Business Intelligence: Solutions for Moving, Transforming, and Displaying Data
By Corey Shaner
Director, Modern Workplace
Too many companies operate by gut feelings. They don’t have enough available data to make informed decisions. Department heads spend too much time analyzing data in spreadsheets and don’t have time to manage their departments.
What you can’t measure you can’t manage. In 2016 the hospital system I was working in implemented an electronic medical record (EMR) system, the industry’s way to store and share patient data and manage operations. We were licensed as an Acute Care Hospital, but operated like an Ambulatory Surgery Center; all elective surgery, no emergency room or lab services, an imaging center, and 150 providers at multiple outpatient locations. But the EMR software was designed for an acute care hospital that offered more comprehensive services. The standard reporting that came with the software was also designed with the more comprehensive system in mind. So we had a team of 25 or so directors manually analyzing whatever data they could access to manage their respective departments, and the resulting analyses were frequently filled with errors and incorrect assumptions.
The solution was Business Intelligence (BI)., technology used to automate processes and help businesses discover insights about their organizations that they would otherwise be unable to see. We used Microsoft’s PowerBI to tie our disparate data systems and software applications together, collecting the data, connecting the data, and allowing users to visualize the data. Now our reports were based on a live database. As information was being entered into the EMR and other business applications, you could see what was going on in real time. With the data from the applications connected, we were uncovering relationships we never knew existed. Our directors could now manage instead of analyzing. Furthermore, they became a more proactive organization as opposed to reactive.
When I joined HBK we talked about helping our clients access data from their multiple software applications to manage their businesses better. How could we create this model to address those client needs? Our first data project began as a simple project to help a client automate old reports. But once we started showing them how much information was actually being collected in their business applications, the project snowballed as they saw how the data could be leveraged to drive performance and decision-making in real-time. Instead of exporting data and analyzing the data themselves, a time consuming process, they now have the information they need at all times. Additionally, we were able to automate the work of several internal employees, allowing the organization to assign those employees to much more meaningful tasks. The solution could also mean huge labor savings for clients.
Most businesses employ many different software applications, each is often designed in a vacuum. PowerBI, can bring an organization’s data to life, connecting data from multiple applications and providing visual tools that highlight opportunities for decision makers. When Power BI is combined with other Microsoft tools within its’ Power Platform the solutions that can be built to address business needs are relatively endless.
While we’re helping organizations make sense and better use of their business data, Vertilocity has also made acquisitions to address client needs from a software standpoint. With the acquisition of Odyssey on the ERP side, we added a skilled team of developers who can tailor Sage Intacct and Accumatica applications to meet client needs. Our newest acquisition, Relevant CRM, allows us to help clients use data to drive sales, enter new markets, or deepen their penetration of existing markets through cloud-based marketing, sales, and customer relationship management using Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM platform. With the addition of these teams, we are ensuring that clients are measuring the relevant data points in their businesses that drive performance. Together our Vertilocity team is now offering end-to-end data and software solutions to help clients move, transform and display their collective data so they can make the most critical and complex business decisions with the highest rates of success.