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Getting Answers Quickly

By Russell Hendrickson, President & CEO

When we started our business 20 years ago, the buzz word was decision support. Over the years, other buzz words have come and gone – data marts, data warehousing, business intelligence, dashboarding, balanced scorecards, etc. Today, it’s all about analytics and everybody does it to some degree, but it’s really back to decision support for managing business performance!

In speaking with one of our clients recently, they mentioned having to sometimes tell others in the organization “we just need to GET ANSWERS QUICKLY.” Navigating the never-ending supply of healthcare data and making fact-based decisions is, without a doubt, a multi-billion dollar consequence to most of our clients. Although our data consumers want everything fully web and mobile and wish anything they ever wanted to know could instantaneously appear at their fingertips at a touch of button—sometimes getting back to the basics is the most practical solution. I’m talking about Microsoft Excel—and its ability to publish, communicate, calculate and help data consumers solve business problems and make decisions quickly and efficiently.

The flavors of Business Intelligence (BI) software have evolved over the past two decades, and most of them can do just about any type of analysis and much, much more. MicroStrategy, QlikView, and Tableau are making tremendous headway into healthcare and offer great promise as new apps are developed with these platforms to solve a wide variety of needs. As the healthcare industry transforms, these pioneering BI technologies will continue to thrive. These technologies also have one thing in common – Microsoft Excel.

Love Excel or hate it, bar none, it’s the most widely used reporting tool worldwide. In addition to any BI software platform’s ability to export data to Excel, Microsoft has dramatically improved the integration of SQL Server and Excel over the past few years. For healthcare business needs that are still evolving or poorly understood, Excel empowers you to do things quickly – and help people get results to make better business decisions. Our customers use Excel to quickly publish and communicate ideas until they can be formalized and built into the Enterprise Data Warehouse. At the end of the day, don’t forget that sometimes you just need to “Get Answers Quickly” and sometimes although not the most elegant. It’s about data driving decisions—quickly!

Tags: Microsoft Excel, Reporting Tools, Business Intelligence

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