How Distributors and Suppliers Can Navigate the 3-Tier System

How Distributors and Suppliers Can Navigate the 3-Tier System. Handsome packer in working apron with box on the packaging line at the manufacture.What is a major challenge for those in the beverage alcohol industry? Navigating the complex 3-tiered system of alcohol regulation. This economic system has been present since post-Prohibition. Although it has been in place for over 100 years, it continues to remain a challenge for suppliers and distributors because of strong competition, industry consolidation, and complex government regulation.

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For those in the beverage alcohol industry, there are still unanswered questions about the 3-tier system. Why is it still relevant today, and if not, will it continue to remain an industry challenge? How can we work to navigate this complex system? Let’s dive in and discuss. (more…)

How Data-Driven Decisions Can Drive Changes in Healthcare

In healthcare, the phrase “data-driven decision making” is a popular one, meant to describe how organizations integrate objective information to inform and improve all sorts of decisions. However, it’s an admittedly abstract concept.

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Exactly how can healthcare organizations use data to shape better decision-making? How do they sort through the deluge of healthcare data to find the insights that can truly effect change? Let’s see what practical steps we can learn from a Maryland healthcare system that used data-driven decisions to catapult itself from “worst to first” in quality.


Big Man on Campus? Now It’s Big Data

big data. Celebration Education Graduation Student Success Learning ConceptAmerican colleges and universities have a problem and—like baseball teams and health care companies—they are turning to predictive analytics and big data to help solve it. The problem is retention. Fewer than half of U.S. students graduate in four years and about 60% finish in six years, at a big cost to both families and institutions. The statistics are even worse for first-generation students and those from low-income backgrounds, perpetuating social inequities.

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A solution lies in predictive analytics: analyzing large sets of data to discern patterns and spot students in danger of dropping out. A growing number of colleges and universities are incorporating predictive analytics and big data to monitor student progress and intervene quickly when there’s trouble. Here’s how. (more…)

How to Stay on Track with Price Management

price managementIt’s the story of every successful company. You have a great product, your customers are loyal, and your sales are at an all-time high. On the outside, things seem to be moving forward and, in some cases, at alarming speeds. It’s as if your company has taken on another identity, one of a self-driving machine. But what happens when the gears move too fast and pieces begin to break? This autonomous vehicle now becomes unmanageable and you begin to lose control. Everything that should be a major asset to your organization is now starting to take you down a different road, one with bumpier roads and signs with fading colors.

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To get back on track begins with analyzing your pre-existing business while prospecting future opportunities. Here’s how a price management tool is a turn in the right direction for those who have lost track of their revenue-focused GPS. (more…)

How to Solve the Data Crisis Caused by a Hospital Merger

hospital merger. Team of doctors having meeting in clinicThe headquarters of Dimensional Insight is so close to Lahey Medical Center that it’s more appropriate to walk there than to drive there. Our Burlington neighbor is the latest in a growing trend of large scale hospital mergers. Lahey is awaiting approval on a proposed merger with Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that would form the second largest hospital system in the state. Speaking with RevCycle Intelligence, Stuart H. Altman, Chair of Commission of Mass Health Policy, called the merger, “the most significant change in the structure of the Massachusetts healthcare market in more than 20 years.”

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The upside of these mergers, greater efficiency and price control, are well documented; however, the technological downsides are rarely addressed. Combining two massive health systems creates a huge strain on the information flow of the resulting organization and demands a revenue cycle analytics system that is able to handle the influx of data. (more…)

3 Ways to Cultivate a Culture of Trust Inside the Workplace

Culture of trust inside a workplace. Large successfull business team showing unity with their hands togetherWhat is culture? To me, culture is the glue that holds a company together. It’s very important to have a strong company culture in order to succeed and grow. Here at Dimensional Insight, our co-founders Fred Powers and Stan Zanarotti believe if they take care of the customer and employees, then the employees and customers will take care of Dimensional Insight. It’s a strategy that has worked for nearly 30 years.

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In my previous blog post, I discussed the importance of building positive culture outside the office, but how does one build and develop good culture inside the workplace? It starts with trust – trust in your organization, colleagues, and skill sets. In order to succeed, organizations need to build and develop a trust-based culture. Here are 3 ways to cultivate a culture of trust inside the workplace. (more…)

Battle Brewing over Craft Beer and Spirits Distribution

Battle Brewing over Craft Beer and Spirits DistributionThere is a battle brewing that pits producers of craft beer and spirits against distributors and bar owners. Brewers and distillers usually work in partnership with their distributors and retailers, of course. But they also compete against them when they open tasting rooms and sell directly to consumers.

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Distributors do not like being cut out of the action, nor do bar owners. So both sides are stepping up their lobbying efforts to influence alcohol beverage laws in many states. Let’s look at some of the factors that are in play. (more…)

Meet the Dimensional Insight Team: Kathy Sucich

kathy sucichEvery company has products or services that it sells. The challenge is how do you communicate the benefits of those products or services to a wider audience? And how do you create a “voice” for the company that is authentic and engaging?

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In this employee profile, the marketing team decided to “turn the tables” on the editor of our blog – Kathy Sucich. In addition to deciding what content makes it onto the blog each week, Kathy is responsible for communicating the voice of our company to the outside world. She also engages with many of our customers to tell their stories of the results they are seeing from Diver. Kathy recently sat down with me to talk about the blog, her customer visits, and life outside the office. (more…)

3 Obstacles Distributors Are Dodging with Analytics

3 Obstacles Distributors Are Dodging with AnalyticsBurgeoning challenges naturally follow businesses. The question is, how do companies manage these challenges? Oftentimes, the data will tell us in which direction we should make a decision. Distributors that struggle with gathering their data to make their next move also fail to understand what areas of operation are causing them the most time and harm.

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In order to recognize these faults, distributors should lay down a foundation based upon data analysis and forecasting. Companies that do so find they are able to manage their existing business while also predicting new business. What is the secret to success for these companies? Here are three common obstacles that distributors are dodging by having their data do the hard work for them. (more…)

Overcoming Data Zombies with Analytics

Overcoming Data Zombies with AnalyticsIn the current value-based reimbursement environment, hospitals have been overrun. They have been overwhelmed not by zombies from The Walking Dead but by out-of-control financial information. While these two may seem unrelated, the former is an accurate comparison for the latter. 2010’s Affordable Care Act, with its cut to Medicare payments and increase in value-based incentives, can be seen as the outbreak of the contagion. These changes made reimbursement more complex while decreasing hospital margins, essentially starting an informational zombie apocalypse while giving everyone a sprained ankle.

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The status quo for dealing with the flow of financial information has been individual reports cobbled together from the various areas of a hospital’s financial map. Like fighting an army of zombies with a baseball bat, this analysis method proves slow and worthless. The true solution for managing financial data within a hospital lies in a revenue cycle analytics tool, which turns the mindless swarm of financial data into useful pieces of your hospital’s decision-making process. (more…)

The Power of Positive Culture: Inside and Outside The Workplace

The Power of Positive Culture: Inside and Outside The Workplace

Does culture play a role in both our personal and professional lives? Recently, the Dimensional Insight Book Club discussed the importance of positive culture within organizations after reading The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle. However, can one build, develop, and promote good culture outside the office?

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My husband and I recently took a summer vacation to a family resort in Poland, Maine. Throughout the week, we enjoyed walks, food, and even meeting and interacting with a fascinating stranger. I didn’t realize the impact this stranger would have on my vacation, where I gained a bonus life lesson about promoting positivity and living one’s life to the fullest, no matter what age. (more…)

Customer Spotlight: Allied Beverage

Allied BeverageNormally, when I conduct case study interviews, I gather a lot of information on how our customers are using Diver, and then I sort through that information to bring you a cohesive user story. However, I recently visited Allied Beverage at its headquarters in Carlstadt, New Jersey, and when I came home, I found I had almost too much information to comb through – 33 pages of transcript from my interviews! And it was all great info. How was I going to distill it down into a succinct case study?

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That’s why in this blog post, I’m going to bring you some of the information and background that didn’t quite make it into the case study. I’m not going to call it the “outtakes” because it’s not that this information was not as useful as the rest. This is all great information on how a company has really gotten the most of its nearly 20 years using Diver. Think of this as Allied Beverage: The Bonus Edition. (more…)

How Analytics Can Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic

How Analytics Can Help Combat the Opioid EpidemicThe statistics are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1999, the number of drug overdose deaths involving opioids has increased five-fold. More than 100 Americans die every day from opioid use. The numbers indicate a growing problem. But what if the numbers could also provide the solution?

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If used correctly, analytics solutions can enable government agencies and healthcare providers to identify trends in the data and help make a difference in the battle against the opioid epidemic. Let’s take a look at how. (more…)

Dimensional Insight Book Club: The Culture Code

Dimensional Insight Book Club: The Culture CodeWhat is culture, and why is it so important in organizations? Businesses often focus on promoting good culture and encouraging teamwork. However, how does one build and contribute to a positive company culture? We don’t talk too much about what culture means to individuals and to companies. Until now.

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For the past six weeks, the Dimensional Insight Book Club has been reading The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle, whether on the beach enjoying the sun or with a cold beer to cool off. What have our readers learned about company culture? (more…)

The Power of Analytics in Diagnosing Physician Burnout

physician burnoutThe amount of data in the healthcare industry is rapidly expanding. “Big Data” is a buzzword that now seems like an understatement. “Colossal Data” may be more appropriate. The U.S. healthcare system will soon be measured in zettabytes, one of which is equivalent to 1 trillion gigabytes. If distributed evenly, this would translate to around 18 completely full iPhones per U.S. citizen.

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For a hospital’s financial team, there are two methods to deal with this mountain of financial information: individual reports and data analytics. The former can offer information on the broadest aspects of the hospital’s revenue stream, like days in A/R or denials, but this method lacks the strength to sift through the smaller, more targeted reports. Analytics, on the other hand, can find valuable insights from all aspects of the revenue cycle. One problem that analytics can help detect is physician burnout. (more…)

Meet the Dimensional Insight Team: Bill Myers

At Dimensional Insight, our employees are our biggest strength. In fact, many of our employees have been with the company for 20, 25, even close to 30 years! However, we also have a strong roster of new talent here.

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I recently sat down with one of the newer faces at the Burlington office, Bill Myers, to discuss his journey from downsizing from a larger company, brand recognition, and the importance of transparency in his client relationships.  (more…)

3 Critical Metrics for Distributors

3 Critical Metrics for Wine & Spirits DistributorsThere’s no shortage of data and information. It’s everywhere. But how can you make data useful in order to make better decisions? That’s the hard part.

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There are several key metrics that distributors should track in order to improve their businesses. Following are three of these metrics, with examples of reports that Dimensional Insight has developed for our wine and spirits distributors so that they can be easily accessed and analyzed. (more…)

How Hospitals Can Better Manage Revenue Cycle in a Value-Based World

medical statistics and graphic charts with stethoscope, revenue cycle

From 1990 to 2007, the U.S. government increased healthcare spending by about $1 trillion. The problem with this statistic is that once figures reach thirteen digits they begin to sound like monopoly dollars. To put it another way, this 18-year period saw an annual growth rate of 7.3% in healthcare spending, which is more than double the 3% annual growth in real GDP.

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Value-based care has emerged as one way to try and combat the rapid growth in healthcare spending. While the emphasis on quality holds promise for patient care, it has created financial challenges for hospitals. Let’s examine the impact it has had on the revenue cycle. (more…)

AI and Human Instincts: Better Together

Artificial intelligence, once the stuff of science fiction, is now so embedded in our lives that we often do not notice it. We are alternately grateful for and aggrieved by autocorrect on our phones. We take it for granted when Facebook tags our photos, Amazon recommends books, and detection algorithms help read our mammograms. Yet Gartner predicts there is much more AI to come. In its recent report, 100 Data and Analytics Predictions Through 2022, Gartner posits, “The introduction of artificial intelligence across all types of business functions in all industries will accelerate and broaden. It will manifest itself in many if not most daily tasks from personal to professional, yet result in net job gains.”1

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That last part intrigues me, the notion that AI will create, not eliminate, jobs while becoming more enmeshed in our personal and professional lives. My theory? It’s because artificial intelligence greatly complements but cannot replace human intuition. AI and gut feelings – like bacon and eggs, they are better together. Here are three organizations using AI in 2018 to enhance human intuition, improving profits and lives. (more…)

How Data and Psychology Can Help You Identify Consumer Preferences

Humans are born curious. We spend our lives building relationships with others, wanting to know what makes our peers act the way that they do, and why they make the choices that they make. Shouldn’t companies be doing the same with their customers?

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Fully understanding consumer preferences begins with understanding the situations they are in. Will they act with reason? Or will their irrational thoughts overpower their rational mind? While both situations can be identified with analytics, there is more to the consumer than what the data reflects. With different situations impacting their purchase behavior, here are three ways to get a better hold on the consumer’s decision-making process. (more…)

How Culture Can Positively Impact Healthcare Outcomes

How Culture Can Positively Impact Healthcare Outcomes. Directly below shot of multi-ethnic medical team stacking hands over white background

When it comes to improving healthcare quality and efficiency, how can organizations most positively change physician behavior? According to research presented in Harvard Business Review, organizational culture is critical.

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The HBR article, “Getting Doctors to Make Better Decisions Will Take More than Money and Nudges,” outlines how a stronger focus on culture improves clinicians’ work environments and patient outcomes. As I read the article, I felt many of the takeaways could also be applied to successful analytics implementations and successful organizations as a whole. Let’s take a look. (more…)

5 Reasons to Attend Our 2018 Regional User Meetings

5 Reasons to Attend Our 2018 Regional User MeetingsWondering where our annual user conference has gone? Don’t worry, DIUC will be back in 2019 – this year, we are hosting a series of smaller regional user meetings at a location near you. Our agenda is packed with powerful user stories, application development, tips and tricks, and some networking fun. Thanks to the wonderful attendees and presenters, the first 2018 regional meeting in Jacksonville was a success!

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If you couldn’t get to Florida in February, don’t worry, you can still attend one of our remaining meetings. But hurry up to register! In 2016, we had to close registration for Chicago because it filled up so quickly, and our new San Diego location is filling up even faster! If you’re still wavering on whether or not to attend, here are 5 reasons to sign up for one of our Diver user meetings. (more…)

3 Essential Metrics for Beverage Alcohol Suppliers

Beverage Alcohol Suppliers. Portrait of multigenerational winery owner family standing at wine cellar. Senior winemaker and young sommelier standing at background and holding in hands a glass of red wine while middle age businesswoman looking at camera and smilig. Small business.

There’s a seemingly infinite number of wine and spirits brands that consumers can choose from, meaning competition is tough for beverage alcohol suppliers. How can brands get a leg up on sales?

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The smartest companies these days are using data to support decision-making and provide competitive insights. Which areas are most important for suppliers to examine? Here are 3 examples of essential metrics to provide the insights that can power sales. (more…)

How You Can Better Visualize Your Data

coloring pencils, visualize dataIf you think about it for a moment, the purpose of visualizations is to communicate information effectively. And you want to do that in ways that brings out patterns and trends that can’t be seen just by looking at tables of numbers. Ideally, this is going to be something that is aesthetically pleasing. You can have a positive emotional response when you look at some of these displays and engage users more, so they are willing to really dig in to analyze data.

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In this article, we’ll review some of Dimensional Insight’s Chart portlet visualizations in order to illustrate a wide variety of ways to visualize data. I think you’ll see that with all of the options available, it is easy to communicate information in a way that is both effective and pleasing to the eye. (more…)

3 Takeaways from the 2018 Wisdom of Crowds Survey

3 Takeaways from the 2018 Wisdom of Crowds SurveyThe 2018 Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study is now available, providing BI practitioners with an inside look at the “state of BI.” While the first place I usually go to in the report is the user rankings (hint: Dimensional Insight did very well!), the report also provides some interesting data about the industry as a whole.

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What did I find most surprising about the report? What piece of data do I want to check up again on next year? What provides the most promising outlook? Let’s take a look. (more…)

How to Start an Information Governance Initiative

a group of people discussing something in an office setting, information governance initiativeWhen healthcare leaders think about information governance, they often think about it in a clinical context in terms of improving patient care, reducing variation, and so on. However, there is almost always a revenue driver behind information governance.

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A failure to properly govern data can negatively impact a healthcare organization’s revenue cycle. In fact, recent survey results indicate that two-thirds of healthcare organizations use more than one system for revenue cycle management, and they tend to experience more issues with denials, impacting the bottom line. Clearly, there is a need for governed data. So if you are starting an information governance initiative, what do you need to consider? Here’s a look. (more…)

3 Lessons Analytics Leaders Can Learn from the Sports World

3 lessons to learn from analytics in sportsThe 2018 NBA Finals are set, pitting the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors for the fourth year in a row. The Warriors built themselves a superteam to reach the finals, while the Cavs built themselves around a superstar in LeBron James.

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How do you beat a superteam…or a superstar? The Warriors and Cavaliers were both stretched to the limit in the conference final round by the Rockets and Celtics, respectively. Houston and Boston, who both lost in Game 7s, are frontrunners in the NBA’s analytics revolution, where teams use data to try to get the upper hand. Even though the Rockets and the Celtics didn’t reach the NBA Finals, there are still lessons analytics leaders can learn from their success this year. (more…)

Want to Cure Cancer? First Liberate the Data

a woman in a research lab holding a pipette, cure cancerEach year, the United States spends billions of dollars on cancer research. In fact, the National Cancer Institute’s budget is $5.665 billion for 2018, and that does not include money from private donations. Despite all the money and effort spent on cancer research, there is a bit of a “big data crisis” preventing healthcare institutions from optimally learning from each other.

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The New York Times recently published an article titled, “New Cancer Treatments Lie Hidden Under Mountains of Paperwork,” which talked about this problem and the difficulty of extracting meaningful data from medical records. And I have to admit, the article struck a nerve. (more…)

3 High-Tech Trends That Are Changing Manufacturing

3 High-Tech Trends That Are Changing ManufacturingU.S. manufacturers have new incentives to modernize their factories. New tax rules make it more attractive for companies to invest in equipment, allowing manufacturers to immediately deduct the full cost of equipment purchases. Previously, companies were allowed to write off only a portion of the cost in a single year.

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The new rules apply for the next five years at least, creating the potential for sizable investments and modernization in U.S. factories along with opportunities to leverage the data it generates. Where might manufacturers focus their equipment investments? Here are three high-tech trends poised to change manufacturing. (more…)

Dimensional Insight Book Club: Proof – The Science of Booze

Dimensional Insight Book Club: Proof - The Science of BoozeHave you ever thought about how your favorite wine or drink is produced? Our discussions about the wine and spirits industry have mainly focused on the impact of technology on businesses, whether it be incorporating analytics for long-term strategic planning, gaining additional insights into sales data, or understanding consumer preferences. However, we don’t talk too much about the science behind creating the perfect drink. Until now.

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For the past six weeks, we have been enjoying the second read in the Dimensional Insight Book Club. We have been busy reading, Proof: The Science of Booze, whether trying to enjoy the spring weather or with a glass of wine. Curious as to what our readers thought about the book? (more…)