I am thrilled to share some good news with you. Our client, QIAGEN, has won the prestigious Computerworld Data+ Editors’ Choice Award for 2016. We are QIAGEN’s digital transformation partner and a few weeks ago, I shared with you some of the highlights of the QIAGEN engagement, which involved building a global web shop with SAP Hybris to help the biotech testing company sell more than 5,000 test kits and other items used by drug companies and developing bio-engineered products.
The Computerworld Data+ Editors’ Choice Award is given annually to companies that have used big data analytics in an innovative way and can demonstrate real-world results. The goal of the competition is to recognize achievements in data analytics and share the best practices that the winners have used. QIAGEN was one of 20 winners announced on September 12. “These organizations have used data analytics to achieve a wide spectrum of gains,” said Computerworld Editor in Chief Scot Finnie in announcing the winners. “We’re continually impressed with the new and inventive analytics projects at organizations big and small uncovered through our Data+ program.”
QIAGEN’s award recognizes the work of an eCommerce analytics team that was created from scratch to support the company-wide digital transformation effort. QIAGEN’s goal was to go beyond competitors in the company’s use of data analytics. Part of the strategic mission of the team was to build more data-driven approaches across the company and get beyond the mindset of relying on individual experiences and intuition to run both business and technology teams.
The team created an insight-delivering app store called “Sales Cockpit.” The first prototype was built in 2015 using open-source tools, including PostgreSQL, Python, and Java. The newly hired analytics team brought extensive experience with open-source tools and leveraged this expertise from day one to deliver a product that met specific QIAGEN needs without extensive upfront investment.
Once the prototype design was approved, the team went into full-scale development. The design called for combining ten data sources and four new data streams into a unified analytics database, which includes customer purchase history (running on SAP), customer data (Salesforce.com), biotech domain knowledge (manually curated lists showing how each product can be used), funding data to identify prospects (grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health), published research, and competitive data from crawled company websites. Several algorithms were designed to extract insights from the combined database and feed them directly into apps in Sales Cockpit.
According to the team, the Sales Cockpit system has raised Salesforce efficiency by 30%. One of the most successful apps identifies potential new customers using information about research areas, awarded grant volume, and products that their peers purchased. Another app identifies missing products in the workflows of existing customers, which allows sales reps to choose the exact products to fill the gap. QIAGEN uses the same insights to recommend products in the digital sales channels, including the newly launched global web shop, which TCS built for the company. The Sales Cockpit forms the analytical foundation for a significantly better customer experience and generates nearly 20% of revenues, fueling the digital transformation of QIAGEN.
I am very proud of our colleagues at QIAGEN, and look forward to continuing to work with them as they digitally transform their business.