According to SEI Cincinnati Consultant Janecke Santoro, “Data as a Service” is the emerging trend to watch. Data as a Service (DaaS) uses cloud technology to supply users and applications with on-demand access to information, wherever they are located. “With many of us working from home due to COVID-19,” Janecke explains, “speedy access to data regardless of location is key.”
To help organizations get the most from their data, D&A consultants like Janecke assist with optimizing data systems, processes, and transformation projects. However, many organizations face what Janecke calls “analysis paralysis” when it comes to D&A projects — companies are starved for data, but they can’t narrow down their focus sufficiently to leverage data to drive value. It takes time, skill, and organization to break down requests into manageable pieces and to ensure the insights being provided answer the project’s most pressing questions.
Beyond providing expertise on data analysis, Janecke ensures questions and requests exchanged between the business and technical teams are understood. “We have to look beyond what’s being asked, and help people ask for what they need,” she tells us. By tapping into the details of client objectives, she helps align technological requirements with business goals to deliver customized, holistic solutions.
Bridging the Business and Technology Gap
According to Janecke, the ability to understand, connect, and balance clear business goals with technical requirements is what sets SEI’s approach apart. To tackle business and D&A challenges, Janecke brings deep experience with data systems and solutions, but the breadth of her expertise goes far beyond tools and applications.
In order to ensure that requests are properly understood, part of her task is translating business requests into technological requirements. Consultants like Janecke focus on interpreting what teams are really asking. “At SEI, we rarely focus just on technology,” Janecke explains. Instead, SEI treats technology as an enabler of clearly defined business strategies.
“We are proud to find solutions of the caliber we do,” Janecke explains. Because SEI is tool agnostic, consultants focus on recommending the right set of tools and solutions for an organization’s goals, requirements, and size. This way, Janecke and her colleagues can develop custom solutions tailored to immediate challenges and that set the right tone for building solid foundations that are scalable for the future.
Pivoting for Clients After COVID-19
Along with balancing the technological and business elements of D&A, Janecke juggles a variety of tasks on every project. Her current project at SEI is multi-faceted, and it required her to pivot in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “My current client helps patients find the right medication for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric conditions,” Janecke explains.
Janecke was brought onto this project to help with direct-to-consumer delivery as part of the shift toward a more patient-centric healthcare model. But the client had to change course when COVID-19 hit. The company had to focus on quicker turnarounds to patients, sending them test kits directly, and helping them get in touch with clinicians as efficiently as possible. This meant Janecke had to take on a broader role for the team while keeping the original project afloat.
Currently, she provides support on cloud migration and improving reporting solutions. As more customers use the product, increases in the volume of data means that data-processing takes longer. “Reports are being delivered midday instead of in the morning,” Janecke explains. Moving to the cloud will help loading times — so reports become available when business users arrive in the morning.
Specifically, Janecke is helping her client transition to Snowflake and Looker. These cloud services will help the platform scale at will, spin up processes as needed, and raise or lower processing power for greater control. Migrating to the cloud will create a more stable environment and improve reporting performance and data load. It will also decrease cycle durations and ensure faster delivery of refreshed data — all on a unified platform. “I know this work is helping people, not just locally but around the country,” Janecke says. “This is a project that brings me great joy.”
SEI Is “A Step Above”
Janecke’s expertise on D&A projects has helped her flourish at SEI. She has helped implement game-changing solutions to her clients for 22 years. Janecke reflects that at SEI, she knows she’s more than just another number.
“When I came to SEI,” she recalls, “I wanted a more fulfilling position where my personal growth was important not only to me, but those around me.” At SEI Cincinnati, Janecke’s individual contributions are highly-valued by her fellow consultants. As part of an employee-owned consulting firm, Janecke and her fellow SEI-ers know that having team members they can trust is essential to finding successful solutions.
Valuing partnership is an essential part of SEI, both professionally and socially. “The people here are a step above your average consultant,” Janecke tells us. With a strong collaborative culture and the experience to boot, SEI-ers balance the varied challenges of D&A development to build innovative solutions that drive value where it counts.