by Chris Thilk
December 13, 2017


For at least an hour per week, each member of the client implementation team at SHYFT Analytics devotes time to improving a process that needs it.

Whether that yields big changes or small tweaks, the point is that it's become a habit for team members to seek and find efficiencies as they onboard and integrate new clients.

That makes it possible for SHYFT to be just as efficient in turning data into insights for their client base of medical and pharmaceutical companies.   

“The pharma industry is data rich, but a lot of times it can be messy," said Elena Ivancheva, director implementations, customer success. “Our job is both to help our clients and to speed the time to treatment for patients that suffer from rare, severe diseases.”

We caught up with the client implementation team to learn more.






EMPLOYEES: About 155. 

WHAT THEY DO: SHYFT builds analytics software used by pharmaceutical and other companies to translate clinical and commercial data into insights and intelligence. This aids in the development of medications and treatments for patients.

WHO THEY DO IT FOR: Marketers, product researchers and other groups in pharmaceutical, biotech and related fields.

THE TEAM: The client implementation team is part of the larger customer success team.

BURPEE BONDING: A group of SHYFT employees competed in a race that included burpees, climbing eight-foot walls and carrying stones.

MAKE IT BETTER: SHYFT employees aim to improve existing processes to the point where they are less critical to getting the job done.

BUDDY SYSTEM: Every hire at SHYFT is given a “buddy” who can answer awkward newbie questions: How many snacks are too many?  




Elena Ivancheva, Director Implementations, Customer Success

Ivancheva manages the new customer onboarding experience onto the SHYFT data and analytics platforms. She aims to deliver a great final product on time and within the right budget and scope.

BEYOND WORK: She loves travel and has a passion for learning about new cultures and sampling local cuisines.


Describe what your team does. What exactly are you implementing?

Ivancheva: We gather configuration requirements from clients. We aggregate data from a variety of sources and publish resulting insights and alerts to the analytics platform, where it’s accessed by users. Timeliness and accuracy are key to the production of these actionable insights. Once built, the whole process is fully automated and gets data in the hands of decision makers in the fastest possible way.


Walk me through the process of an implementation, start to finish.

Ivancheva: Our implementation begins with a kick off with the client, where we review the scope and timelines and make sure our expectations are aligned. While there may be changes along the way, clients value the experience we bring and rely on our guidance for analytics. Finally, we train the client on the final product and transition them to our ongoing team that focuses on support and enhancements as the client's needs evolve.


What problems are you solving, and with what technology?  

Ivancheva: Our aim is to seamlessly integrate a multitude of data sources and deliver intelligent, guided, actionable analytics to our customers. The pharma industry is data rich, but a lot of times it can be messy. Our job is both to help our clients and to speed the time to treatment for patients that suffer from rare, severe diseases.

Our job is both to help our clients and to speed the time to treatment for patients that suffer from rare, severe diseases."

Efficiency is obviously important. Tell me a few things you do to make that possible.

Ivancheva: We are always thinking about: can we reduce our implementation time to launch by a few weeks? Can we train new team members faster and have them contribute right away? We’re currently working on standardizing implementation methodology, platform requirement templates and more — to make every process as efficient as possible.  


What backgrounds do people on this team have? And what are you looking for?

Ivancheva: For our entry-level business analyst and developer positions, we don’t look for a certain profile. The right individual is one who will excel when provided with the right training tools — a go-getter who thrives in a collaborative team environment. The ideal candidate is passionate about healthcare, analytics driven and a superb team player.




Victoria Park, Senior Solution Consultant

With her team, Park is on the front line of new implementations, onboarding clients and transforming big data to provide accurate and timely value. “I’m a problem solver and love finding solutions to complex problems,” she said. “Making a positive impact in the future of healthcare is the cherry on top.”

BEYOND WORK: She does Krav Maga, a military self-defence system first developed for the Israel Defense Forces.  


Describe what your team does.   

Park: Our team is focused on new customers. At a high level, our clients come to us with a need and we provide solutions. A million things happen in between gathering requirements and delivering the final product, including understanding how the data will be used by each stakeholder.

A million things happen in between gathering requirements and delivering the final product, including understanding how the data will be used by each stakeholder."

Generally, how does your day break up?

Park: A lot depends on what stage a given project is in. I’m also involved in a lot of internal initiatives — like being on the A-Team (we plan fun activities for the company) and Women in Tech (a discussion and idea exchange group). Then there’s bringing in homemade baked goods for my coworkers.


Explain how you work with the development team.

Park: Open and constant communication between business and tech leads to the most successful sprints and happy clients. The more communication that happens during development, the less re-work or bug-fixing happens during testing.


What does this team do for fun — to build a sense of team spirit?  

Park: Food is a huge motivator here. We act like starving grad school students without jobs that will literally press their faces up against meeting room doors, waiting for the green light to grab food. But the best part of SHYFT is the people, which is why culture fit is very important to us. And because we take that so seriously, our team spirit levels are off the charts.  




Priyakshi Kachroo, Senior Solution Consultant

Kachroo assesses the needs of new SHYFT clients with a focus on project timetables, scope of work and budget. In addition to mentoring junior team members, she also facilitates cross-team meetings that analyze past performance to find efficiencies and best practices.

BEYOND WORK: She enjoys exercise, including kickboxing, yoga and dance.


Talk about the value your team offers clients.

Kachroo: Those of us on the implementation team use our industry expertise to find flexible, agile solutions to client problems. That depends greatly on our ability to work with the product to stay up to date on features and changes that can offer the most benefit. Clients get a better understanding of market trends that can increase revenue and improve performance through the combined data and analytics they access via our software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.


What’s your tech stack? Why does it serve you?

Kachroo: As part of the customer success team, we use T-SQL, C# and Excel. We use project management tools such as Confluence, Jira and Bitbucket. Pharma is a data heavy field. To cope with vast amount of data integrations, we rely mostly on SQL to help us achieve our goals efficiently and effectively.


How do you balance each day’s unique needs?

Kachroo: My day at SHYFT as a senior solution consultant usually requires me to wear different hats, switching over the course of a day from being a business analyst to a data analyst — and on some days, a project lead.

In the two years since I joined SHYFT, I’ve done so much more than I thought I would. "

Is this job what you expected? What’s different about it?

Kachroo: In the two years since I joined SHYFT, I’ve done so much more than I thought I would. Not only have I been an analyst and consultant but I’ve done QA, mentored team members and so much more. I know I can approach anyone at SHYFT and get answers to my questions.



Andrew Ewing, Engagement Manager, Implementation Services

Andrew Ewing is the bridge between SHFYT’s implementation team and its clients. He manages new implementations and helps clients find the data they need to make informed business decisions.

BEYOND WORK: Whenever possible, Ewing gets out of the house and office to hike, cycle or enjoy the outdoors.   


How do you evaluate new hires and their role within SHYFT?

Ewing: I make sure I can see myself rolling up my sleeves and working through a complex problem with the person I’m interviewing. In addition, it’s not uncommon for SHFYT to rethink the fit for the candidate. That means they may be better suited for a role other than the one they’re interviewing for based on their career goals or skills. Of course, I also want to make sure the candidate has the right level of experience to be successful in the role.

I make sure I can see myself rolling up my sleeves and working through a complex problem with the person I’m interviewing."

Tell me what your typical day looks like.

Ewing: Every morning, I have a 15-minute stand-up with the team. We discuss what everyone is working on and cover any questions or blockers for the team. The remainder of my day is usually spent on team member check-ins, client meetings, building business requirements and more.


Explain how the implementation team works with the development team.

Ewing: While our business and technical team are separate organizations, we work very closely together during implementations. The business team meets with the client to develop the business requirements. The technical team reviews the requirements, asks any questions, provides suggestions and best practices and then provides an estimate for the effort. That kind of collaboration continues throughout the sprints and the rest of the project.


Think back on when you joined this team. Did anything about it surprise you?

Ewing: I didn’t initially expect to be focused on the development of repeatable processes and reports that our clients use for real-time decision-making. But it’s been one of the parts of the job I’ve most enjoyed. I love how everyone in this organization is passionate about their work. We don’t just work until it’s time to leave.

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