Introducing a data-first culture
Using Tableau has made data much more visible across the organization. Ali comments, “There is no reason not to be aware of what’s happening in each region, sub-region or management group. Tableau allows us to explore where the bottlenecks are. When the data is in front of you, accountability is increased, which gives managers a platform to explain why performance has changed, whether it be in a positive or negative way.”
Ali has seen a shift in the way the organization makes decisions. “Data doesn’t always have the answers but it starts the conversation to discuss what can be done or identify whether there’s anything that needs to be done. Now, people are making decisions based on the data.”
For example, the management team may choose an ambulance station to test a new process, such as a change to the meal schedule for ambulance crews. Once the trial is complete, the Operational Intelligence team reviews the data and shares insights with the management team. Then they decide whether to implement the change across the state.
Now that the team can bring all of their data into one place, they can respond to ad-hoc requests faster than ever. The Operational Intelligence team pulls data from Microsoft SQL Server and Excel files into Tableau. Ali explains, “Since we started using Tableau, we can respond to three times more ad hoc requests in the same period of time it took us using our old systems.”
With Tableau, the team easily brings this data together to discover patterns and correlations that benefit the organization. For example, these correlations can forecast demand, ensuring the SA Ambulance Service is always prepared.
“One of the busiest times of the year for us is the flu season,” says Ali. “By looking over the data from the past five or six years, we have been able to pinpoint when the demand will spike, enabling us to put extra staff on duty and increase our fleet of ambulances. Tableau is helping us save lives in South Australia.”