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Finance, marketing and other nontraditional users find value in the company's sales and inventory data
Version 6.0 of ValuTrak, the lead product and data service of ValueCentric (Orchard Park, NY) has now been released. Besides updates in user interfaces and data-handling processes that might be expected with any software update, ValuTrak 6.0 will now have advanced analytics and data-visualization features, says Cameron Hall, director of product management. "ValueTrak Data Visualization lets users quickly construct data views and drill down into details,” he says. “Even ValueTrak users who claim not to be ‘data heads’ have told us they absolutely and immediately understand what they’re seeing. There’s no need to interpret the results; they see the charts and they can grasp their importance right away.”
ValueCentric got its start about a decade ago in collecting and reporting inventory data from wholesalers back to manufacturers. Those data, which start out primarily as highly specialized EDI transactions, are routinely cleansed and normalized by ValuTrak to give an up-to-date picture of a product’s status in the supply chain—inventoried at wholesalers, sold to pharmacies or dispensed to patients. In later years, the company forged relationships, notably with Walgreens, to supply daily updates on retail activity throughout the Walgreens chains. Now, says Hall, pharma executives far removed from supply-chain or trade-relations activities, such as business forecasters, sales operations managers and marketing execs are using the data to gain insights into marketplace activity.
The data-visualization tools were designed both to provide customers with ready-to-use analytics, as well as to interact with business-intelligence programs that have now been installed by many pharma IT departments. “Our customers told us they wanted a highly responsive technology path that brought their ValueTrak experience to the next level while simultaneously leveraging their existing BI investment, says Hall.
Has the EDI data that got ValueCentric started itself changed over the years? Hall says that a notable trend currently is the ability of specialty pharmacies to generate product activity data for manufacturers. “We’ve had a hand in defining the ‘layout’ of these data so that they can be put to use by BI analysts,” he adds. “It’s a changing landscape today.”