People & Perspectives

A deep dive into WBA data

WBA’s global chief information officer Francesco Tinto and global chief technology officer Mike Maresca discuss how the company is using data to put customers at the center of the business.

By Elyse Russo
Digital data
Francesco Tinto

With great data comes great responsibility. And fortunately at Walgreens Boots Alliance, we have exceptional stewards of that data in Global Chief Information Officer Francesco Tinto (right) and Global Chief Technology Officer Mike Maresca (below.)

Over the last month, Tinto and Maresca have talked about how using data has helped WBA improve customer experience while making sure personal health data is safely stored.

During a panel discussion at MIT’s 16th annual Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium, Tinto talked about how WBA was making major changes when he joined the company back in 2019.

“WBA was at the beginning of a massive transformation where we were moving from traditional brick-and-mortar locations into becoming truly omni-channel,” Tinto says. “The vision was having the customer in the middle and developing a seamless experience across all the different channels.”

Maresca elaborated on this point during VentureBeat’s Transform 2022 virtual conference saying that WBA’s goal is to make an experience that meets the customer where they are—in store or online—across all of WBA’s main businesses: retail, pharmacy and healthcare.

“The experience may be from when they’re trying to get some retail products or medicines to serve their health needs. It could also be from a growing ecosystem of healthcare services, whether it be weight loss, labs or clinical services,” Maresca says. “But how do you connect those experiences so they feel like it’s a single, integrated experience that serves their needs best?”

Mike Maresca

One way to connect those experiences? With data, of course.

“The data is the foundation,” Tinto says.

He went on to describe how the consolidation of WBA’s customer data across all of its various businesses was a “massive endeavor.” However, now the data is all in one place and the real work can begin on creating that seamless customer journey, he says.

One example both Tinto and Maresca brought up was myWalgreens, Walgreens’ loyalty program that now has more than 100 million members. These members agree to share their retail transaction data with the company and they receive a more personalized Walgreens experience in return, from purchase recommendations on Walgreens.com to printed coupons in store for products they may be interested in.

Maresca is quick to point out that on the healthcare side of the business, patient privacy is taken very seriously.

“We are, I believe, best in class in terms of how we secure our data, but also how we hold the precious data that we have,” Maresca says, explaining that certain health data is used, with consent, for patient safety and continuum of care. “We have some of the best capabilities in the industry to provide safety and protect the privacy of our patients.”

So the mission to improve WBA’s customer journey across all channels continues. If you want to be a part of it, go to jobs.walgreens.com to check out all the available roles.

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