A defining characteristic of Tidemark customers is that they’re not interested in maintaining the status quo. They’re innovators by nature. It’s just who they are.

I just spent an entire day happily swimming in one of these pools of innovative thinking. The place was Kansas City, the headquarters of Cerner, a leader in the$66 billion global health IT solutions market. Cerner’s technology solutions and services are designed to help more than 9,300 healthcare facilities put information right where people need it most right at the moment they need it.  The company’s tagline sums up its obsession with innovation: Healthcare is too important to stay the same.

Well, we at Tidemark feel the same about financial and operational planning and analytics. And so, it turns out, does Cerner. But more on that later.

We were in Kansas City at Cerner’s Riverport Training Campus on the Missouri River, which is its own kind of reinvention. The campus is located in what was formerly Sam’s Town Casino—and the lights of the Steakhouse and Great Buffet still remain as a bright neon reminder.  This unique and fabulous facility is used for Cerner meetings and employee training sessions. This week it was the site of Cerner Datacon ‘14, a daylong immersion for roughly 500 of the company’s analysts and data scientists. Cerner hosts this annual internal confab because it’s very much a data-driven company, and because it wants the people who own and work with critical data to have access to Cerner’s founders and other company leaders.

Cerner’s Co-Founder and Vice Chairman Cliff Illig opened the conference with a powerful keynote about growing an enterprise. Illig traced his own story as owner of Sporting Kansas City, the American professional soccer club based in Kansas City, Kansas. The club is a member of the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer and one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since it began play in 1996. As a Soccer Mom myself, I was thrilled to hear how Illig has driven the success of SportingKC using the same principles used to grow Cerner. As an investor and business leader, Illig always looks for ROI. And last year his Club really delivered, winning the prestigious MLS Cup.

Our role at Cerner Datacon was to make sure the Cerner team realized they have access to a powerful, flexible and cloud-based computational platform that can help them get so much more from their data. Today, Cerner uses Tidemark software for capital planning and headcount planning – both pretty critical functions for a growing $2.9 billion global enterprise with more than 14,000 employees.  At Cerner, these processes were previously handled in Excel and locked into once-a-year schedules that left this fast-growing, data-driven enterprise working from information that often wasn’t current. With Tidemark, Cerner has a continuous forecasting environment where real-world data is updated in real time. Now that’s innovation.

To those 500 data pros in Kansas City this week, Tidemark offers ways to innovate even further – and to make the information they work with even more useful and actionable. My day at Cerner Datacon was filled with conversations around those possibilities, including:

  • Transforming information into knowledge and action
  • Understanding the revenue implications of changes to a product or service
  • Automatically generating the right data visualization for the audience at hand
  • Working with an analytics tool that doesn’t bury users in cells and confusing dashboards
  • More easily surfacing correlations and causations that help analysts accurately predict likely outcomes

Whether it’s healthcare or data analytics, Cerner understands when something is just too important to stay the same. And I can tell you it’s a thrill to go swimming in their pool of innovation.