The IT Leader's Guide to Multicloud Readiness
This guide provides practical key insights and important factors to consider to make informed decisions in your multicloud journey.
Yesterday, Perficient and Microsoft teamed up for the webinar, “Building the Better Healthcare Dashboard.” Joseph Paranteau, Principal Platform Solution Specialist at Microsoft, and Martin Sizemore, Healthcare Principal at Perficient, joined together to take a look at the business side of key performance indicators, and show attendees how Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Sharepoint 2013 deliver a winning combination to create compelling dashboards and scorecards, especially those in the healthcare space working to lower costs, improve productivity and meet regulatory reporting demands. You can view the replay here.
Joseph kicked off the session by discussing the first data visualization efforts, which actually date back to 1854, when London physician John Snow took it upon himself to determine how cholera was spread (he hypothesized that it was not an airborne disease, but was instead distributed by contaminated water). He took it upon himself to find and collect data, and then map the deaths. With the help of Reverend Henry Whitehead, John was able to determine that it was in fact polluted water from a pump that was spreading disease. This story is of significance because it resulted in a fundamental change in the way many cities moving forward thought about sanitation and hygiene. This physician did much more than produce a map – he transformed raw data into insight and action.
This is still critical today. Data gives us the what, so that we can uncover the why. Of course, there was a lot less data to deal with in 1854. The volume of data is growing immensely, creating a Big Data problem. Microsoft is investing heavily to simplify this, for everyone from marketing to IT professionals. Joseph went on to explain the changing world of health information, including the current BI challenges and new BI paradigms. He discussed how to create easy access to data, both big and small, using tools like Excel’s Power Query, and how to discover, analyze, and visualize with Q&A, Power View and Power Map. Lastly, he touched on Power BI for Office 365.
In the second half of the webinar, Martin Sizemore gave an in-depth demonstration, where he showed how effective dashboards made with PowerPivot can translate data repositories into consumable information. He then showed attendees drilldowns, such as a Physician Scorecard. He also walked through using Power View for a dashboard, and the importance of putting an objective like performance scores for physicians in the context of the goal – i.e. how many patients that they handle. Martin also explained the long list of filters and immediate results in the Power View, making Power View truly powerful in the boardroom as executives can explore the behind the scenes information driving the dashboard.
Martin walked through many other important capabilities of Power View, including the use of storyboard concepts to navigate through multiple dashboards left to right, and using graphs available as Web Parts. Martin shared that building better dashboards with SQL Server and SharePoint 2013 can yield great results:
- Use Excel to prototype, especially PowerPivot
- Use Filters to demonstrate the multiple dimensions of the cube, start with most common filter and don’t forget to allow both aggregation and drilldown
- Power View allows great flexibility for executives that want to investigate the details, switch filters, and change up graph types
- Start with the “At a Glance” Summary view and use management by exception for highlighting measures needing attention
- Try it out on lots of end users to enhance flexibility of use and, most importantly, lead decision-making with your dashboards, don’t just give end-users an answer
In summary, Martin and Joseph stressed the importance of having flexible infrastructure that allows you to store, manage and process the data information across clouds and on-premises infrastructure (Windows Server & Windows Azure at the core), having data management and processing across all types of data (to bring together internal and external data types and manage it in a consistent way is a powerful part of the Microsoft platform), and providing the analytical tools to users in a way that’s familiar to them, which is ultimately Microsoft’s breakthrough differentiation. This is going to allow you to move much faster from raw data to meaningful insights that can lead to action and business value.
This is just a small portion of the insightful content Joseph and Martin shared. You can view the webinar in its entirety here.