Why more informatics companies are calling NKY home

Informatics companies Xcelerated Learning Dynamics (XLD) and Clear Measures recently set up shop in the Corporex Companies RiverCenter office complex in Covington. The new companies, along with the expansion of XLD parent company, TiER1 Performance Solutions, will add about 50 jobs over the next three years. 

XLD was launched in late December 2012 by Covington-based TiER1 Performance Solutions to help hospital systems meet the challenges of the current healthcare reform by aligning their workforces with the rapidly evolving Affordable Care Act. 

Over the past 11 years, TiER1 has developed a next generation learning platform that allows them to distribute learning and education to the public. 

While TiER1 is a services-based company, and XLD is more product-based. TiER1 does a lot in human performance, and focuses on how people can perform better, while XLD allows for more accelerated learning through its software. 

"Our software knows a lot about you—what your demographic is, what you know," says Normand Desmarais, co-founder of TiER1 and XLD, and CEO of the latter. "It’s designed and customized for you and how you learn." 

The software is based on each individual person and is tailored to him or her. It has been the most efficient delivery model of education to the healthcare industry, and has helped the industry adopt and change to the Affordable Care Act. 

The technology corridor

Northern Kentucky has made a name for itself as a draw for informatics companies. As the region’s leading informatics sector, it has drawn companies like dbaDirect, TiER1 and XLD to the area. 

Northern Kentucky is also home to organizations like the Northern Kentucky ezone and UpTech. Organizations like UpTech attract entrepreneurs from across the country and help their ideas come to fruition. And Northern Kentucky is growing its own high-tech workforce and talent base, thanks to educational institutions Gateway Community and Technical College and Northern Kentucky University's College of Informatics, which groom the minds of the next generation of employees. 

"As part of the informatics sector, we want to help the momentum in the region continue," Desmarais says. "Companies like ours are coming for similar reasons, and adding to the atmosphere of the city."

Covington, and Northern Kentucky in general, offers a lower cost of living and doing business for small companies and their employees. According to Desmarais, it’s a great place to start, and a great place to grow. 

It all adds up

Adding more jobs to the Northern Kentucky economy means more people are interested in living there. With that, cities are looking to draw those people in. 

Gateway plans to build an urban campus in the heart of Covington—nine buildings have been purchased so far, and the campus will help transform the downtown area into a bustling neighborhood filled with people and businesses.

On Pike Street, a boutique hotel called Hotel Covington is being put in the old city hall building. There are also plans to renovate a building on the corner of Madison and Pike. 

"There are so many neat renovations going on here that will serve the entire city, and help make it a more livable place," Desmarais says. "Bringing credibility to the area will draw national attention. If we can do it, others can too."

A version of this story originally appeared in Soapbox on Jan. 15, 2014.
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