Healthcare and Big Data are Not Slowing Down

Doctor sitting at office desk and working on his laptop with medical equipment all around top view

The days of paper charting medical records are long gone. Michael Morrison gives a good look into why Big Data is vital to the Healthcare industry in his post, “Big Data Remains Hot in Health Care.”

Medical firms did not have much choice in adapting to these changes after the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in the US in 2009 took effect, this was one of the largest efforts ever in improving patient care, ensuring proficient operations, and closing the gap of medical error. The result has been phenomenal and continues to progress.

With the ability of the medical industry to continuously run analytics, they gain critical information from high volumes of medical records and data. Morrison mentions that with advancements in patient data analytics, it is becoming the most important aspect of implementing medical analysis, which allows for patient care to be personalized. Many common road blocks that are normal in the course of  patient care and health management can be corrected with the use of Big Data tools.

The National Cancer Institute has created a Big Data project that has, through Big Data research, improved cancer treatments. They are now able to learn a lot about the patient’s responses to different medications and choose the best treatment course for a specific patient. The implementation of data solutions across the entire medical industry benefits everyone involved from the provider to the patient. The next time you make a visit to your local doctor’s office or hospital, take a look around and notice how much we rely on the ongoing advances of technology. Where would be now without all of it; how much safer has it made our treatment as well as our loved ones?

Click here to read entire article.

BIG Data Road Blocks to Tackle

Businessman jumping over hurdle

As I think most of us would agree, Big Data has made big leaps in providing the business world with a large advantage. Luc Burgelman does a great job of identifying the three hurdles that he believes are holding businesses back from reaping the most benefit from their Big Data, in his article.

The first hurdle Burgelman refers to is the ability to evolve. He brings up a great point, companies are looking for different things than they were just two years ago. They need to take technology further than before to accomplish what they need as a final result. Also, companies need to be able to engage different/more departments in the analytical process. It is no longer just about the IT team. Other departments have valuable assets to add to the equation of data anaylsis, and we have to be open to sharing the data across the departments and company, taking a more well-rounded approach to tackling large analytical processes. Which leads smoothly into Burgelman’s second point…

Not only is it important to be involving more of the company’s departments, but we need to make sure that the C-level Executives are equally “on-board.” Let’s face it, without their their final “blessing,” no data technology plan will hit the ground running and be successful. Executives need to be equally passionate about the technology and understand the great benefit and ROI of the analytics behind the data.

The third hurdle that Burgelman talks about is changing the mindset of not only the C-level executives but of all who work directly with the data such as the data users and data scientists. Big Data and the technology behind it is a game changer and offers greater benefits to customers, which returns in greater customer loyalty and greater sale margins. Companies need to be able to change and progress with the latest technologies and analysis software to be able to change the way people and businesses make their decisions and interact with their data. So what do you think, are these hurdles something that we can get over and allow businesses to run faster.

Want to read the full article? Click Here.

27 Opinions and the Future of Excel 

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 “Excel is one of those applications that the business world cannot live without.”

So says one of 27 Excel experts commenting on Microsoft’s Power BI Suite and its effect on the great wide world of spreadsheet users.

As Excel lovers, we couldn’t agree more!

There’s a wealth of wisdom in the observations made by these 27 pros. Along with the main topic of what’s new in Power BI Suite, there’s excellent insight on the use of Excel and BI generally. (For a good post about what one expert calls a “running joke in BI communities—‘What is the most used feature in any business intelligence solution?’”, see But, Does It Export to Excel?, from PARIS Technologies.)

About what’s new with Power BI Suite, the experts agree that it delivers significantly powerful new capabilities: from connecting to enterprise data (Power Query) to aggregating differently sourced data (Power Pivot) to creating exciting visualizations (Power View and Power Map—watch out, “Visual Analytics” products!), this suite of tools signifies a whole new era of “self-service BI” for Excel users.

Smart guys and gals that they are, the experts point up some caveats. How will these new capabilities affect a company’s “B.I. workflow[s]”? And, mightn’t Power BI, by empowering Excel user(s), propagate more—and more complex—silos of data among disconnected groups of users? Will IT lose total control, if users feel it’s their Excel-given birthright to reach back to underlying data sets for BI solutions?  And as to collaborative work—will SharePoint be the answer, finally?

All the caveats and concerns are certainly worth considering … That said, from our standpoint: we begin with the premise that user-empowering technologies—Excel or otherwise—are a good thing! As for the caveats, won’t someone please invent a technology that addresses concerns about security and collaboration? And one that provides for other application needs, like planning, budgeting and forecasting?  Because that’s what people do in Excel! And while they’re at it, a solution that is inclusive of other non-Excel users?  (Hmmm, maybe someone has – see here for a description of PARIS’s Olation).

“The future looks very bright for Excel and BI,” says another expert.  Here’s to a future that’s bright for all BI users—and no caveats required!

Read the original article, from InvestInTech.com here: 27 Microsoft Excel Experts Predict the Future of Excel in Business Intelligence

 

 

The Problem and Solution in the BI Market

A recent post on the PARIS Tech Blog, The Problem in the BI Market, highlights a few key facts/issues in the BI market.  Some of these include disconnected applications, disconnected IT and front-end users, and slow processing times.

Most interesting is the emphasis on connectivity between applications becoming important in the BI market.  Presently, most firms struggle to move data collected in one system into another for reporting or delivering to upper management. PARIS suggests that software products will begin to prioritize more and more the ability to collaborate across platforms—sharing data smoothly from one place to another.

The PARIS Tech post discusses IT and end-users being able to use their preferred applications and a shared data set, which leads to the next interesting bit, their emphasis on collaboration and productivity.  The software products that will succeed in the future BI market will be those that allow people to easily collaborate because their applications will be connected.  They will also automate manual processes and calculations that are performed in Excel today.

Improved collaboration and productivity influence peoples’ lives for the better and makes them enjoy their work more, while they also drive the business towards profitability.

Read the full post on the PARIS Tech blog

Read about using your preferred application and a shared data set with Olation.

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Advice for CFOs: Invest in New Technology

Top Technology Trends for Today’s CFO’s” is another insightful post from a blogger we frequently feature, Timo Elliott. In it he admits that the CFO relationship with the CEO and other business executives leaves something to be desired.  He recommends that CFOs invest in the latest technology, which will increase productivity with real-time updates and continuous forecasting.

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{Image from Timo’s post, link to http://timoelliott.com/blog/2015/07/top-technology-trends-for-todays-cfos.html}

Elliott mentions a combination of new technology including: in-memory computing, big data, the cloud, and mobile.

He homes in on a key point—that finance staff at large companies are extremely bogged down with just the basics of maintaining their financial reports. As Elliott puts it, “Staff have to spend too much time on basic duties and have no time to improve their understanding of the operational measures that drive and impact financial measures.” This lack of insight or understanding of how the operational measures drive and impact financial measures is the root of the relationship problem between CFOs and other business executives.

Elliott suggests new in-memory computing technology because, “they reduce complexity by combining real-time actuals with budgeting and analysis in a single, integrated system. Financial data is stored just once, making almost every aspect of financial operations faster, simpler, cheaper, and more effective.” We couldn’t agree more, as developers of a new in-memory technology ourselves.

The result of improved systems, improved speed, and better data is ultimately a better working relationship between business executives, and a more productive, effective workplace.

Read Timo Elliott’s post here

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Business Intelligence Evolves to Serve Users

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Business data and BI software are currently beginning a new phase of evolution. In this new phase, users of business data will be able to collaborate and connect with other colleagues and team members without multiple spreadsheets and laborious processes.

The BI user experiences of past decades are being re-thought and fast collaboration and crossover functionality are the way of the future.  Southard Jones, in the May 9th Venture Beat article Blurred lines: Reimagining the user experience for business intelligence, details how companies are developing new ways of delivering business data and what companies will be looking for in the future.

The article is of interest because it discusses that the business intelligence space needs to evolve to meet the needs of modern businesses.  Currently, there is little crossover functionality between products, and products are rigidly aligned to arbitrary user “roles” like information consumers vs. producers. But, people are not rigidly defined in their roles; they need to be able to answer questions quickly, using their business data. “Blurring” the line between consumers and producers of information is one example of how business intelligence products need to evolve, because blurring that line will make everyone more productive.

Crossover functionality is another topic this article broaches. To quote Jones, “Ensuring success with BI and analytics also means recognizing that different people prefer different tools.”  We whole heartedly agree! People in business should be able to access relevant, informative data quickly, and from whichever tool seems appropriate to them.

His article feels very validating because at least someone in the BI industry sees the status quo is no way to continue.  Jones also writes, “The modern business landscape demands a new approach to the user experience. […] And one that allows interoperability between different products. Our work styles have evolved. BI and analytics should do the same.”

One such software, developed by PARIS Technologies, is taking on this new, modern business crossover and collaboration and use of multiple products with their newest product Olation®. With this kind of technology, companies can eliminate inaccurate data and time-consuming processes that stem from data located in various applications, spreadsheets and databases.  With Olation, data is centralized in a non-proprietary database and access to that information is permitted simultaneously by multiple users in their different applications.  It’s is a game-changer, especially if you’ve been struggling with a typical or limited BI tool. With everyone in the business working from the same source data set, and Olation’s calculation engine doing the formula and calculation work, there is little manual spreadsheet work to be done. Which means analysts can actually answer questions quickly and spend time getting to the meat of data discovery.

Learn More About Olation

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