Datamation was formed in 1993 by Dr Kais Al-Timimi as a consultancy firm specialising in data management. Through our consultancy work we identified a number of data management related challenges that have serious impact on the business performance of major corporations in aerospace and defence, shipbuilding, process and other highly regulated industries. A report at the time estimated that these challenges were costing companies in the oil and gas sector a colossal 3% of their revenue. For a typical company with revenue of £200bn in the early 90’s this would have added £6bn to their cost – the difference between being profitable or making a loss.

Furthermore, we found that these issues are present in virtually every industry sector. This TechUK report on the financial services sector shows that these issues are not only adding to costs, but are causing frequent system outages that damages brand and reputation. It reports that one major UK bank at the time of serious outages in 2012 was spending £1.5bn per annum on what is effectively ‘sticking plaster’ that does not address the underlying problem. In healthcare, these issues lead to significant deaths and adverse events that may leave patients with life changing injuries. Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary quoted from a 2018 government commissioned report that said there were 22,000 deaths and 230m drug related errors a year. When patients visiting hospitals are often asked what medication they are on – an information that is available with the GP – one can understand why drug errors are so high, see videos on homepage

Seeing the scale of the problem, and no sign that solution providers were not solving it, we decided to develop our own solution – the Datamation universal Information Platform (uIP). The Datamation uIP design is based on the notion that:

“If data is made fit-for-purpose at source, it need not be fixed at point of use”.

In other words we focused on solving the underlying problem (making data fit for purpose in the first place) rather than finding ways of living with its pain (finding cheaper and fast ways of collating the data from different sources, validating, cleansing, reformat and consolidating it).

In healthcare making data fit for purpose means managing patient records in one place as complete, consistent and up-to-date sets. This is prerequisite for delivering holistic and preventative health and social care. The hospital consultant would not need to ask the patient what medication they are on, nor having to send his / her report to the GP and patient by post, both of these are likely to introduce errors and / or delays. The same goes for interaction between primary and secondary care with social care.

Our Radical Approach

The conventional wisdom in industry is to use data exchange processes to move data from one system to another. Data exchanges involve ‘translation of data’ from the data format used in the source system to the format of the target system. Like any translation from say English to French or German, ‘things get lost in the translation’. Notable example of this, is cabling related translation errors which led to delay of the launch of the Airbus A380 by six months. On 14th June 2006, the day after that announcement the share price of the parent company, EADS fell by 26% losing 5.5 euro of its market capitalisation.

So our approach is to ‘design-out’, or remove, the need for translation. That we do, by managing the data (the Data Management Function) independently of how, where, by whom and for what purpose it is used (the Data Use Functions).

The rationale behind this is simple – how we do things and with what technology aids we do them – are in constant change. Therefore, separating the Use Functions from the Management Function helps businesses be more agile to adapt to change in technology and best practice in an evolutionary way, thus preventing the need for disruptive ‘step changes’ to the IT infrastructure every few years as is the case today.

Our Product – A Platform to support Next Generation Solutions

At Datamation we have developed our universal Information Platform (uIP) to help businesses be more agile in adapting to the fast changing business environment. We do this by ensuring that the data is fit-for-purpose at all times and readily useable with the latest technology and for whatever purpose it is needed for at any one time.

Furthermore, to enable different users of the data to work seamlessly, access to it is effectively controlled using one set of consistent rules. For instance in healthcare, different care professionals require differing access privileges. With Datamation’s uIP this can easily be controlled, with patients also being able to access their data, empowering them to be proactive in their own care and to be able to give consent for use of their data.

Separating the Data Use Functions from the Data Management Function means that next generation health and social care solutions can be delivered as modular components that take advantage of the latest advances in technology and best-practice. This allows solutions to be created by simply using different combinations of modules. In addition, solutions built in this way can be evolved as needs and priorities change by simply adding new modules and ‘retiring’ old ones.

Partnerships to Develop Next Generation Solutions

Our business model is to focus on the development of our universal Information Platform (uIP) and work with our technology, development, implementation and investment partners to develop solutions for the different industry sectors.

Our relationships with technology partners are similar to component supplies to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the manufacturing sector. This approach enables Datamation to keep focused on our core business, while at the same time helping our technology and development partners reach into wider markets.

To find out about our Development, Technology, Implementation and Investment Programme please Click here. kais.al-timimi@datamation.co.uk