Tag Archives: business intelligence 3.0

Does Business Intelligence Continue to Grow in Health Care Industry

Business intelligence can be put to use in any industry, as it has near-limitless applications as long as there is data to be analyzed, and it is growing increasingly popular among health care facilities. The latest market research report from MarketsandMarkets indicated this sector of BI is growing nearly twice as fast as the overall BI market. As more health providers begin to take advantage of data analysis, it is likely that they will find even more ways to put collected data to work to improve everything from patient care to hospital administration and cost-savings.

Health care market embraces business intelligence
A report released in February by Research and Markets predicted that the overall BI market would see a compound annual growth rate of 8.9 percent between 2013 and 2018. While this is impressive, the health care sector’s expected growth outshines it dramatically. The MarketsandMarkets research found that the market for BI in the health industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.8 percent in the same period.

It’s likely that the health care industry will show more interest in mobile BI and cloud BI, as technologies in the field are expanding in these directions as well.

Putting data analysis to work in health care field
“We, as a society, need to start creating our own metrics for how health care quality is defined,” said Dr. Anil Jain, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Explorys, according to InformationWeek. “In the sense of looking at costs, we know where there’s avoidable cost in health care. We just need to get folks the data they need to avoid those pitfalls.”

Analyzing patient data can give medical professionals insight into everything from daily emergency room admission rates to rehospitalization risks that can help them improve care delivery, cut costs and create a better environment for doctors and patients. InformationWeek highlighted the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which used data analysis to predict whether patients would need long-term care, emergency services or repeat appointments. By examining the patient data, the hospital was able to improve patient care.

Health care professionals interested in getting the most out of data analysis might want to look for a BI solution like Necto 14. Panorama’s latest software offering puts the power of analytics into the employees’ hands. The dashboard is intuitive and user-friendly, which makes it easy for anyone to collect and manipulate data, even if they are not data experts.

Big data trends that impede business intelligence

While business intelligence is seeing continued growth, the rate of expansion has slowed due largely to the way companies approach big data. The latest Gartner report indicated that business intelligence experienced an average 8 percent growth in 2013 across the globe, but no one saw improvements higher than 12 percent. According to Data Center Dynamics, the limited amount companies and their employees know about big data is a major reason behind the slowed growth of BI.

Lack of know-how
Big data, which encompasses massive swaths of information, can seem intimidating for those unprepared to harness the potential of data analytics. The news provider suggested that part of the reason big data remains such a mystery to some is that they don’t know how to best put it to use for their businesses. This encompasses everything from knowing which data to examine when looking at a specific operation or strategy to analyzing and interpreting sets of information and how they relate to one another.

However, firms can invest in a BI solution like Panorama’s Necto 14 that makes it easier to collect and interpret relevant data. This software can suggest which sets of information may be useful for a particular inquiry, giving users the ability to gain valuable insights regarding various departments and processes.

Too much importance
At the same time as businesses are having trouble harnessing big data correctly, many are also placing far too much emphasis on this large pool of information. The focus tends to fall more on the collection and storage of big data and less on data discovery and analysis, according to Venture Beat. Having all of this information is only useful when it is then analyzed and put to use to improve a business. In many instances, this can be due to the lack of know-how when it comes to using the data effectively. The self-service BI tools available in Necto 14 allow any member of an organization to extract and interpret big data so it can serve to help departments make strategic changes to various policies and operations.

These issues will likely diminish as more companies embrace modern and intuitive business intelligence tools that can help them better harness big data. Inquirer.net reported that new applications and software that focus on making big data more accessible will put the power of data analysis in the hands of more workers.

Panorama Software and OCZ Storage Solutions Announce Extreme Performance Technology Collaboration

SAN JOSE, CA, US and TORONTO, ON, Canada – May 1, 2014 – OCZ Storage Solutions – a Toshiba Group Company and leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, and Panorama Software, a global leader in BI 3.0 solutions, have established a technology partnership to deliver real-time Big Data analytics of data stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2014 databases.

The companies have jointly developed a solutions demonstration for the upcoming PASS Business Analytics (BA) Conference showcasing Panorama’s leading Necto BI capabilities with OCZ’s ZD-XL SQL Accelerator’s ability to accelerate SQL Server applications. The collaborated demonstration showcases how the power of data transforms businesses through data-driven insights and business intelligence and will be presented during exhibit hours in OCZ’s booth E-11 at the PASS BA Conference, San Jose Convention Center, May 7th through May 9th.

“The combination of our Necto BI solution coupled with one of the industry’s fastest acceleration cards for SQL Server delivers an advanced business intelligence solution that unleashes the value of enterprise information whether that information is structured, semi-structured or unstructured,” said Eynav Azarya, CEO of Panorama Software. “We are pleased to partner with OCZ to help solve those critical challenges associated with Big Data analysis so that efficient and relevant insights can lead to informed decision-making and invariably better business decisions.”

“We are pleased to join forces with Panorama Software to deliver real-time, self-service analytics of large database data sets that reside in SQL Server,” said Dr. Allon Cohen, Vice-President of Software and Solutions for OCZ Storage Solutions. “The ability to analyze, visualize and collaborate data in an infographic format while accelerating I/O and the application itself provides an extreme performance analytical solution from two visionary leaders in enterprise BI and storage.”

Analyzing large data sets has become a key issue in today’s enterprises as organizations have gained the ability to get access to Big Data and to make it more useful and meaningful. Advanced tools, such as Panorama Necto, enable additional data exploration and advanced analysis to be performed in a matter of minutes providing a powerful combination of in-memory performance coupled with advanced data discovery tools. Powered by in-memory engines, self-service interactive analytics, infographics and dynamic dashboards, the Necto BI solution enables business users to easily access, analyze, visualize, track performance, collaborate with colleagues, and share data for quick, efficient and relevant insights that lead to informed decision-making with minimal IT involvement.

To provide accelerated Microsoft SQL Server performance of these large database data sets, OCZ’s ZD-XL SQL Accelerator leverages its proven PCIe SSD hardware and application-tuned software to deliver low latency flash that can be deployed as a local flash volume, a flash cache for HDD volumes, or as a combination of both. It provides a potent combination of fast flash performance, a unique cache mechanism that makes advanced and statistically-optimized decisions on what data to cache, a dynamic cache warm-up scheduler that enables workloads to be placed on flash cache in advance of demanding and critical jobs, and a wizard-based GUI that enables DBAs to setup caching policies that optimize performance based on SQL Server workloads.

About PASS and the PASS BA Conference
The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is an independent, not-for-profit association dedicated to supporting, educating, and promoting the global Microsoft SQL Server community. Led by a member elected Board of Directors, PASS is run by and for the community, with a global membership of more than 100,000 and growing. PASS strives to fulfill its mission by:

• Facilitating member networking and the exchange of information through local and virtual chapters, free web events and local and regional events
• Delivering high-quality, up-to-date technical content, presentations, and other educational materials for in-depth learning and professional development
• Working with Microsoft to influence the evolution of SQL Server technologies

The PASS Business Analytics (BA) Conference is a professional community-oriented gathering for business analytic professionals and established to meet the needs of a growing BA community affiliated with Microsoft technologies such as Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server, Parallel Data Warehouse, Azure, Hadoop, and more.

About Panorama Software
Panorama is a leader in Business Intelligence 3.0, facilitating the next generation of self-service business intelligence solutions. Panorama’s Necto product is a BI platform which is context-aware allowing any type of user to interact intuitively with data within an intelligent collaborative environment. Panorama recently released Necto 14, the market’s first Business Intelligence data discovery solution to offer infographics for dynamic data visualization. More information is available at www.panorama.com.

About OCZ Storage Solutions
OCZ Storage Solutions – a Toshiba Group Company is a leading provider of high performance client and enterprise solid-state storage products and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation. Offering a complete spectrum of solid-state drives (SSDs), OCZ Storage Solutions leverages proprietary technology to provide SSDs in a variety of form factors and interfaces to address a wide range of applications. Having internally developed firmware and controllers, virtualization, cache and acceleration software, and endurance extending and data reliability technologies, the Company delivers vertically integrated solutions enabling transformational approaches to how digital data is captured, stored, accessed, analyzed and leveraged by customers. More information is available at www.ocz.com.

All trademarks or brand names referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.

OCZ Press Contact:
Scott Harlin
Director of Marketing Communications, Enterprise Solutions
(408) 440-3484
sharlin@ocz.com

How do you know if your company is ready for business intelligence?

Companies in virtually any industry can benefit from business intelligence, whether they want to improve their marketing strategies, enhance overall operations or monitor production activity. There is some preparatory work that will need to be done before a firm can start effectively collecting and analyzing data with business intelligence tools.

Analyze your business’s BI readiness 
Smart Data Collective recently surveyed more than 60 chief information officers from U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses to find out how various companies were using business intelligence. The researchers asked about each company’s current BI platform and usage and calculated their scores on a scale of 0-100, then categorized responses into five categories from lowest to highest levels of BI maturity.

The results showed that 77 percent of respondents were still in the preliminary stages (nascent and low) of BI development. Nascent companies have either made plans to invest in a BI solution or were just beginning to establish methods of collecting big data. For those that fell into the low category, basic data analytics were readily available, but typically only for a select number of departments within a company.

Determine how you could put BI to use
The survey also revealed that one-third of businesses using BI do so to examine data from the past. While examining the details of sales from the previous quarter can provide insight into how well the business did, companies can also monitor real-time data to get more up-to-date information. Panorama’s latest BI software offering, Necto 14, can easily pull the latest information from a database. The ability to see and analyze data in real-time makes it easier for companies to implement changes when strategies may not measure up to expectations.

Make BI available to everyone
Data analysis can have many uses that span across a company’s operations, so it would make sense to use a BI solution that every department can put to use. Logi Analytics reported that since some employees may not be at all familiar with BI tools, such as dashboards and reporting, companies should select software that is accessible to any user regardless of their familiarity with business intelligence. Working with raw data can be overwhelming for people unfamiliar with IT and data analysis. Necto 14 makes it easy for any employee to determine which information they need, and helps them analyze and organize the information into data visualisation through the use of clear, concise infographics.

Company: YES

Company Overview

YES is the only company in Israel that broadcasts multi-channel satellite television to subscribers, and is the first company that provided digital and interactive television services. Since its inception, the company has recruited 578,000 customers who represent about 39% of the multi-channel television market in Israel. YES currently employs around 2400 people and its annual turnover in 2010 was 1.6 billion NIS. YES broadcasts over 150 video channels, including 50 radio and music channels, and a wide range of interactive channels, games, information channels (including portals) and more. These channels also include video pay channels (pay-per-view) and over ten HD channels in i1080 format.

Business Challenge

YES has been at the forefront of technology from the start, even in comparison with giant companies in leading global markets. The company is always on the lookout for efficient and new ways to improve its decision-making process and quality.

“YES is an organization that lives and breathes data at the daily level,” explains Ido Bigger, head of BI technology and social networks in the Business Intelligence Department at YES. “The information we need includes daily analyses for services, sales, subscriber activation, faults, campaign analysis, customer care, trend analysis, meeting organizational goals, and financial models. These, as well as many other types of data, are generated and enriched continually by the Business Information Department, which is part of the Information Technology unit at YES. The data is presented and made available to users in two main ways – Relational Reports (BO) and OLAP views on the BI portal which is based mainly on the Panorama platform.”

YES choice the Panorama platform as a tool for analyzing business intelligence (BI) a few years ago. According to Bigger, the main reason for this was: “The superior capability of the Panorama to perform OLAP cube analytics in a faster, easier and simpler way than other BI tools. The Panorama platform served YES as a smart analytical tool for viewing data aggregations from cubes, easily and simply. We came to the conclusion that in-depth analyses do not have to be performed via complex reports, but rather by means of analytics tools that were specifically designed for this.” In a recent review of the alternatives in the BI area, YES came to the conclusion that Panorama’s solution continues to lead the world of Cube Analysis and decided to upgrade their platform. HighView performed the task of implementing and customizing the requirements of YES.

Solution

The system installed at YES was the Panorama Dashboard, upgraded with a number of additions and special features. Today it is used by hundreds of users at headquarters from the rank of CEO to team managers. The system holds a broad variety of data, ranging from reports that provide a comprehensive picture of the daily situation, to high resolution in-depth analysis of fault incidents, service, sales campaigns, and so on. Bigger points out the decision to choose Panorama was a result of the high level of satisfaction of the BI staff in YES with its superior analytical capabilities and impressive visualization.

“We are talking about a platform that is simple and interactive for the end user, that provides superior analytics, collaboration, and interactive deployment of information,” said Bigger. “During the years we have worked with the Panorama solution we got the impression that it is an easy and friendly platform for implementation and maintenance, and therefore continuing to work with it was both natural and desirable.We are great believers in Cube Analysis and in our opinion Panorama is a leader in the sphere. Without a doubt, it is very convenient to analyze cubes with the Panorama engine because of its Drag and Drop feature, easy-to-use graphs, and unique analytic capabilities.”

Business Benefits

Panorama solution has enabled YES to make the most of its available human capital and technological advantages, and maintain its prevalence in the competitive market in which it operates.

Bigger said one of the benefits of Panorama is its excellent integration with other BI systems in the organization. Avner Katzman, manager of the BI Department, indicated that many of the decisions made in the company are based on the data presented by Panorama. “We are talking about strategic and ongoing tactical decisions. Panorama is an especially useful tool in the customers division where real-time data is presented from the company’s systems and from which we can respond quickly to results from the field and demonstrate business flexibility.”

YES invests in enhancing the customer experience. A central part of these efforts is in the management, measurement and analysis of the organization’s performance,” said Ronny Barnov, Vice President of Information Technology at YES. “The BI systems, and among them Panorama, enable us to provide the organization with a convenient and user-friendly visual picture, and to make knowledgeable decisions in order to improve performance”.

“Panorama is an especially useful tool in the customers division where real-time data is presented from the company’s systems, and from which we can respond quickly to results from the field and demonstrate business flexibility.”

Ido Bigger, Manager of BI Technology and Social Networks in the Business Intelligence Department at YES.

Company: Jelly Belly Candy Company

Company Profile

Founded in  1869, Jelly Belly Candy Company is a manufacturer of jelly beans and other  confections. Jelly Belly produces the leading gourmet jelly beans in the world  as well as other treats such as candy corn and Gummi Bears. Jelly Belly  products are sold in 35 countries around the world and in 2003, the company  reported annual sales of more than $140m US.

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Company: Geocartography Knowledge Group

Geocartography changes the rules of the game in the world of organizational business intelligence, thanks to the development of an innovative BI solution on Panorama platforms

Company Overview

Geocartography Knowledge Group, one of the leading research institutions in Israel, has been offering scientific and professional expertise in the following range of divisions and Continue reading

Company: State of South Carolina

Two years ago, when South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer sought state funds to supplement federal dollars for the South Carolina Office of Aging’s meal program, he knew too many of the state’s senior citizens were hungry and unhealthy.

However, to persuade legislators to vote for those funds, he needed proof ‘ or at least persuasive correlations ‘ between meals and improved health for seniors. Bauer, who heads the Office of Aging, turned to the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics (ORS), part of the state’s Budget and Control Board.

He wanted the office to show that meals for seniors, paid for with federal funds issued to the state through the Older Americans Act, correlated with better health. Using Panorama’s BI Solution business intelligence (BI) software from Panorama as the front end to a Microsoft SQL Server database, ORS was able to establish that correlation. In June 2006, South Carolina’s state legislature appropriated $2.9 million in state funds for the meal program for the calendar year 2007.

That’s one example of relationships ORS is now finding through its BI tools, incorporating identity-protected data from about 20 state agencies, Medicare, Medicaid, hospitals and other organizations.

‘We can tie funding to programs, agencies, the private sector and nonprofits,’ said Pete Bailey, chief of the 45-person health and demographics group at ORS. ‘We can monitor [funding], evaluate the outcomes and tie them back to continued funding. If a program isn’t successful, the legislature can see that, see where the problem is and fix it.’

ORS’ goal is to use its BI tools to help state agencies and organizations fulfill their missions.   Although it took several years of negotiating with the entities that own the data to get it and then more time to build the databases, ORS is starting to show what it can do with the decision-support tools.   Ultimately, the BI capabilities could add accountability to the political process by measuring the results of policy decisions.   ‘Business intelligence has been widely used in private-sector industries for years,’ said Nigel Pendse, an independent BI analyst, author of the annual Business Intelligence Survey and lead analyst for the Web-only OLAP Report on online analytical processing at www.olapreport.com.   ‘It’s for fast-moving industries to track products and competition, profit and customer profitability,’ he said. ‘Governments are less likely to use these types of products.’   From the ground up   BI software includes the underlying database software or server and the front end, which ‘queries the [database] and represents the results of the queries in different formats,’ Pendse said. Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Oracle are the leaders in the BI field, but ‘the big [companies] do a bad job,’ he said. ‘Most of the surviving small companies do a good job.’   Large companies’ BI products are combinations of different products, Pendse said.   ‘Panorama is better than the others because it has built-from-the-ground-up technology,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t have the integration challenge.   It hasn’t been stitched together from different sources.’

Panorama’s BI Solution, with its dashboard, reporting and analytical capabilities, was selected by ORS because, at the time, it was the only BI tool that could exploit the full power of the online analytical processing and data-mining capabilities of SQL Server. Panorama developed the SQL Server software and sold it to Microsoft in 1996.   ‘After selling the old technology to Microsoft, Panorama built the front end,’ Pendse said. ‘All was happy for 10 years.’   When ORS chose SQL Server, Panorama’s BI Solution was the de facto front-end BI module to extract information from the database.   In the past two years, Microsoft acquired ProClarity, another BI front end, which it is incorporating into SQL Server. ‘Now Microsoft is less likely to feed business to Panorama,’ Pendse said. Consequently, the company is broadening its base of business.   Some experts might not necessarily need a tool like Panorama’s BI Solution to query a database and understand the results. But for employees at ORS, the tool makes accessing and using databases much easier.   Five or six years ago, before the office started using BI tools, ‘statisticians had to manually aggregate all the data,’ Bailey said. ‘Now you just press a button. You can do an analysis in a day, whereas before it would have taken months.’   Building cubes   Since acquiring its BI tools, ORS has built multiple databases, also known as data cubes. Each cube represents data drawn from local, state and federal sources.   The so-called seniors’ cube was the source of the correlation between the seniors’ meals program and their improved health. The metric for improved health was a reduction in the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations of seniors who received meals. These correlations, plus ORS’ ability to measure state spending outcomes, were instrumental in obtaining state funds for the meals program.   In 2007, those funds paid for 5,476 meals and other home- and community-based services for seniors. The resulting data is just now starting to trickle in to ORS for analysis.

‘Working with the seniors’ cube, we want to show [that] an investment of less than $1,000 a year in home- and community-based services helps an individual maintain independence and dignity in his or her home ‘ preventing or delaying the expense of a $40,000 a year nursing home bed or a $24,000 average Medicare inpatient hospital discharge,’ Bauer said in a statement.

CommuniCare, a nonprofit based in Columbia, S.C., also has benefited from ORS’ BI capabilities. CommuniCare’s mission is to provide prescription medications for the state’s uninsured workers. It operates solely from donated funds.

Last year, the nonprofit spent $34 million to distribute 142,000 prescriptions to more than 14,000 clients. Chief Executive Officer Ken Trogdon said he assumed the organization was helping its clients, but he turned to ORS for some hard numbers.   CommuniCare provided ORS with identity-protected data covering the time from a client’s enrollment with the organization until 18 months afterward. ORS combined this with hospitalization and emergency room utilization metrics extending from a year before an individual signed up for the program until 18 months afterward.

ORS’ analysis showed that diabetics who received medications from CommuniCare reduced their visits to emergency rooms by 27 percent and in-patient hospitalizations by 15 percent during the 30-month period.

Clients with hypertension who received the necessary medications reduced emergency room use by 33 percent and inpatient hospitalizations by 20 percent.   Individuals who received prescription psychotropic drugs from the nonprofit reduced emergency room visits by 24 percent and hospitalizations by 31 percent.   ‘Before, we knew we were doing something good, but it was just warm and fuzzy,’ Trogdon said. ‘When you can quantify the numbers, it justifies our existence and shows the impact we’re having. If we can show what we’re doing in a state like ours that suffers greatly from poverty, then there is a good chance the program can grow nationwide.’   The latest addition to ORS’ analysis capabilities is a geographic information system that allows results to be mapped according to county, ZIP code and congressional district. ‘With the mapping system, we can show these issues to every House member, senator and congressman and the people they represent,’ Bailey said.   ‘When a politician wants to be re-elected, he can show how things have changed while [he was] in office,’ he said. ‘If there haven’t been sufficient improvements, he and agencies can work together. Politicians haven’t previously had specifics of these problems for the people they represent.’   Bailey didn’t say it, but the ability to measure outcomes also means that politicians can be held accountable for their actions, and political programs and initiatives can be objectively evaluated.

THE CONCEPT OF a cube of data is central to business intelligence software, but these cubes aren’t the common 3-D blocks that might come to mind. Instead, a BI cube can have multiple dimensions in which each is an element of a data category.   Data elements might be durations in minutes, hours or months. Or they might be the number of visits a person makes to a hospital.   ‘Cubes typically have between five and 10 dimensions,’ said Nigel Pendse, an independent BI analyst, author of the annual Business Intelligence Survey and lead analyst for the Web-only OLAP Report.

‘The software can do more, but people have trouble understanding it,’ he said.   Data dimensions can be linked or cross-tabbed to find correlations or relationships, just as a Microsoft Excel user finds a cell that links one unique row and one unique column. In fact, Excel is the most commonly used BI software tool.   Because of the sheer quantity of data it manages from local, state and federal sources, the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics, part of the state’s Budget and Control Board, uses Microsoft SQL Server to create its 20 data cubes, and more are being developed.

The office uses Panorama’s Panorama’s BI Solution to query the data cubes for information that will help client agencies do their jobs better.   ‘The beauty of the software is that you can define the relational database and how the data are related, define the data, and the computer does all the work for you,’ said Pete Bailey, chief of health and demographics at ORS.

Company: ProMedico

Company Overview

Promedico is a leading provider of logistics and distribution for supply chain of companies in the health industry. The Company services more than 3,000 customers, including: private pharmacies, pharmaceutical chains, public health services clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, all of the food chains, comfort stores and private retail outlets. Headquartered in Hefer Valley, Continue reading