REVIEWER: Nick Pope, data migration lead, BT Global Services. BACKGROUND: BT Global Services is a key supplier to the health care industry, providing technology and services. BT is committed to helping its clients exploit the right technology and make services more accessible, efficient and effective. HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Windows 2003 Enterprise Server and Windows XP. PROBLEM SOLVED: Our client was concerned about the quality of information in its patient administration system, particularly the level of duplicated patient records. Clinicians and administrators were often faced with multiple records for an individual patient, where each record might contain partial, erroneous or out-of-date information. Valuable time, which could have been better invested in patient care, was being wasted on the administrative overhead of searching for the correct patient record. The problem was caused by previous system mergers, which focused on the mechanics of pooling data rather than ensuring that the content was correct and fit for purpose. Addressing this problem provided the opportunity for the client to both save money and improve patient care. PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: dn:Director combines the ability to profile, cleanse and match data in an integrated product. We used it to profile and audit data to understand the source system and to discover the issues that existed. We then used dn:Director to transform, cleanse and match records to create a single view of the patient. To identify duplicate patient records, we exploited dn:Director’s powerful fuzzy matching and simple user interface. It enabled our team to rapidly tune the match rules to make the best use of all of the available data, including the unique identifier, name, address, date of birth and gender. STRENGTHS: What has impressed us most about dn:Director is its ease of use. New users become effective within just a few days because the product is so visual and intuitive. But Datanomic has not compromised on the functionality in order to deliver a great user experience; dn:Director provides integrated capabilities for profiling, auditing, cleansing, transforming and matching records. In our case, we found matching to be a particular strong point and also made use of dn:Director’s unique capability to perform phrase profiling, which identifies the most common words and phrases in a string field. This helped us to quickly discover critical pieces of information buried within free-format text fields. WEAKNESSES: The only thing we would like to change is the way the match review works. In an ideal world, we would like to see an enhancement that extends the ability to produce and manage reports of potential matches. In addition to the existing online review tool, this would provide the ability to distribute suspect relationships for offline review and then capture the results back into the target database. SELECTION CRITERIA: When we identified the need for a data quality tool, Datanomic was our first port of call because our previous experience of using its software; the support we received had all been excellent. When we evaluated dn:Director, we liked the fact that it provided integrated functionality through a single interface; unlike other products, we did not need a collection of tools to fulfill all of our requirements. Datanomic’s product is also easy to get up and running and supports the data migration from profiling the source all the way through to producing clean data for loading. DELIVERABLES: We use dn:Director to produce a range of data analysis reports to monitor the quality of data. Because of the sensitive nature of patient information, we are unable to automate all but near-perfect matches. However, we use dn:Director to identify possible matches for clinical review. VENDOR SUPPORT: We have made use of support online and by telephone as well as product training and on-site consulting services. Datanomic’s services team is great to get along with and very responsive to our needs. Unlike so many vendors these days, Datanomic provides excellent support for its product. DOCUMENTATION: The dn:Director online manual is complete and easy to understand. The help documentation is context sensitive and well integrated with the product so that it is easy to find help in the area you are working on. dn:Director
Datanomic Ltd.
140 Science Park
Milton Road
Cambridge CB4 0GF
44 (0) 1223 228400


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