You have heard, and probably have even used, the phrase: "Time is of the essence." No one knows that better than insurers answering requests from customers who want their information now. Hence, the real-time phenomenon in the industry.After discovering customer data wasn't easily accessible, executives at Sioux Falls-based South Dakota State Medical Holding Co. Inc. (Dakotacare) decided the company needed a business intelligence tool to retrieve claims data from its database of 140 million records.

"Even though we had a lot of our data consolidated into a SQL server data warehouse, it wasn't giving us the rapid response and quick answers to the questions we needed to ask," says Mark Tracy, director of management information systems at Dakotacare.

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