Association seeks fix for data dilemma

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. To enhance and strengthen this leadership position, the Association’s strategic plan supports a bold 10-year vision for the Alzheimer’s disease
movement, setting clear milestones to accelerate progress. The Association identified five strategic areas — increasing concern and awareness, advancing public policy, enhancing care and support, accelerating research and growing revenue — to prioritize and implement throughout the organization.

As director of strategy and analytics, Frank Garza is responsible for measuring the progress of the Association, which includes more than 80 chapters across the country.

“Icimo has helped us design processes
to handle the data faster and more accurately.”

Director, Strategy and Analytics



As the current Alzheimer’s Association strategic plan was rolled out, Garza and his team were tracking key indicators without access to a data warehouse. In fact, they were relying on 14 different data sources.

The time-consuming process of extracting data from unwieldly Microsoft Excel and Access databases hampered Frank and his team. The source data sets were often challenging to work with and cumbersome, leading to delays in reporting — in some cases, up to 45 days after the close of a quarter.

In order to efficiently monitor progress and troubleshoot any issues, Frank knew his team needed a more effective process for reporting data. He began to look for a better solution.


After attending the 2015 Tableau Conference, Frank was introduced to — and eventually engaged — Icimo. The company worked with Garza’s team to understand the Association’s priority activities and build out Tableau dashboards that would enable more accurate and efficient progress tracking of the strategic plan.

Frank was initially struck by Icimo’s clear understanding of what the Alzheimer’s Association was trying to accomplish.

“From our initial training session, it was clear that the Icimo team was focused on our big picture goals,” he said. “They were not here to simply upsell us on more software solutions. Rather, it was obvious that they were in this to succeed with us. They worked with us as partners, and were committed to understanding our data and what it meant to our strategic plan and overall organization.”

“Icimo worked to understand our data
and what it meant to the association
and to our strategic plan.”
Director, Strategy and Analytics

As part of its strategic plan, the Association
will invest new resources to significantly
expand Walk to End Alzheimer’s.


Frank has observed several noticeable improvements since working with Icimo. “Icimo has helped us design processes to handle the data faster and more accurately,” he said. “Management is provided with meaningful insight in a fraction of the time, allowing us to change course or intervene earlier, when necessary.”

Frank also reports that the Tableau implementation has freed up 70 percent of a key team member’s time. Instead of spending hours extracting and organizing data, she now has time to focus on other critical projects. Icimo also recommended new dashboards for Frank and his team, which Frank then adopted, including:

  • A gap analysis to quickly determine which chapters are performing at a high level related to the strategic-plan milestones and which chapters need additional assistance.
  • A revenue analysis that summarizes how different regions and chapters are performing related to several metrics. According to Frank, it used to take 3-4 weeks to gather and report this type of data; now it takes only a few hours.


“Icimo is always looking at things through the right prism,” Frank said.“Their recommendations and implementation have been spot on and have provided us with insight into our data at a much faster and more efficient pace than we achieved in the past.”

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