BACKGROUND: Premier, Inc., is the nation's largest strategic alliance of primary hospitals and healthcare systems, representing 217 owners and the 800 hospitals and healthcare facilities they operate. Premier also represents approximately 900 other affiliated hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the U.S. and maintains major offices in Charlotte, Chicago, San Diego and Washington D.C. Premier's owners include some of the nation's largest and best-known, not-for-profit hospital and healthcare systems and referral centers as well as community hospitals. They use Premier as a vehicle for joint ventures, for sharing experiences and to support performance improvements as well as new and emerging healthcare technologies.
PLATFORMS: Data Junction's products run on Windows 95/98/NT and UNIX.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Our member companies send us data for analysis on a daily basis. This data comes to us in literally hundreds of different formats. It is our job to cleanse the data, transform it into a standard format and then load it into our data warehouse. We wanted to be able to perform all of these tasks without programming.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We receive approximately four to six million records of clinical and financial data each day from our member hospitals and from state and federal organizations. This data is cleansed, transformed and analyzed and the results provided to our member companies on a secured Web site based on DSS Web, an analytical tool for Web delivery. Data Junction has been crucial to the success of our project. With Data Junction, we verify the existence of key elements, perform data type validations, table lookups and calculations as needed. We can trim, format or remove character data from any source.
STRENGTHS: Data Junction has a remarkable ability to quickly attach itself to a file and perform conversions using predefined layouts or create new layouts as needed. All this can be done without the need for programming assistance. With Data Junction, we are able to easily filter data and discard unwanted data during the transformation process. Because of Data Junction's intuitive graphical user interface, we required very little training and were proficient within a week.
WEAKNESSES: To simplify the transformation for end users, it would be helpful if Data Junction had the ability to graphically combine multiple conversion steps into a batch with conditional overrides for the sources and targets for each step. We understand this problem is being addressed in the upcoming release of the product.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We decided to use a transformation tool rather than write our own custom application. We needed a tool that would allow us to support unlimited data sources and formats without programming intervention. Premier chose Data Junction because it provides all the features and functions necessary for our environment at a fraction of the cost of other products. Its ease of use and cost-effectiveness made Data Junction the appropriate choice for our company.
DELIVERABLES: Data Junction has saved us hundreds of hours of programming resources. If we had to write our own custom application, it would have taken us months to do what Data Junction can do in a couple of hours.
VENDOR SUPPORT: We went through several pre-implementation contacts with the Data Junction staff, including a request for product evaluation, a pre-evaluation jump start session and, finally, the actual purchase and licensing. Every step was extremely easy and pleasant. Everyone has been very helpful in making sure Premier is successful with our implementation. Client support has also been great. All problems have been resolved with a minimal amount of time and effort. The Data Junction staff is always willing to offer us the support we need.
DOCUMENTATION: Our staff has found the online help very effective. We were able to consult the Web site for answers to most of our questions. The written documentation has been very useful for understanding DJEngine, Data Junction's execution engine. We were able to implement our entire project without any training, which is due to the on-line help, the written documentation and the assistance of the Data Junction support staff.
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