Power Business Intelligence: quick and easy data analyses

North Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Foundation Trust (North Tees and Hartlepool) thought they had an appropriate pharmacy analysis tool until they saw what they could do with Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (BI) for Office 365.

North Tees and Hartlepool maintained an ever-increasing amount of data in an on-premises EMIS Health clinical intelligence system. They had been using Crystal Reports software to analyse their pharmacy data, however they did not know the restrictions of this software.

EMIS Health proposed that North Tees and Hartlepool became a test site for a new, self-service, BI toolset to use with EMIS Health data.  EMIS Health’s Business Intelligence team specialise in providing effective intelligence solutions in healthcare, so were ideally placed to take up the task of creating the toolset for North Tees and Hartlepool.

A new BI toolset

The new toolset is part of Microsoft Office 365, called Microsoft Power BI. Power BI includes four key tools:

  • Power Query to find and access data
  • Power Pivot to create data models for analysis
  • Power View to produce highly visual reports
  • Power Map to integrate data with 3-D geospatial maps

Faster data analyses

To demonstrate the possibilities of Power BI, EMIS Health took an extract of the trusts data and imported it into a Power Pivot model. Using Power BI reduced the time needed to create the report by 80%.

The team then used Power Query to identify and incorporate other external data sets that related to the initial report.

View results with ease

Professor Philip Dean, Head of department of pharmacy at the trust says that the ability to link disparate data sets for an integrated analysis was “one of the ‘wow’ things” that impressed him most in his use of Power BI.

“Linking data for analyses was something we couldn’t do before ... With Power BI, it’s simple. Power BI makes the hard things easy. Everything becomes possible.”

Professor Philip Dean, head of department of pharmacy at Noth Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Foundation Trust

Improved usability

EMIS Health have also created an application enabling Power BI to be run from a tablet, making it possible to work with data without being at a desktop PC. The improved BI toolset made it possible for Professor Dean to collaborate with other hospitals to identify and share best practices at each institution.

The usability of this toolset makes it a powerful instrument to initiate change.

“When clinicians see at a glance who’s spending twice as much and getting half the results, that’s far more powerful than any dry table of figures.”

Professor Philip Dean, head of department of pharmacy at Noth Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Foundation Trust

Power BI is “a highly affordable solution” that allows improves both clinical outcomes and efficiency by providing a more in-depth data analysis to be created with ease.