Microsoft Power BI Gets an AI-Driven App Update

Unlocking the power of business intelligence (BI) is reaching a whole new level with the deployment of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Microsoft’s Power BI software. Power BI already uses AI to help users gain more insight into their enterprise’s business information. It can even ask the questions users didn’t know they ought to ask. Continue reading Microsoft Power BI Gets an AI-Driven App Update

Healthcare Businesses Intelligence Use is Growing. Why?

If you’re a healthcare provider and you’re not using healthcare business intelligence to drive your success, then you may be losing out on some important advantages. The benefits of business intelligence (BI) for healthcare providers are many.

Here’s why healthcare BI is growing and how it can positively impact your financial bottom line, improve the quality of your patient care, ensure healthcare security and aid in compliance with government-mandated regulations.

Not Just Big Data, But Massive Data

Healthcare organizations are producing and storing more data than ever before. From electronic health records to financial performance, from patient satisfaction results to industry health statistics, all this information forms a massive amount of data. Add to that the policy information from insurance companies and clinical trial results from pharmaceutical companies and you get what many experts describe as some of the most complex data warehouses on the planet.

Healthcare providers can use BI to process, present and analyze this enormous amount of data in meaningful ways. It can help them to track progress toward strategic goals, offering big-picture guidance that makes it easier to steer organizations in the right direction.

Skyrocketing Healthcare Costs

With healthcare costs rising at unprecedented levels, it has become increasingly important for providers to manage those costs. BI allows healthcare providers to gain more visibility into their financial operations, improving operational efficiency. It helps organizations monitor cash flow and make the proper adjustments to streamline it.

BI may also help healthcare providers identify services that are highly profitable or underutilized, generating the analysis they need to set pricing, control expenditures, allocate staff time and more easily process claims. BI can help organizations determine the effectiveness of their marketing efforts as well.

More and Better Healthcare

Per capita healthcare in the U.S. is among the highest in the world. With that expenditure comes an expectation for better outcomes from healthcare and higher patient satisfaction.

BI can help healthcare providers improve patient care and analyze quality and safety trends. It can offer information that allows providers to better manage logistics, such as patient flow in triage and optimal patient discharge times, making best use of bed space without sacrificing patient outcome. It can provide the evidence physicians need to make clinical decisions and to better monitor and predict patient diagnoses.

Mushrooming Compliance

Federal health reforms have led healthcare providers to take regulatory compliance seriously, especially as more quality-based requirements are implemented. Complying with HIPAA rules concerning patient privacy and information security is particularly important.

To meet the demands of complex regulations, healthcare providers must have quick access to many different kinds of financial and patient data. BI can help collect, organize, analyze and present data to regulators, making it less likely that providers will be audited, sanctioned or otherwise fined for noncompliance.

Getting Expert Help with BI

A comprehensive BI strategy is essential for healthcare providers. While some organizations may think of BI as simply a pretty way to present data, it’s really much deeper than that. A sophisticated third-party BI administrator can more fully optimize the BI strategy of healthcare providers and give them the results they’re looking for in a BI solution. They can help healthcare providers drive real competitive advantage from their IT by providing the expertise, services and scale they need to optimize the business value of their mission-critical technologies

RDX – the #1 provider and pioneer of remote DBA services – offers Microsoft BI services to help healthcare providers leverage Microsoft’s industry-leading BI product suite, turning raw data into revenue. From strategic planning to production and beyond, our BI analysts are with you every step of the way, managing your solutions, empowering your success and maximizing your BI investment.

HIMSS, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, is continually helping healthcare providers evolve through the use of information technology. RDX will be exhibiting at HIMSS18, taking place March 5-9, 2018, at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. We hope to see you there.


Business Intelligence Trends That Will Impact Your Business

The future of business intelligence (BI) promises better access to information, more ways to analyze data and make decisions, and superior methods of reporting results to managers and stakeholders. A modernized, robust BI platform can mean the difference between a company lagging behind or leading the pack. Medium and small-sized businesses especially are joining the BI revolution.

Here are a number of the latest business intelligence trends that may impact a company’s ability to attract and keep customers or clients, while ensuring the smoothest possible operation of the business:

1. Data Discovery Tools. One BI trend sure to be on the radar of every business is data discovery. Data discovery steers business leaders toward new ways of seeing and analyzing company data.

As data becomes more complex, it makes better sense to show it in more interactive and visual presentations. Text and tables of hard-to-consume data are being replaced by charts and graphs that can be flexed and manipulated. These new interactive visualization tools enable decision-makers to see major business trends and to spot problematic issues more quickly.

2. Self-service Business Intelligence. It used to be that when company decision-makers wanted to see business data, they would have to request it from the IT or finance departments. What the decision-maker received may or may not have been useful to them. With self-service BI, business leaders can get instant access to customizable data wherever they are.

More and more, business leaders appreciate the ability to analyze and act on data right at their fingertips. Users can modify their own dashboards, design their own queries, customize their own models, create their own reports and take advantage of other functionality without involving IT or finance staff.

3. Predictive Analytics. Business forecasting has always been important, but taking some of the guesswork out of forecasting can pay off big time for businesses. Predictive analytics is a BI trend that examines complex enterprise data and makes assumptions and projections on future probabilities.

Predictive analytics has many uses when it comes to BI, including: determining the value of prospects and customers; forecasting price, sales and demand; predicting machine failures; and monitoring and evaluating social media. By using predictive analytics, business leaders can better understand the inefficiencies or strengths of their companies and improve future company performance.

4. Data Quality Management. We’ve all heard the prophetic adage “garbage in, garbage out.” This is especially true for BI. Without reliable, accessible and coherent data, BI might produce false assumptions and spawn poor decisions that harm the company.

Data quality management uses a number of parameters to ensure the integrity of information. These include: completeness, accuracy, validity, uniqueness, consistency and timeliness. Managing the quality of data is vitally important to making the right company decisions and optimizing success.

5. Cloud Analytics. While many businesses already use cloud solutions for data storage, the cloud also provides incredible opportunities for analyzing business information. Employing cloud-based data analytics offers companies up-to-the-minute technology without having to develop expensive in-house expertise.

A cloud BI system can be implemented within a very short time frame and at significantly lower costs than an in-house BI platform. It requires no additional hardware purchases or IT resources, and future costs are much easier to predict. Some businesses have been reluctant to embrace the cloud, but recent improvements in security and infrastructure has virtually wiped out any concerns businesses may have had in that respect.

With BI becoming increasingly important to business success, RDX is committed to helping businesses gain a competitive advantage by providing the expertise, services and scale they need to maximize the value of their BI. Since our inception in 1994, our remote DBA services have helped hundreds of companies improve the quality of their database environments while reducing the costs associated with on-site database management.

We also help clients leverage Microsoft’s industry-leading BI Product Suite (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS) and Power BI, enabling them to turn raw data into revenue. Our customized, scalable Microsoft BI solutions allow companies to unlock the power of data to delight customers, drive differentiation and make better, faster business decisions. It’s why we’re the #1 provider and pioneer of remote DBA services.

The Merge Join Transformation and a SSIS Sorting Tip

My previous blog post was about the SSIS Lookup task and how it really works. Now that I have shown that the Lookup task shouldn’t be used for one-to-many or many-to-many joins, let’s take a look at the Merge Join transformation task. If you follow along with this blog, you will learn a little tip that will eliminate the requirement for you to add a SORT transformation task within your data flow task.

Continue reading The Merge Join Transformation and a SSIS Sorting Tip

Creating SSAS Hierarchies with Multiple Dimension Tables

Recently, I was tasked with building a hierarchy using multiple dimensions. I was advised to use a named query or materialized view to accomplish this because SSAS doesn’t have the capabilities to read the columns/attributes from multiple dimensions. Since I have done this before, I decided to take the AdventureWorks database and give a step-by-step tutorial of how to accomplish this request. Let’s get started!

Continue reading Creating SSAS Hierarchies with Multiple Dimension Tables