Philadelphia Healthcare is a non-profit organisation in the Netherlands that supports over 9,000 clients with various disabilities across 500 locations. Around 8,000 employees and 6,000 volunteers – aided by more than 16,000 parents and family friends – work hard to give clients independence and the best possible quality of care.
Healthcare everywhere is under threat from a skills shortage and rising costs, which means organisations like Philadelphia must be smart in how they maximise resources. Jasper Drenth, Manager of Data Delivery & Analytics, recognised the part that better BI can play in keeping services affordable with fewer people. “With better use of data and technology, we believed it would be financially possible to still do the same or better,” he said. “In the analytics department, we want to be an enabler for the rest of the organisation to do that.”
An obstacle to this strategy was siloed reporting systems that stored many versions of the truth. Different departments were getting different answers to the same questions. To help them on the journey to a single source of truth, a broad range of BI tools was evaluated, including Qlik, Tableau, and Power BI.
The Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform was chosen, according to Drenth, because Pyramid’s people did a better job of mapping its solution to the challenges of the organisation. “I appreciate Pyramid’s partnership approach and the excellent customer support,” he said. “I doubt I would have got the same level of direct contact with other vendors.”
Making the same data available to everyone was one part of a transition made possible by Pyramid; the other was intuitive dashboards that carers, not just data experts, could use. The goal was to democratise data and make it useful to as many people as possible in the organisation. A measure of success is that Pyramid has grown from 300 end users to over 6,000.
What started as a BI tool for Finance, Planning and the Board has quickly grown. Each care team now has access to their own dashboards, where they can explore simple-to-digest visual information and less static reports. Crucially, they can access them directly, rather than have to wait for monthly reports.
Armed with a new Decision Intelligence tool, one goal was to drive best practices and consistency across a country-wide organisation. A user-friendly, highly visualised dashboard was developed that shows Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to managers who are often responsible for more than one care location. The goal was to provide them with the right information at the right time and help identify problems areas.
“With improved dashboards that are more intuitive and KPI driven, they can clearly see which locations need attention and if there are actions they need to take,” explained Maaike van den Berg, Business Intelligence Analyst. “In this way, we helped create joint responsibility for all the locations within a region. And as managers started to see each other’s data it helped create best practice.”
One example was helping move care locations from less transparent cash transactions to online banking. This was achieved with Pyramid data that showed outliers, regular users of cash machines. “The finance teamed used the results to stimulate online banking at locations which had a relatively high number of ATM transactions,” explained van den Berg.
Pyramid has accelerated the use of analytics insights across Philadelphia Healthcare and changed the role it plays inside the organisation. “We have shifted from descriptive to diagnostic analysis,” said Janneker Richter, Business Intelligence Analyst. “In the beginning, Pyramid dashboards and reporting were mostly used for management information. Now, with the need for increasingly complex information, we’re expanding our services.”
The analytics team has focused on achieving greater data governance throughout the organisation while at the same time leveraging Pyramid’s visualisation engine to make the dashboards as user-friendly as possible. “By expanding our own expertise with Pyramid, we are acting as a catalyst for the entire organisation to pursue data-driven decision making,” she said.
Richter described Pyramid as a one-stop-shop for every data question, facilitating interaction between the analytical world and the actual operational world. For Jasper Drenth, it provides the key to unlocking insights that will enable Philadelphia to do more with less. The data-driven use of innovative care technologies – sensors and even robots – will be a way to cope with the growing demands of healthcare and the prospect of diminishing resources.
And it’s only the start of a journey. Philadelphia is now on a path toward predictive analytics and machine learning. “Next year we will be focusing on RPA [Robotic Process Automation] and start using chatbots as an interface that connects backend systems with Pyramid Analytics,” he said. “Going forward, I want our BI and analytic teams to think about how we can connect machine learning into intelligent automation.”
By expanding our own expertise with Pyramid, we are acting as a catalyst for the entire organisation to pursue data-driven decision making.