Dashboards for Healthcare

In today’s Business Intelligence marketplace, modern, flexible, and powerful dashboards are enabling Healthcare organizations to understand their company data better for stronger decision-making.

Dashboards are the number one BI technology, according to Software Advice, a comparison site for Business Intelligence (BI) tools. Their research zoomed in on software for CFOs, and the results confirmed that dashboards, scorecards, and performance management software are king for today’s financial executives.  If you are part of the management team for a healthcare company, you know the pace of business today is nothing short of fast.  Dashboards provide quickly accessible, easily digestible analytics.  Data visualizations are graphs, charts, and scorecards that showcase data trends, opportunities, and challenges with key performance indicators (KPIs) for departments, projects, and/or the entire corporation.

Similar to the dashboard in your car, you can quickly make important choices and adjustments by glancing at your transactional and operational data trajectories in a BI dashboard.  The primary difference between a BI dashboard and one you can find in a vehicle is simple: BI data visualizations invite interaction and adjustment for deeper analyses and interpretation.  Additionally, BI dashboards are equipped with drill-down and drill-to capabilities, so your team can make informed decisions about the future of your healthcare company’s future.  Okay, you get it: dashboards are popular for the business world because of their accessible, powerful data analytics.  In this article, I’ll discuss what you need to know about dashboards for healthcare organizations.

Data source integrations is a great place to start.  Today’s data visualizations can pull company information from multiple sources.  You can generate real-time analyses by pulling data from your accounting system, patient record systems, or other data sources.  Integrating live for dashboards is the preferable method for individuals who depend on up-to-the-minute data and smaller companies that really only require simple enterprise resource planning (ERP) system data visualizations, with the means to manage BI databases, like a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube.  On the other hand, bigger corporations usually need the stability and higher performance that a BI data store can offer for analytics.

Deciding to pull data from an OLAP cube or a data warehouse empowers larger organizations to generate dashboards without making the data source system server due to substantial and/or simultaneous data queries.  A BI data store is an additional investment, and you will also have to replicate your data from the data warehouse or the cube, but you won’t slow your server down when you query your data.  Furthermore, some data visualization tools offer the user the option to integrate live from your data sources in more urgent scenarios, requiring real-time information like line of service revenue data analyses, and pulling data from a BI data store for more routine data visualizations, like patient satisfaction and quality of care.  Flexibility like this is tremendously valuable today, and it doesn’t have to be too expensive.  There’s a lot to evaluate when looking for the best software for your team.

In terms of software platform, you have options, whether that is Excel, on the Web, and/or a proprietary interface.  Microsoft Excel has been globally popular for finance departments a long time now, but there are proprietary platforms also making their mark on the marketplace – and the Web is the newest on the scene, but rapidly increasing in popularity.  Additionally, some data sources offer data visualization functionality, although they are typically limited in their abilities, mainly due to data visualizations not being the software’s primary purpose.  Today, the best dashboard tools for most organizations will be on the Web, with browser-based design and accessibility from wherever you can connect to the internet.  The Web has proven to be a powerful and popular BI technology platform.

Browser-based tools are undeniably valuable these days due to the accessibility and flexibility that a Web platform can be for the business world, healthcare or not.  If your teams oversees multiple clinics and/or medical centers, includes healthcare road warriors, and/or with an executive team wanting a web interface, several independent software vendors (ISVs) are producing Web-based dashboard tools, hosted on-premises or in the Cloud, crafted with the same KPIs, layout choices, and drill-down abilities.  Mobile dashboard applications are an extension of this flexibility, meaning data analyses from anywhere you take your mobile device.  Mobile dashboards are only able to focus on one KPI at a time right now, due to the screen size.  But there are solutions that offer the ultimate flexibility of Excel, web, and mobile data visualizations.

Some software provides the flexibility of multiple access points for dashboards.  Moreover, there are dashboard tools that are part of a comprehensive BI suite, completely and securely integrated with financial reporting, budgeting, and/or a data warehouse, sometimes even discounted when bought in a bundle with other tools.  This also means that you can work with just one vendor or partner team of sales, consulting, and support professionals for your BI tools.  Dashboards can have a great effect on your healthcare organization’s future, enriching decision-making with historical, actual figures and data trends.

There are plenty of ways that data visualizations can help to ensure a more successful future for healthcare companies, but let’s talk about a couple of examples.  You can perform claims and payer analyses, in addition to service and facility planning, departmental revenue data visualizations, in addition to regular accounting analytics like highlighting account position, debts, cash flow, and cash on hand dashboards.  Data visualizations can easily and quickly invite professionals across your organization and at any level into analysis of data for corporate performance management and planning, naturally doling out ownership to your staff, so they’re involved in the improvement of your organization for a successful future.

If you are a member of a management team for a healthcare company, data visualizations can help you continue to compete in your market because of business user friendly analytics.  You should make sure to analyze what it is that your team specifically needs in comparison with modern dashboard product offerings, so that you are making a sound investment.  The right tool should be easy to use, so you can manage the product yourself, instead of involving IT.  Solver offers an Excel and web-based dashboards module stand-alone and as part of the comprehensive suite of BI modules and would be happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use data visualization solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities for healthcare organizational management.

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