Interest grows as early adopters deploy dashboards

OREM, UT – With tight operating margins, shrinking reimbursement rates and competition from other facilities, hospitals and large physician groups must constantly improve their operations. Early adopters are looking to dashboards to accomplish that task.

“Dashboards are an analysis and communication tool for improved hospital performance and for strategic business decisions,” said Adam Gale, COO of KLAS Enterprises. The benefit of dashboards is that they provide a real-time view of the hospital or large physician group versus a retrospective view, which gives executives the ability to make more timely business decisions.

While dashboards often are viewed as a financial tool, Shadan Malik, founder and CEO of iDashboards and the author of Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT (Wiley, 2005), said there are multiple clinical and operational benefits. Healthcare organizations can use them as a tool to improve management, monitor feedback from patients, compare doctor performance and help perform peer evaluations.

Early adopters are finding value in being able to monitor operational metrics such as average length of stay and view the efficiency of various departments such as the ER and pediatrics. Executives can also develop a billing scorecard system from dashboards to see billings from doctors, delinquent payers and payer reimbursement percentages compared to an overall average.

Many organizations look to their electronic medical record (EMR) system to provide information other than clinical, but Malik pointed out that the key difference between EMRs and dashboards is the ability to see information from one system and not from multiple databases from multiple systems.

A 2006 Datamonitor survey on electronic health record (EHR) adoption and trends found strong support among C-level hospital executives for business intelligence analytics. Organizations are finding that they need more than the basic information found in EHRs.

Although they are an emerging market in the healthcare industry, “dashboards are becoming an increasingly important tool,” said Markella Kordoyanni, an analyst in pharmaceuticals and healthcare technology for Datamonitor.

ERP products with built-in dashboard capabilities

Lawson Software

Product requirements: Lawson System Foundation, Lawson applications.

Key attributes or differentiators: Lawson Business Intelligence is a suite that provides organization-wide reporting and analysis via role-based dashboards, helping to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Cross-functional data, both structured and unstructured from Lawson as well as other operational systems, comes together to provide sharply focused views comprising financials, customers, internal processes and human capital. Users can navigate smoothly from alerts to interactive analysis down to detailed reports and even to the transactions with Lawson Drill Around, all the while maintaining the context that is critical to root cause analysis. Reviews of the product: Contact Lawson.

SAP for Healthcare

Product requirements: SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence can be deployed with any kind of business and clinical application. Using SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence together with mySAP ERP lets healthcare organizations benefit in full range from the comprehensive business content SAP delivers – comprising both, healthcare specific and cross-industry content.

Key attributes or differentiators: SAP for Healthcare helps healthcare organizations implement effective strategies towards greater competitiveness through: access to hospital-wide and clinical information for more informed decision-making; identification and replication of best practices; management alerts for quick course-correction; drill-down capabilities to effectively resolve issues; simulations for increased planning reliability; enabling benchmarking against healthcare industry standards and internal goals to identify and prioritize action fields.

Reviews of the product: An October 2006 Gartner report titled, “BI Applications Benefit from In-Memory Technology Improvements,” predicted that 70 percent of Global 1,000 organizations will “load detailed data into memory as the primary method to optimize BI application performance,” by 2012. Customers from key industries including consumer products, manufacturing, oil and gas, financial services, public services and life sciences – such as Brown-Forman, BP, Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces), Deutsche Bank, Kimberly-Clark, MassMutual Financial Group, Novartis and Synthes – are gaining measurable business value from SAP NetWeaver BI. Market Share: In September 2006, Gartner issued a report titled “Market Share Business Intelligence Platforms, Worldwide, 2005,” indicating that the overall BI platform market had grown by 15.5 percent to almost $4 billion (license revenue) by 2005 and forecasting continued market growth to $6.3 billion in 2010. Additionally, “embedded BI” – which includes vendors that deliver BI solutions within a larger set of offerings – grew the fastest at 53.5 percent. According to the report, SAP grew market its BI market share in 2005 by 130.9 percent.

Business intelligence applications with dashboard capabilities

Business Objects

Product requirements: BusinessObjects XI.

Key attributes or differentiators: Everyone needs information to enable them to align with shared organizational goals. Dashboard Manager provides the relevant metrics, alerts and monitoring tools brought together in an easy-to-navigate environment. It is fully integrated with the BusinessObjects XI business intelligence platform, delivering easy to maintain security, deployment and management for all dashboard requirements.


Product requirements: Cognos prides itself on providing solutions that are both data and IT environment agnostic and is committed to supporting the latest technologies being used by their customers.

Key attributes or differentiators: With Cognos, healthcare organizations benefit from the only one-stop solution that can answer the fundamental business questions of performance management: How are we doing, why and what should we be doing? Specific to dashboards, customers do not require a separate application to build or use dashboard reports, saving additional cost, administration time and training.

Reviews of the product: Some awards our products in particular, have won include: Silver award in’s 2006 Product of the Year (January 07); Cognos 8 BI wins eWEEK Excellence Award in Analytics and Reporting (May 2006); Cognos 8 Business Intelligence Named Best in BI Category in “Product Of The Year” Awards (January 2006); Cognos Wins “Best of Information On Demand Showcase” As Part of IBM Information Management Awards (September 2006); Cognos Named Editors’ Choice for Performance Management by Intelligent Enterprise (March 2005).

Misys Healthcare Systems

Product requirements:
Platform Requirements: Windows 95, 98, 2000, and XP; Pentium 133 or higher; 32 MB RAM (minimum); 60 MB hard disk space.
Browser Requirements: Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, 15 MB hard disk space.
Supported Data Sources: Multidimensional PowerPlay PowerCubes as well as third-party OLAP cubes; All major RDBMS and ODBC; Flat files; Excel files.

Key attributes or differentiators: Easier to use; better data access brings together diverse data from various sources; superior functionality for practice performance measurement and management; instant high-impact visuals let users bring data to life; better interactivity than the competition with multiple 2D and 3D chart types, color-coded drillable maps, animated reports and more.



Product requirements: SAS software is data agnostic and platform neutral, and works with a host of databases and operating systems.  SAS leverages existing investments in data and IT to deliver intelligence and predictive insights from huge amounts of raw financial, operational and other data.

Key attributes or differentiators: SAS offers: an end-to-end enterprise intelligence platform, including data integration, business intelligence and analytics; dashboarding and alerts; strategy planning and modeling; predictive scorecarding; cost and profitability management; integrated budgeting, planning and reporting; campaign management and customer analytics; workforce analytics.

Reviews: “Technology Audit, SAS for Performance Management,” Butler Group, January 2007.


Niche dashboard products


ActiveStrategy, Inc.

Product requirements: ActiveStrategy software is Web-based, so it can be implemented completely online with no client-side installation requirements.
Key attributes or differentiators: Automates strategic dashboards and Balanced Scorecard management frameworks; creates dynamic linkages between high-level outcomes and their causal drivers throughout the organization; helps executives, managers, and staff make better business decisions; 100 percent Web-based; scales from 10 to 1,000s of users; automated e-mail alerts ensure action to keep data current.
Reviews: Certified by the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative – November 2006. “We were able to implement ActiveStrategy very quickly. Because the software is intuitive, we have been able to get people using it rapidly, letting us begin to realize the value of greater alignment.” SVP, Kaiser Permanente, December 2005. “ActiveStrategy was selected because they demonstrated a superior product combined with a comprehensive knowledge of the industry issues and its challenges. The combination of those two capabilities made them a logical partner for us.” SVP/CMO, TriHealth.

CareMedic Systems, Inc.

Product requirements: Internally – the customer needs to have the standard patient accounting system, detailing eligibility and medical necessity. Performance dashboards are available with CareMedic’s AccelerateAR MedicareRT.
Key attributes or differentiators: Fully integrated revenue cycle performance management dashboard; comprehensive, Web-based dashboard, integrated with AccelerateAR MedicareRT solution, provides users clear, crisp, accurate measurements of performance and profitability; delivers personalized views, customizable alerts, dynamic drill-down, trending and data analysis; gathers and analyzes data from the MedicareRT system and creates key performance indicators (KPIs); includes analytical tools and data aggregation methods.
Reviews of the product: “With the new performance dashboard, we can quickly and efficiently monitor key performance indicators within our revenue cycle to minimize reporting, data reconciliation and validation-which results in immediate enhancement of cash collections. We are extremely pleased and excited to have this advanced management tool at our fingertips.” Debbie Messina, manager of patient accounts at The Stamford Hospital, Feb. 2007.


Product requirements: Please see In addition to the technical requirements, Cartesis strongly suggests that companies create a blueprint of key business requirements, such as speed of consolidation, audit and compliance controls and validation and automation, to ensure that the solution is providing what organizations need from both a technical and strategic point of view.
Key attributes or differentiators: Cartesis’ Integrated Data Model offers a single trusted source of real-time financial and operational management information used for a more complete view of the performance dashboard. Through a unique partnership with EDGAR Online, Cartesis customers can access competitive data and integrate internal and external performance metrics to benchmark against markets or competitors.  
Reviews: N/A


Product requirements: Client Side: Any Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Opera that has Adobe Flash Player plug-in version 7 or above.
Application Server: iDashboards is a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) Web Application, and must be deployed to a J2EE-compliant application server. The Apache Tomcat 5.5.15 (or above) application server is bundled with iDashboards; however, it can also be deployed to IBM WebSphere, BEA Weblogic, JBoss or a number of other J2EE application servers.
Repository Database: A relational database, such as Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 or MySQL.
External Data Sources: Any relational database for which ODBC or JDBC drivers are available can be used as an external data source for dashboards. In addition, iDashboards can draw data from database and data warehouse, spreadsheets, XML, MS Analysis Services, Web-services and other data sources. It can pull live metrics from diverse applications such as EHR, HIM, ERP, Supply Chain, CRM and Survey systems.
Key attributes or differentiators: Patented technology: unique synchronous chart highlighting; flash-based; smart-filtering with drill-down feature; personalized views; data retrieval from multiple databases; full support for J2EE-based application servers and all relational databases; enterprise-class architecture; full support for 3 major platforms (Windows, Unix, Linux); portlet with single sign-on to all standard portals.
Reviews: Computer Reseller News, Mario Morejon, TBD; Government Computer News, Carlos Soto, TBD


Product requirements: QlikView runs on Windows Operating System (O/S) on both personal computers (PC) and servers. Therefore, an organization only needs Windows-compatible computing resources to use QlikView. QlikView can be used to analyze any type of data, regardless of platform or source.
Key attributes or differentiators: QlikView’s next-generation patented in-memory technology makes sophisticated analysis dramatically easier for users. QlikView, with its click-driven, visually interactive interface, is deployed in a quarter of the time, at half the cost, and delivers twice the value compared with traditional business intelligence and OLAP solutions.