GrowthSeptember 16, 2022

How ivee built a universal source of truth for customer data

Learn how ivee established a cross-functional data planning process and improved customer data quality across their marketing stack with mParticle.

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The COVID-19 pandemic and related market shifts have significantly impacted the way that consumers are approaching healthcare. Patients have been quick to adopt digital health services at times when access to in-person treatment is limited, and amidst the migration away from major cities, telehealth options have allowed patients to stay connected with their physicians despite geographical separation. To support these developments, several regulatory changes that facilitated expanded use of telehealth during the pandemic have been made permanent. 

As of July, 2021, McKinsey & Co. reports, telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than before the pandemic. This rise in demand, as well as advancements in digital health products, have led to the founding of numerous innovative healthcare offerings. 

ivee is a digital health platform that matches patients to clinicians and empowers them to receive in-home care. At a time when getting the right support can be difficult, ivee allows patients to access frictionless, personalized care at their preferred location, on their own time. 

Personal health is just that, personal. Everyone’s health needs are unique, and the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship must be prioritized. To compete in an increasingly crowded space, the ivee customer experience team needed to deliver a premium digital experience while also safeguarding their customers’ data. To accomplish this, they chose to implement the customer experience platform Braze to deliver more relevant and timely communications to patients. 

ivee’s Head of Product, Nic Byron, was tasked with implementing the Braze SDK into ivee’s client-side applications. As they began implementing, however, Nic and his squad realized they had no way to QA the events that were being implemented. This made it difficult to understand whether the customer data ending up in Braze would meet the customer experience team’s requirements.

Nic recognized that he needed an adaptable, infrastructure-layer customer data solution that would support data activation tools and signed up for mParticle’s Accelerator free trial program. mParticle is a Customer Data Platform that helps teams accelerate the speed at which high-quality customer data moves throughout the marketing stack by providing out-of-the-box customer data connection, quality management, governance, and personalization solutions.

The team’s first step was to implement the mParticle SDKs in their client side applications so that they could begin collecting customer data into the mParticle platform. As they were implementing events, Nic and the engineers on his squad were able to QA every event ingested using the mParticle Live Stream. This was a major progression from being unable to QA at all, but spot checking individual events was highly manual.

To scale the solution, Nic leveraged mParticle’s Data Master toolset and created an mParticle Data Plan, defining the specific events and attributes being collected from each application in an easily-accessible spreadsheet, purpose-built by mParticle. Once the plan was complete and approved by other key stakeholders, Nic simply initiated a script provided by mParticle to translate the spreadsheet into a JSON file. Finally, Nic copy-and-pasted the JSON file into the mParticle platform, where it was established as the golden record against which all incoming data was validated. 

With ivee’s Data Plan in place, mParticle automatically began surfacing any plan violations to Nic and his team, allowing them to hone in on specific errors instead of combing through the dozens of events that were being collected.

“The fact that we can have the data that’s coming in get cross-referenced with our Data Plan in mParticle is epic. As soon as we got it set up, we caught an error. There was a little typo we were sending, `CurrenyCode` instead of `CurrencyCode`. It went through QA with multiple people and no one noticed. Then we turned the Data Plan functionality on and it immediately caught the error.”

In their data planning spreadsheet, ivee has an easily accessible, universal source of truth detailing exactly what customer data is being collected. “With mParticle Data Plans, we have a clearly defined system that will scale and has the guardrails to prevent data from getting messy.”

Building out the tech stack

Once Nic and the team had completed the mParticle implementation and were successfully collecting customer data into mParticle, Nic simply connected the mParticle Braze Event integration, activating real-time data forwarding to Braze without any additional development work. With clean, high-quality data flowing into Braze, the ivee customer experience team was able to begin leveraging all of Braze’s powerful engagement functionality and start delivering timely, relevant experiences to their customers. And if the team ever needs to answer questions such as 'What data is in Braze?' or, 'what’s this event called in Braze?' All they have to do is consult the mParticle Data Plan spreadsheet, now ivee’s “source of truth.” 

Leveraging mParticle to get customer data into Braze was a quick win for Nic and his team, but it was only the beginning of their journey with mParticle. As Nic describes, “The initial need was to test the integration effectively. But once I also saw that mParticle would allow us to collect data once, and then connect it to multiple different downstream platforms, I realized that this is awesome and absolutely worth it.” 

With mParticle implemented, Nic is able to connect customer data in mParticle to any of mParticle’s 300+ integration partners in just a few clicks, providing teams with all of the customer data they need, wherever they need it, without any additional engineering work. When working with various internal teams, for example, “we’ve been able to add whatever [our teams] need,” Nic describes. “When they’re asking for event data in a new platform, we can just turn that integration on in the mParticle UI. We don’t have to take up engineering resources, which are very expensive right now, to integrate that new platform. That’s been really cool.” And it’s not just Nic that has benefited—the accessibility of the mParticle UI, and the information available in their Data Plan, has made it possible for anyone in the organization to access the customer data they need. ivee's Data Analytics team, for example, has been able to connect the first-party data in mParticle to Mixpanel using the mParticle Mixpanel Events integration without any development work and has been able to identify user pain points more quickly as a result.

Accelerating time to value

By allowing the ivee team to get all of the customer data and functionality they need without extensive engineering overhead, mParticle has significantly increased the speed at which ivee can run tests and launch new ideas. With mParticle in place, the team has been able to turn on campaigns, identify user pain points, and power event-based notifications without having to build for each of those use cases. 

As Nic describes, “The customer experience team will come to me and say, ‘hey, we’re trying to build out this sequence,’ and I can now say ‘yep, we have all the data for that already.’”

In addition to increasing speed, mParticle has also enabled teams across ivee to think about customer data in a different way. With a structured understanding of how to track data, how events work, and how attributes work, the ivee team has become much better at leveraging data to execute use cases.

mParticle has given us a common framework for customer data across the team, which has allowed us to have better conversations about customer data.

Nic Byron

Head of Product at ivee

This structure around customer data has also benefited engineering. Instead of having to implement events differently for every platform and having to learn new implementation specs for each new tool, mParticle allows ivee’s developers to implement all events using a single, consistent format. 

Nic keeps this template in ivee’s product requirement docs, an easy reference any time something new needs to be tracked. “If we had to do it for different platforms,” Nic describes, “we’d have to deal with engineers getting familiar with unique requirements for each platform.”

As the ivee team looks to the future, they plan to continue leveraging customer data to power timely, relevant experiences for their customers. With a high-quality data foundation in place and a budding data culture, Nic and his team are in a position to deliver truly innovative healthcare solutions as they continue to scale.

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