REVIEWER: Mark Tracy, director of management information systems at Dakotacare.

BACKGROUND: Dakotacare, the health care plan of the South Dakota Medical Association, covers every hospital in the state and more than 98 percent of its physicians and pharmacies. Dakotacare manages hundreds of millions of records on subscribers and providers, from coverage to codes to claims.

PLATFORMS: SQL Server, Unidata, Pervasive, Oracle, Access, Paradox and others.

PROBLEM SOLVED: With a need to obtain accurate information from massive databases quickly, we turned to QlikTech QlikView to provide the technology necessary to support our information demands. By implementing QlikView, Dakotacare has dramatically improved customer service, streamlined communication with care providers, improved claims processing and enhanced self-auditing capabilities.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We implemented QlikView on a dual-core X64 Xeon-based server, giving us the ability to aggregate, analyze and audit enormous volumes of data. QlikView has provided our organization with real-time access to the information employees need to execute their jobs faster and more effectively. QlikView 7 delivers large data volume analysis through  in-memory processing and the QVD file architecture. When a QlikView application is built, QlikView's native extract, transform and load (ETL) function extracts the data being analyzed from the source systems and saves it within the application file itself. The application file, with the data being analyzed, is then processed in RAM. Working in-memory, QlikView allows for associations between hundreds of millions of records, all in real time. The QVD architecture allows for rapid reloads of multiple QlikView applications from the same data sources - at a rate of more than a million records per second. As a result of these two innovations, our company can deploy customized applications to different end users, pulling data from several disparate enterprise systems, all without putting a strain on those transactional systems. Using this QVD innovation allows unprecedented speed in incremental data loads, reducing the stress on underlying data sources and allowing more frequent data refreshes. Each of the several data sources is refreshed as needed - hourly, daily or weekly. QlikView gives us the flexibility to manage data refresh as the business dictates rather than as the technology requires. QlikTech's QVD architecture also allows for scalability, as it not only allows us to process massive reports, but also accommodates countless users with phenomenal response times.

STRENGTHS: Our staff had to rely on IT for custom reports that addressed questions from clients. All of our information is time-sensitive, and by the time we answered our client's questions, they were no longer in need of our assistance. QlikView's exceptional response time means that we can investigate time-sensitive issues accurately and quickly. Not only does QlikView answer the standard questions, it has allowed our employees to ask questions they had not considered asking before. QlikView has given more than just access to our data; it has also worked to expose inaccuracies and discrepancies that were previously difficult to find and manage. As a result, we have been able to uncover and correct many of these errors, which have impacted claims processing, provider reimbursements and, ultimately, the bottom line.

WEAKNESSES: Because QlikView does all the work in memory, it is dependent on addressable RAM. A successful QlikView deployment requires that the company determine the volume of data that needs to be analyzed in each application, and select an appropriate platform to host QlikView Server.

SELECTION CRITERIA: In comparing QlikView against more traditional OLAP-based business intelligence solutions, we found QlikView to be the most cost-effective solution, the quickest to deploy and easiest to learn. My biggest hurdle in selecting QlikView was skepticism on the price point; however, once we implemented the product we discovered that the functionality far exceeded our expectations.

DELIVERABLES: Our business requires instant access to information, which means sorting through a couple hundred million records daily. This kind of volume persuaded us to transition to QlikView 7's 64-bit, multiprocessor platform design.

VENDOR SUPPORT: QlikView is remarkably easy to implement and use. QlikTech has been a true partner from start to finish and has provided us with world-class support.

DOCUMENTATION: It was very easy to learn how to run QlikView from the documentation the company provided.

QlikView 7
QlikTech Inc.
5400 Trinity Road, Suite 107
Raleigh, NC 27607
(888) 828-9768

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