 10 years of historical data, our client can provide more accurate policy pricing.”

 

What impact will this project have on your business or your customers?

With the ability to quickly analyze over 10 years of historical data, our client can provide more accurate policy pricing. Detailed claims analysis will drive improved risk control to help members mitigate losses. The accuracy and turnaround time of reports provided to members, brokers and claims administrators will be greatly improved, and actuaries can now focus more of their efforts on advanced statistical analysis instead of data cleanup and blending. Lastly, program managers will have a renewed focus on generating new business now that their information needs are met.

 

Inspirant Group Chicago tech jobs

Inspirant Group is a digital transformation consulting firm whose offerings include strategic, technological and staff-focused developmental services and solutions. Strategic Solutions Specialist Chris Goodman is currently working on a project that will help an insurance provider better organize and glean insights from its data. Goodman said that when working with companies in the healthcare industry, the goal is always for the company’s work to play a part in making the patient experience better.

 

Tell us about a project you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about. How is your team leveraging data to drive this initiative forward?

We are helping a large healthcare payer — an insurance company — organize existing data from multiple systems in a variety of formats to provide more insights and decision-making power to their internal reports and dashboards. It’s exciting to help a company get more out of the data they already have and to help them improve their reporting metrics for the future.

It’s exciting to help a company get more out of the data they already have and to help them improve their reporting metrics for the future.”

 

What impact will this project have on your business or your customers?

One of Inspirant Group's core values is, “Care about the greater good.” Even though our current work only has a direct impact on an internal user base, by providing those users with clear insights into what is and what is not working, we hope to be a small part in making healthcare more efficient for the general public. Whenever we are working with healthcare-related companies, the end goal is always to provide a better experience for patients.

 

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