Posted on: October 31, 2019

Case Study: DataShark for a University Medical Center

This client is a not-for-profit medical center within a nationally recognized public university. All quotes are from the medical center's Manager of Accounts Payable.

Overview and Challenge: Lack of Data Insights

This university medical center struggled with a lack of clear data insights due to its older, dispersed database system and its lack of a strong analysis or reporting tool.

The center was unable to capture and gain insights from its own data to optimize its practices, such as spend analysis or analysis of top, recent and frequently used vendors. The center had difficulty extracting the relevant data from past transactions to inform their operations and pricing requests. When vetting and comparing different vendors, the center found that there was often little to distinguish providers with the limited data available to them.

The center would therefore initiate a request for proposal (RFP) with limited information. This resulted in opaque pricing models, inconsistent vendor selection and overspending.

In addition, the manager of the accounts payable (A/P) department was required to send out in-depth monthly metric reports to all senior executives. Because the manager had to manually dig through a clunky ERP system, an online purchasing card system and an online travel and expense application to find all the required data, this process took four to five days — one week of working days out of every month.

The Solution: DataShark

Technology Insight solved for the unique needs of the medical center. No other competitors offered comparable reporting capabilities or vendor analysis; the medical center reached out to Technology Insight due to that value-added service.

"It was basically a no-brainer... [DataShark] provided exactly what I was looking for."

Technology Insight immediately implemented the DataShark tool, consolidating the center's data within the program database. The tool then dove into finding and analyzing the metrics needed by the medical center.

DataShark enabled the medical center to perform the following key tasks:

  • Analyze spending — such as where they spent the most money, the number of transactions and the amount of each transaction — to provide new insight into important data
  • Optimize vendor selection based on those strengthened data insights
  • Centralize data by moving operations from an old enterprise system to the efficient DataShark program
  • Prove the value of money spent with improved data reporting
  • Create preconfigured or custom reports as needed to maximize operational efficiency

In addition, though the medical center chose DataShark for its analysis and reporting capabilities, the tool provided the added benefit of duplicate payment identification and income recovery.

The Results: Data Analysis and Operational Efficiency

The insights provided by DataShark dramatically improved the medical center's understanding of its spending practices and provided essential data to negotiate more favorable vendor pricing. The spend analysis optimized the medical center's vendor selection practices and ensured fair contract prices based on historical data. The center now uses DataShark multiple times per week and continues to see ongoing benefits.

The intuitive DataShark tool also reduced the time required to produce an A/P metrics report by roughly 95%, from five days to two hours. Because all data was stored in one location within DataShark and the necessary reports were already configured, the A/P manager was able to cut out laborious manual processes:

"All the data I need from those systems is captured in DataShark so it’s just a simple task of accessing one source and clicking on the reports I need. One source of data and a few clicks.

Moreover, the benefits of DataShark extended beyond the results anticipated by the medical center. The money recovered from duplicate payments paid back the full price of the service within the first 30 days, providing immediate and significant ROI.

In fact, over the past four years, DataShark has saved the medical center close to $500,000 USD in recovery credits alone — not including money saved on vendor contract negotiations.

A Powerful Partnership

In addition to the significant financial and operational benefits, the university medical center identified the staying power of a partnership with Technology Insight. This relationship offers deep support beyond the immediate capabilities of the DataShark tool:

"It's a partnership, and I really didn't see that in other service providers... They're the only service provider... that will follow up with you on a periodic basis to check in, to see if the product is accommodating all my needs."

The center now uses DataShark multiple times per week and continues to see ongoing benefits; it is an integral part of their Accounts Payable department that provides ongoing spend analysis. Supported by unrivaled customer support from Technology Insight, the DataShark tool addressed all the medical center's challenges. The university medical center's partnership with Technology Insight provided significant financial and operational benefits that met and went beyond the center's initial needs.


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