Examining Blue Cross NC’s Unified, Scalable, and Agile Modernization Journey

For enterprises to successfully navigate any modernization initiative, having a true, steadfast example of those businesses that have achieved this feat is a major advantage.

Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina acts as one of these examples, where modernizing its enterprise data ecosystem while building data products for its private data marketplace has catapulted the organization into digital success.

Paul Steinichen, AVP, data and analytics life cycle management at Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, and Irem Radzik, senior director of product marketing at Reltio, joined DBTA’s webinar, Blue Cross NC's Journey to a Modern Trusted Access Data Platform with Unified Data, to discuss how Blue Cross NC was able to tap into the power of ML and cloud to centralize, standardize, and enrich core business data with efficiency, scalability, and agility at the forefront.

Steinichen pointed to several architectural challenges that arose for the healthcare company, dictating a need for modernization, including:

  • A blend of diverse and varying data sets and sources coming into the business
  • Traditional data warehouse and traditional analytics not accommodating this complex data flow
  • Increasing need for real-time information
  • Complex integrations on the backend to feed analytics
  • “Bridging the canyon” between traditional analytics, comprehension on the business side, and unambiguous data elements

Complexity is what ultimately fueled the need for change at Blue Cross NC, according to Steinichen. The more complex that data and integrations became, the more difficult it was to maintain a robust, real-time, intuitive architecture in place.

“You’re not alone with this pain of having to put everything together and close that canyon,” added Radzik. “The business teams seem to be asking for faster and faster, and we need to be able to keep up.”

As a result, Steinichen explained that modernization came to mean adopting a cloud-driven database management system as well as implementing a marketplace, or a one-stop-shop, for data. He offered these key considerations for evaluating the aforementioned technologies and approaches:

  • Offer clarity on what’s available while solving for quality and speed.
  • Maintain trusted, reusable data assets.
  • Deliver fast and secure access to data.
  • Implement a common front and a tech-independent experience (analytics tools have flexibility to connect to the trusted platform).

The canyon is bridged with a trusted access foundation that lies between business applications and analytics applications.

“To sew all this stuff together, we need to make sure that we create a common and conformed data environment that bridges everything through active metadata interactions,” noted Steinichen. “We believe strongly that if we get that to a place where it’s trusted and where our marketplace is consuming trusted data that is understood across the enterprise, then we’ll drive a lot of acceleration to value. We’ll be able to minimize the time of doing data wrangling and maximize the time doing analytics.”

Having these goals and tenets for modernization in mind, Steinichen detailed Blue Cross NC’s lessons learned in the last six months, including:

  • Consider balancing Lights On and Doors Open (LODO) with large program execution operational models
  • Communicate on multiple channels with a reliable, repeatable process around communications
  • Focus on value, aligning large tech programs with incremental value and working with business partners to uncover what value you need

Radzik then positioned Reltio as the provider of a cloud-native SaaS platform that can remediate the problems that Blue Cross NC faced by unifying, managing, and mobilizing core enterprise data. Reltio’s Connected Data Platform ensures that data is trusted, interoperable, real-time, secure, scalable, and flexible, delivering a comprehensive modernization strategy from a single platform.

Offering a variety of core capabilities—including entity resolution, relationship management, reference data management, data quality, governance, integration, and more—Reltio enables enterprises to deliver on today’s diverse business needs with fast time-to-value, immediate cost savings, and simplified usage with low-code/no-code development.

The Connected Data Platform comes equipped with out-of-the box, industry-specific data models, configurations, and pretrained ML models, prebuilt connectors and integrations, as well as prescription implementation with predefined assets for rapidly enabling value. Reltio’s platform is battle-tested, enterprise-grade, and suitable for a wide range of market segments, such as life sciences, healthcare, insurance, and financial services.

To learn more about Blue Cross NC’s modernization journey and the Reltio platform, featuring detailed visualizations, a Q&A, and more, you can view an archived version of the webinar here.