RESEARCH & RESOURCES

CASE STUDY - SonoSite Streamlines Marketing Efforts with Data Governance

By James D. Brousseau, Enterprise Data Architect, SonoSite, Inc.

SonoSite, Inc. is the world leader in hand-carried and mounted ultrasound. Through its expertise in ASIC design, SonoSite is able to offer imaging performance typically found in costly ultrasound machines weighing more than 300 pounds in a system that is approximately the size and weight of a laptop computer.

This breakthrough is transforming and expanding the worldwide diagnostic ultrasound market by serving existing clinical markets more efficiently and creating new point-of-care applications where ultrasound was either too cumbersome or too expensive to be used before. With more than 50,000 systems sold since 1999, SonoSite products are known for exceptional performance, ease of use, and durability.

SonoSite’s continued success is tied to its ability to understand and anticipate the changing needs of its physician customers. To constantly monitor these changes, it recognized the need to optimize the collection, reconciliation, and analysis of data throughout its business. This allowed SonoSite to sense environmental or operational changes and respond efficiently and effectively.

Finding Value in Data

The goal of SonoSite’s data governance project was to transform the value, usefulness, accessibility, and security of its information so that it would have accurate and timely information across department boundaries and points of interaction, including customers. In this months-long process, the company used the following platforms: Microsoft Windows XP®, RedHat Enterprise Linux-64® v. 5.3, and Oracle Database 11g.

SonoSite maintains customer, prospect, and product information in multiple source systems: Oracle EBS for back-office processes, SalesForce.com for CRM, and various prospect lists obtained from trade shows and marketing campaigns. There were considerable duplication and inconsistencies among the source data. SonoSite used DataFlux dfPower Studio version 8.2 to quickly and effectively cleanse, standardize, merge, and deduplicate customer data into a single “golden” copy of customer master data used to support sales efforts and marketing campaigns.

In addition, DataFlux profiling tools aided SonoSite’s efforts to standardize product categorization across various lines of business. In late 2009, SonoSite integrated all the data from a recent acquisition with its back-office systems in less time than it would have taken previously. Data was extracted and transformed from the legacy system in real time using business rules coded into dfPower Studio Architect jobs and loaded into the Oracle EBS application with minimal effort and errors. Future plans include expanding data integration processes into international data sets.

Data Integration: Beyond ETL

SonoSite’s data governance program has allowed the company to quickly analyze data sets for exceptions prior to integration. Knowing the data it works with prior to integration allows it to address most exceptions prior to loading. The combination of SonoSite’s data governance tools provides the advanced functionality found in expensive ETL tools and allows the organization to customize and automate data conforming rules to meet quality expectations and create grammar and vocabulary rules specific for each line of business. DataFlux tools in particular have helped SonoSite achieve an accuracy rate of more than 95 percent of its U.S. customer and contact addresses. The standardization, matching, and merging functionality allows the company to quickly deduplicate customer and contact information received from multiple sources and reduce its data acquisition costs for purchasing third-party prospect lists.

Creating a multi-faceted data governance program with a variety of data quality and integration tools has saved SonoSite a considerable expense in resources and errors when integrating legacy data from a company acquisition. The program has helped standardize marketing segmentation and aids in SonoSite’s data governance initiatives.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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