Power BI for Office 365

Power BI for Office 365

Here is a quick update from an announcement made at the Microsoft WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference). Power BI for Office 365 is a self-service business intelligence (BI) solution delivered through Excel and Office 365. Power BI users have data analysis and visualization capabilities to identify business insights from their on-premises and cloud data. One of the most exciting new features of Power BI is Q&A, a natural language based experience for interacting with data. Microsoft still has not really made clear exactly what Power BI is, e.g. is it a new product, a re-branding, a new service? From what I can tell it looks like a little bit of rebranding of Power Pivot with some new features thrown in. Hopefully soon Microsoft will provide more details on exactly what this is, what are the costs, how is it configured and all those other fun questions. In the meantime, a little more about the Q&A feature. Q&A builds upon allows the use of natural language to find, understand, and report on your data. Here are a few examples: ?Show London clients? Power BI - Show London Accounts In this example, an Excel workbook with data about customers and their locations has been saved to Office 365. Q&A is interpreting the search query and displaying corresponding information from the workbook to create a list of customers that are based in London. ?Show number of products? Power BI Show Product Counts Similarly, ?show number of products? is being interpreted to count the number of products found in the data source. ?Number of songs per year? Power BI Show Songs per Year Further, Q&A automatically chooses a suitable visualization based on what is requested. ?Total number of employees for finance, HR, marketing in Europe by employee country? Power Bi - Show Total Employees by Country In this example, Q&A automatically chose to display three maps, one for each division. It opted to display maps because the country column is marked as a geography data column. ?Show our sales pipeline with opportunity size greater than $20,000? v So what will you need to get Power BI Q&A to work with your organization?s dataset? An Excel spreadsheet with a Power Pivot model saved to a Power BI site in Office 365. So, if you are using Excel and Power Pivot today, you are on the right track to use Q&A over your own data once it is available. Microsoft will be posting more about the features included in Power BI so stay tuned here for more updates. In the meantime head over to http://www.powerbi.com and check out more details.

Why Is Quality Data Key To Today?s Medical Device Industry Trends?

Why Is Quality Data Key To Today’s Medical Device Industry Trends?
quality-hospital-analytics | Photo Courtesy of johnfranciesim http://www.flickr.com/photos/81168466@N07/8230679458/sizes/q/

Medtronic always has been at the forefront of medical device industry trends. In a recent interview on MassDevice.com, Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak explains the need that a lot of life sciences companies have to prove the overall economic value of their technologies.

One of today’s most challenging medical device industry trends is that medical device innovation must demonstrate economic value. In fact, lowering costs is now mandated with the recent health care law changes. “Economic value, in simple terms, is projecting our value proposition in financial terms for our customers, not only the clinical benefits, but the financial benefits,” Ishrak says. This kind of thinking, he adds, is transforming Medtronic’s strategic priorities for the coming years.

But health care’s very nature makes it difficult for companies to present medical devices not as a cost, but as an investment. “The cost of healthcare is incurred during a procedure,” Ishrak notes, but “the benefit of that investment, if you like, is realized at later time and potentially in a different place.” In this context, it’s difficult for any medical device company to follow a patient’s outcome and the health care costs after a procedure has been done.

Medtronic and other companies can begin making the case for investment by partnering with hospitals and running pilot projects to focus on areas that reduce health care costs. The goal is to produce quality data that proves their technologies can reduce overall patient costs.

A CRM solution can help companies like Medtronic by providing ways to monitor these pilot programs and hospitals. Greater visibility through real-time analytics is the key to identifying areas where costs need to be reduced and where cost reduction has been achieved. They then can use that data to put together more qualitative analytics and even a case study to prove the overall effectiveness.

“Once those pilots are successful, we intend to scale them across those systems and eventually do even broader market expansion,” Ishrak tells MassDevice.com. Going forward, Medtronic will assess economic value before spending money on products, he adds, a new approach that will require changing “the mindset and the thinking and the culture in the company.”

Source: MassDevice.com, January 2013

Do Medical Device Technology Firms Need Supply Chain Transparency?

Medical Device Technology Firms Need Supply Chain Transparency.

improving-business-transparency | Photo Courtesy of Alex Segre http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexsegre/2863323135/sizes/q/In any company or industry, managing the supply chain and its product-related information is important to business success. For life sciences organizations, supply chain and risk management are especially crucial due to the industry?s intensifying cost, price and regulatory pressures.Medical device technology companies stand to gain significant benefits by creating end-to-end?supply chain visibility?such as cost savings and faster growth, according to an article on the Supply & Demand Chain Executive website.

But what exactly is ?medical supply chain visibility??

As a supply chain creates products, it simultaneously generates enormous amounts of information ? about materials and products, plus vendors and customers. At every turn, there?s also transaction information, including purchase orders and manufacturing orders, invoices and delivery notes. How should companies manage all of this complex data? What regulations must they meet along the way?

Organizations need an end-to-end solution to manage the entire supply chain and risk management process, including suppliers, relationship trends, governance and compliance. Achieving effective medical supply chain visibility starts with assessing a company?s current supply chain and pinpointing steps needed to help achieve full visibility. Then, companies can move on to implementation, improving the transparency in organizations and people, processes, data and technology.

This solution also must be able to integrate seamlessly with other data systems, take advantage of robust workflow capabilities and provide deep business intelligence that can improve operational efficiency.?It?s important to integrate a number of product?data management systems, including a procedural process that ensures timely, accurate and consistent data classification.

This end-to-end solution offers potential benefits to medical device technology companies, the Supply & Demand Chain Executive article explains. Perhaps most significant to the safety-critical medical device industry, supply chain visibility also can help enhance patient safety and reduce regulatory compliance risks, thanks to comprehensive tracking and record-keeping.

Source:?Supply & Demand Chain Executive, January 2013