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Wisconsin IT organizations best practices and innovations recognized by Information Week

The editors of InformationWeek, a technology media company, have recognized ten Wisconsin-based organizations for their outstanding IT practices and innovative organizations. The research-based InformationWeek 500 awards were announced Tuesday night at the publications annual conference. Among the top 100 winners based in Wisconsin were Acuity Insurance and Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin.

Acuity, a Sheboygan-based mutual insurance company, represented by its CIO Neal Ruffalo was ranked 37th out of 500 organizations. The company's IT organization was ranked higher in the InformationWeek 500 research rankings above companies Hewlett- Packard, Alberto-Culver and Proctor & Gamble Co.

Group Health Cooperative, (GHC) based in Madison was ranked 52nd and was represented by CIO, Galen Metz. The non-profit HMO placed higher in the rankings above Marriott International, University of Pennsylvania Health System, SAS, and Dell Inc. GHC also placed first in the business analytics category and was showcased as a top 20 company innovator for its unique approach to solve business problems.

Chris Murphy wrote in the publication's feature article that analytics are a screaming priority IT priority. “Fifty-three percent of InformationWeek 500 companies cite deploying business intelligence tools as a key initiative that improved productivity, and 36% cite getting BI to more employees more quickly as a key 2010 innovation plan…”

Murphy cited GHC as an example of when some of the best business analytics occur when business units and IT teams align themselves and work and focus on goals that increase business efficiencies deliver growth and increased profitability. GHC's Metz headed a group-wide effort to analyze its emergency room data to identify ER “frequent flyers.” According the publication, “ It found that just 92 patients rang up $2.2 million in costs by visiting the ER more than six times a year. Educating those patients on lower-cost options cut those costs 20%.”
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Other Wisconsin based organization recognized in the top 250 companies were:

CUNA Mutual Group, ranked #208, represented by CIO, Rick Roy

Fiserve, Inc., ranked #230, represented by CIO, Maryann Goebel

Schneider National Inc., ranked #231 represented by CIO, Judith Lembke

Five additional Wisconsin-based organizations were recognized in the top 500 IT organizations:

Actuant, represented by IT Director, Dennis Biederman

Air Wisconsin Corp, represented by Director of IT, Jeff Main

Brady Corp. represented by CIO, Bentley Curran

Red Prairie, represented by VP of IT, Greg Marr

UW Hospitals and Clinics, represented by CIO, Michael Sauk

According to the publication the InformationWeek 500 is by invitation only. “The criteria used in the selection process are determined by InformationWeek editors. To make the list, a company must demonstrate a pattern of technological, procedural, and organizational innovation. Only organizations with $250 million or more in annual revenue are invited to participate in the study (a company may also qualify if they are a subsidiary of a parent company with revenue of $250 million or more). The InformationWeek 500 examines the technology strategies and initiatives of companies across the 21 industries (excluding government and education).”

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