Data Integration

Finding certainty in uncertain times: 3 success stories

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Talend Team

4 min read

The new normal is anything but normal: Businesses are operating in a world transformed by global pandemic, managing newly remote workforces and changing expectations from consumers and employees alike. And, on top of that, 2022 has brought new economic uncertainty, with a possible recession on the horizon. 

As we enter into the next stage of the unknown, organizations of all kinds can find inspiration in the moves of companies who have already successfully weathered storms — such as this group’s savvy, data-powered pivots during COVID. 

Adapting to change: Estee Lauder 

Many brick-and-mortar businesses were hit hard by the shelter-in-place orders that came with the outbreak of COVID — and Estee Lauder was one of them. The cosmetics firm had built a brand on delivering high-touch, highly personalized individual experiences. One-on-one attention is easy to deliver in person, but how could they translate that experience to digital? 

Fortunately, this wasn’t an entirely new proposition for Estee Lauder. The company had been an ecommerce pioneer in the late 1990s, so they felt up to the challenge of delivering hands-on experiences in an inherently remote channel. But to do that, they would need to be more effective at capturing and using customer data to deliver value. 

By using first-party customer data to tailor the message and platform, the firm was able to continue to deliver meaningful, personalized experiences while still prioritizing the health and safety of their customers and employees. Data gave them the power to react quickly in a shifting landscape, so they could provide a continuity of service throughout the pandemic and come out the other side thriving. 

Meeting exponential demand: Vyaire Medical 

Vyaire Medical is a medical device manufacturer with over 20,000 medical products, all in the respiratory space, from simple O2 tubes to complex diagnostic devices — and, of course, seven lines of ventilators. 

For Vyaire, a world-wide respiratory pandemic meant demand for their products increased exponentially. They had to ramp up production practically overnight to meet 20x demand across 40 countries.  And this was more than a simple commercial exchange. With the knowledge that every ventilator they couldn’t get out the door could mean one less person getting the appropriate quality of care, meeting that need became a human health mission for the Vyaire team. 

If this had happened a few years earlier, the outcome could have been very different. At that time, the company was operating with 12 legacy ERP systems, no centralized reporting, and no way to rationalize or harmonize data between those systems. They were simply incapable of responding to the market in real time. 

The good news for Vyaire — as well as for their customers and the patients in their care — was that the company was already undergoing a complete digital transformation and modernization effort. Because they had fast and reliable access to data they could trust, it was possible to scale up ventilator production 100x (from 6 units per day to 600) and save countless lives. 

Building for the future: Loyola Marymount University (LMU) 

The COVID pandemic had a radical impact on every aspect of education. Like a lot of colleges and universities, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) moved to limit the exposure of students, faculty, and staff by changing the way they handled access to university facilities. 

The University already had a card-scanning system in place to make sure only authorized individuals were able to enter University buildings. By layering on a check to see whether that individual had also submitted proof of vaccination, they could confidently provide a safe environment to everyone. 

For the LMU, this marked a change in their entire data philosophy, as they moved from simply consuming data to using data to produce information. That first step of responding to COVID gave the University more insight and control, and now they are using data in new and exciting ways—from saving money with a more streamlined and automated system for tracking course changes to saving time by automating survey management. 

In any time of crisis, there are no easy answers, just hard questions. Only businesses that arm themselves with real insights based on healthy data will be able to answer those questions. Investing in data management is one of the best decisions any organization can make — for their customers, their employees, and their future. 

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