Tableau: Tell us a little about Piedmont—how large is the practice?
Mark Jackson, Business Intelligence Manager: Piedmont Healthcare is a five-hospital system. We have 400 employed medical staff members, and we have approximately 1,200 affiliate physicians with more than 100 physician practices across North Georgia.
Tableau: Wow, so you must handle a lot of data in your role there! Can you tell us more about that?
Mark: Well, I’ve been with the company now going on four years. I started out with the Heart Institute, which is a cardiovascular service line within the organization.
And we started to become a more data-driven organization. I mean, that’s kind of where the industry is going. You have to be able to respond rapidly to changes in the market, with all the changes that are coming in healthcare legislation. So it’s really a requirement for you to be able to adapt.
Tableau: Has Tableau helped you with that?
Mark: Well, I just needed a way to do my job quicker, faster, to be able to drive insight. And the first thing that I did with Tableau was to take what I was doing in Excel—a project with our catheterization (“cath”) and electrophysiology (EP) labs—and use Tableau to track the throughput for those labs.
I first started doing all this in Excel, which was taking me four hours a month—and could only be produced as information in aggregate, and always led to more questions and more work. Tableau really enabled me to fully automate that process. Now it runs itself.
Tableau: That’s great! So what happened next?
Mark: Well, as I continued to develop the work that I was doing, transitioning a lot of what I previously did in Excel to Tableau, I got recognized by corporate. And they said, "Okay, we're struggling with the same problems. We've got to be able to deliver this insight faster. We can't get the information to the decision-makers quick enough for us to be able to rapidly change in this environment."
They had these books that they would print out. They were monthly operating reports, and they were 133 pages long—and they produced one of those for every hospital. So by the time they reached the decision-makers’ hands, they were out of date. Using Tableau, we were essentially able to replace 2,400 pages with a single dashboard.