New Look at Blue Shield of California Data Improves Service, Lowers Cost


Blue Shield of California Client Success Story

“Webtrends was there for our initial implementation. We had a code freeze and major deadlines and a lot of pressure to get it in properly. We didn’t have the room to go back and make any revisions. Having their professional services expertise was really helpful. ”

Karen Vincent | Online Analytics and Business Insights Lead, Blue Shield of California

The Client

Blue Shield of California’s three-person business insights team was fielding ever-more complex requests. Their analytical tools couldn’t handle it, and their in-house server was dying. Webtrends Professional Services solved all three problems with Webtrends Analytics.

The Challenge

Blue Shield of California knows how to do a lot with a little. The insurer uses the web to get coverage and health information to its 3.5 million users, whose records must be kept strictly private.

Knowing how patients access and use all that information helps Blue Shield of California improve service and lower costs—always critical in healthcare. “We really need to understand our customers and how they’re using the site so that we can adjust and build our tools, enhance our functionality and provide the content they need,” said Karen Vincent, Online Analytics and Business Insights Lead at Blue Shield of California.

Only three people were analyzing web data for the whole company. The analytics team had been tracking its weblogs. But as the company added more advanced site features, the logs weren’t yielding the data it needed. The team was getting more complex requests, and more of them. To top it off, the team’s in-house installation server was dying. They needed help.

The Solution

Blue Shield of California’s analysts looked at Google Analytics and Omniture, but had always had a good relationship with Webtrends. When they learned they could have Analytics On Demand (and bury their dying server), they called in Webtrends Professional Services to make it happen.

“Webtrends was there for our initial implementation,” said Vincent. “We had a code freeze and major deadlines and a lot of pressure to get it in properly. We didn’t have the room to go back and make any revisions. Having their professional services expertise was really helpful.”

The key was automated JavaScript tagging. That captured a lot of backend transaction data that the weblogs hadn’t shown and sent it to the Webtrends server, which then created the reports Blue Shield of California needed. The implementation was all HIPAA-compliant, too. “Thankfully, the professional services team at Webtrends was able to help us come up with a way to trim off any privacy-related data ahead of time before it went to the Webtrends service. This was critical to us in order to meet compliance,” said Vincent.

The Results

Now Blue Shield of California has access to previously-unavailable data. Besides backend transactions, it also has started tracking AJAX application use accurately.

Customer satisfaction is way up, according to Vincent, who said, “People thank me every month when they get their reports.”

The company is developing a mobile app that lets users find healthcare provider locations and coverage details while away from home. Thanks to its website implementation success, the company plans to analyze mobile app activity with Webtrends as well.

Next up: Email and social media tracking. Blue Shield of California will connect its email tools to Webtrends for better campaign management. The company also wants to integrate monitoring software for a visitor-level look at its Facebook and Twitter users.