IT Science Case Study: Using Analytics to Stop COVID-19

eWEEK IT SCIENCE: Tasked with obtaining insights from millions of businesses around the world to help them develop a pandemic response framework, Medallia enabled the ICC and WHO to gain intelligent insights at scale in days.

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Here is the latest article in an eWEEK feature series called IT Science, in which we look at what actually happens at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.

Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.

These articles describe new-gen industry solutions. The idea is to look at real-world examples of how new-gen IT products and services are making a difference in production each day. Most of them are success stories, but there will also be others about projects that blew up. We’ll have IT integrators, system consultants, analysts and other experts helping us with these as needed.

Today’s Topic: Obtaining Insights Fast and Identifying Intelligent Actions at Scale

Name the problem to be solved: With the global health crisis intensifying, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) sought to inform the World Health Organization (WHO) about how business was responding to the pandemic, drawing on ICC’s network of 45 million businesses across 140 countries to learn how they are responding to the pandemic. In turn, the two entities would seek to leverage these insights to improve the flow of information, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help organizations around the world develop a framework for managing the economic and human consequences related to the pandemic. Given the sense of urgency behind this matter, the ICC was working against the clock, spending time and resources trying to find a fast, scalable solution that could gather these kinds of insights. 

Describe the strategy that went into finding the solution: Having learned about the initiative, Medallia offered the ICC its support. After narrowing down specific insights needed, and analyzing the size and scale of this effort, Medallia recommended using its Medallia Experience Cloud platform and Text Analytics to quickly and efficiently gain and analyze the vast volume of insights sought for this particular initiative.

Describe the solution selected:

Medallia Experience Cloud is a software-as-a-service platform that leverages AI and machine learning to reveal relevant customer insights, help inform recommendations and make those insights actionable to every role across an organization. Coupled with Medallia Text Analytics, the ICC and WHO can analyze text feedback using machine and human learning, to better understand the feedback obtained and develop a smart, effective framework for businesses around the world to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The  ICC is able to use  Medallia Text Analytics to analyze the sentiment behind the responses that came in from participants via text messages, social media reactions, reviews, emails and more, and identify emotions, issues and recurring topics as they arise. From here, the ICC and WHO is able to make smarter, more informed recommendations as they develop a pandemic response framework.

Describe how the deployment went, perhaps how long it took and if it came off as planned: The feedback program was ready to launch within days. After ironing out some details with the ICC and WHO, the initiative  was officially launched in a week. 

Describe ROI and staff time savings:

The team was quickly able to begin garnering feedback from businesses around the world, aggregating data from billions of records and saving the team weeks of time. So far, the WHO and ICC have received 6,000 responses covering 166 countries.The implementation of a project of this magnitude is the fastest the ICC has ever seen; it is rare to see these projects roll out in under four weeks. Most platforms need to be secure; Medallia has enterprise-grade security, including SOC 2 compliance and ISO 27001 certification, and is compliant with GDPR and CCPA, and is certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks. 

Utilizing Medallia allowed the ICC  to avoid investing enormous amounts of time, people resources, energy and effort into building something functional, and instead get a best-in-class signals platform in their hands rapidly. After this initial program, the ICC and WHO will continue working with Medallia to use the data obtained in order to look at different business types on a regional level, where they fall from a pandemic readiness standpoint and recommendations for businesses in those regions.

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