Kavi Global


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June 29, 2015 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Business Analytics Solutions


Vijitha Kaduwela

Founder & CEO


Kavi Global



Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – June 29, 2015


CEOCFO: Mr. Kaduwela, what is the concept behind Kavi Global?

Mr. Kaduwela: We specialize in business analytics. The concept is that we provide solutions and services for companies to apply analytics to make better decisions and improve business outcomes.  We enable our clients to lead with analytics, leverage analytics as a differentiator as well as an integral part of their business strategy.


CEOCFO: Many companies provide analytics. What do you understand about the process that others might not?

Mr. Kaduwela: After graduate school I spent about 15 years in the corporate world building analytics capabilities at United Airlines and GE. I was very successful at my job.  However, as the person responsible for delivering analytics to the business, I had a hard time, because it cost too much and took too long. Primarily, because it was hard to get the right consulting services to build the competency to support the business strategy. Analytics is a competency that requires a combination of business, technology and quantitative skills that are not readily available internally. It is also difficult to get that type of service from an external vendor. They are either business consulting services providers or technology consulting services providers who do not quite have the right mix of skills to offer a comprehensive analytics solution. Because of this gap, I struggled for many years, working with multiple consulting teams, up to five consulting team in one extreme case project. I was always wishing that there were a better way to deliver analytics; meaning a single consulting services company that would bring all the skills required to the table. Eventually it became evident that such a capability does not exist and I left my corporate career to create a consulting services company that specialize in analytics and brought together services covering all aspects of an analytics implementation, from concept to delivery. In a short six years we have build that company and we are now a leader in this space.


CEOCFO: Your site indicates you deliver actionable analytics. Would you give us a concrete example of a fairly common engagement and something a little more outside the box?

Mr. Kaduwela: Most of our competitors are order takers. They ask what kinds of reporting and analytics you need and try to satisfy those needs. Most of the time these are reporting requirements to know what happened in the past. We call them descriptive statistics or Business Intelligence reports. These reports do not necessary help you make better business decisions. For that you need to be able to anticipate where the opportunities for business improvements are and what decisions will optimize the results and take appropriate action with respect to the factors you can control. Analytics to support such a process for driving business improvement are predictive in nature.


We approach actionable analytics in a different way. We look at what makes a business unique, and what business processes can be optimized with the use of analytics. We call such opportunities analytics use cases. We then look at the data that gets generated in each of such processes, and how to leverage that data in order to forecast and optimize the business outcomes by performing predictive analytics. We want to answer the questions, “How can we make better what our clients already do?” And if they had the right insights, what could they do in the future that they cannot do today?


We have developed a process framework to work with different business functions to identify high potential analytical use cases. Then we have the expertise to integrate the data, do the modeling and deliver these analytical use cases to drive real and tangible impacts to the business.


Let me give you an examples. One of our clients is in the healthcare industry. Healthcare as an industry is going through many changes right now. This is primarily because of the changes in the regulatory environment drive improvements and the actions taken by CMS, generally known as Medicare and Medicaid, who is the largest payer in the healthcare industry. CMS has realized that the existing methods for healthcare payments was not driving the costs down or improving the quality of care delivery. Because of this, the payment models are changing from pay-for-service to pay-for-quality-and-outcomes. In the old world a doctor would be compensated for repeat interactions with a patient, regardless if it were in for the same problem. In the new world, there are specific measures, in place that penalize repeat patient visits for the same diagnosis.


CMS tracks this performance and a bad score means that you did not take care of the patient as they had to come back. The right course of action for them to get better was not accomplished. Because of this CMS views it as a bad outcome and are holding the healthcare providers responsible for it, by withholding a percentage of their payments. Therefore, some of their payments are now at risk. This opportunity drives a greater need for analytics. Now healthcare organizations need to measure not just what services were provided, but how efficient and effective the care was. They have to predict the patient risks and make care decisions that minimize these risks and yield better outcomes.


Also, they are going to measure the effectiveness of the physician, which is not done today. Doctors go to medical school and they spend many years. A doctor is a doctor and you trust them to do what they are going to do, right? Not anymore. Now you have to compare that doctor to their peer group; how efficient they are, are they really impacting the cost, quality and outcomes; they will now be measured. That is a change and a great deal of action will be needed to manage that type of organizational change. In fact, the analytics are the main enabler in that kind of progress.


CEOCFO: If you were working with a hospital or with a medical practice, do you have a standard product? Would you be customizing based on their special needs? How does it work on your end? 

Mr. Kaduwela: We are a products and services company. We bring to our engagements solutions foundations that can be extended and customized to satisfy client needs and services accelerators that help us be more efficient in delivering our services. Our claim is that we can deliver analytics capabilities faster, better, cheaper; accelerate client’s maturity and adoption. In industries such as Transportation, Financial Services, Healthcare and Higher Education, we have many of these accelerators already pre-built, such as the data models, data quality management capabilities, data transformation capabilities, a set of analytical algorithms and reports that we bring to the table.


This is a good question to segue into another point I want to highlight. I described my pain in getting the right consulting services to do what I wanted during my corporate days. Now, the procurement process of consulting services is changing too, similar to what I described in the healthcare industry. When our clients ask us to provide consulting services to build the analytics capability, they are not asking us to give the technical people who can do programming or reporting or modeling. They want us to own the responsibility for the project from strategy to implementation. They want as to deliver actionable analytics. The payment model is in the process of changing here too from pay-for-service to pay-for-outcomes.


Most of the consulting services in the current world in the technology space are pay-for-service. You get consultants and they bill you on hourly basis and the outcome is not necessarily measured. However, it is rapidly changing. Companies want to structure contracts in such a way that the project risks are shared between the consulting provider and the client and they expect measurable results. They structure certain result-oriented payments; sometime we get paid extra for speed, for delivering the capabilities in an accelerated fashion. What they are really buying is the company expertise and the experience to be able to be successful at this kind of work.


CEOCFO: How do you work with a client on the implementation once you have figured out what is wrong or what they could improve? 

Mr. Kaduwela: That full spectrum of services that I described is delivered through four practices. The first one is our Strategy Consulting practice. That is very similar to business consulting with a focus on Analytics. We meet with the functional leaders and subject matter experts to identify how analytics can impact their business and what the current state is, how sophisticated and mature they are and what the road map is to get them from where they are to the ideal state. That is the output of a Strategy Engagement with many different recommendations, with respect to people, processes and technology.


Generally, what happens is that a Strategy Engagement is followed up with an Implementation Engagement and our Solutions Delivery team handles that side. At that point, there is a transition from the Strategy team to the Solutions Delivery team for implementation.


Separate from these two practice areas, lies our R&D Practice.  This team is continually learning and establishing best practices to use the latest analytic technologies. We have our own fully equipped Analytics Lab, We also have Data Scientists, Advanced Analytics Experts and Business Experts on this team. Clients often work with this team to do Proof of Concepts (POC). They can try it out before they buy.  Clients usually come and tell us that before launching into a large program to transform the business with analytics, they would like to try these capabilities; some of them at least. That helps them get the ammunition for developing the internal business case and accelerating the change required for adoption. They want the assurance of results and proof before embarking on this journey.


The last practice is On-Demand services. After a successful implementation it can go two ways. One is that the client can say, “This is not our core competency. You guys have done great work. I do not want to hire a whole team and try to keep doing this. We want you to do that. You host it. You provide the experts necessary to create and maintain analytics going forward.” In this case, On-Demand services often provide ongoing support after delivery. On the other hand, sometimes clients say, “We have a good IT team with only a few skill gaps. However, we think that we would like to internally create the competency to take this forward.” In that case, what we do is we maintain it for a certain period of time. During that period we do a knowledge transfer to the client personnel, we help them hire the right people and get their team up and going. We may also go back in again for another project to build a more advance capability that they can support.


CEOCFO: Are your clients typically surprised by what you find or is it often that they had a pretty good idea and they just did not really have proof?

Mr. Kaduwela: How it happens is that usually the results are significantly better than what we initially see in a Strategy Engagement or a POC. Business leaders often only hear barriers for delivering analytical capabilities. They hear about lack of, or poor quality of data, lack of qualified resources, legacy technologies etc. A Strategy Engagement and a POC help get past these barriers quickly and identify the real potential for analytics and what the benefits are.  More often than not they are surprised with the potential opportunity for improvement.


We just conducted a workshop yesterday with one of the clients review the accomplishments of a recently completed engagement. We completed this particular project in nine months. One of the business leaders there had previously worked for a competitor. He commented on the high cost, timeline that stretched to many years and poor quality of what was delivered at his previous employee, in comparison to us. I told him, “We told you that we have the expertise and the experience. We promised we will do it faster, cheaper and better and here you have it!” That was the positive joy. We had that aha moment with the client. That is very common for us.


CEOCFO: What has changed in your approach as you have been working with different clients?

Mr. Kaduwela: I think the most important thing is that we continuously refined our processes to show results early on. As with anything, in the corporate world different initiatives come and go. Some of them are successful and some of them are not. However, analytics is a program, it is a journey, it is not a single project that you do and get all of the analytics. You start small and expand it enterprise wide delivering defined incremental value as you go.


Therefore, in that process it is very, very important not to say, “I am going to go away build the infrastructure, integrate the data and come back in six months and then we can talk about the analytics.” That approach is not going to work. So, early on we show results, we have to figure out how. That process is very, very important to make sure that the continuing interest is there from the leadership perspective, the funding is there, while the client is working to leverage analytics in the organization and drive adoption. For all of that, success is simply to deliver value early and often. It is embedded in everything we do.


CEOCFO: How is business these days?

Mr. Kaduwela: Very good! Business is growing! We cannot keep up with the demand.


CEOCFO: Why choose Kavi Global? 

Mr. Kaduwela: For many reasons! We bring a full service offering to our clients. We have the expertise. We have the experience. We have done this for six years as Kavi, our core team has done this for far more many years in the corporate world. We have been successful. We have the success stories to share. We have very highly excited, happy clients. We can provide those records. It is our ability to take a company through the maturity growth of analytics. Our project success rate is 100%. I do not think anyone has quite the capabilities that we do.


“We approach actionable analytics in a different way. We look at what makes a business unique, and what business processes can be optimized with the use of analytics. We call such opportunities analytics use cases. We then look at the data that gets generated in each of such processes, and how to leverage that data in order to forecast and optimize the business outcomes by performing predictive analytics. We want to answer the questions, “How can we make better what our clients already do?” And if they had the right insights, what could they do in the future that they cannot do today?"- Vijitha Kaduwela


Kavi Global




Jay Omanson

847-387-6760  x250







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