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Using PerformancePoint 2010 Dashboard Designer Series, Bottom Axis, Background and Pie Charts


Author: Greg Beaumont

A common objection to PerformancePoint 2007 Dashboard Designer was often the lack of a pie chart visualization option in reports.  When looking for a method to visually display percentages of the whole, I have always been partial to 100% stacked bar charts since they provide sight lines for category proportion comparison.  However, pie charts are a tried and true visualization method that many folks are comfortable using.

In PerformancePoint 2010 Dashboard Designer, you can have your pie and slice it too.

In this article, the second installment in a series spotlighting some of the upgrades that can be found in PerformancePoint 2010 Dashboard Designer, I will use the new pie charts to walk you through the use of the Series, Bottom Axis, and Background dimension and value placements for analytic chart building.

(Follow along after the jump)

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New Sort and Filter Features in PerformancePoint 2010 Dashboard Designer


Author: Greg Beaumont

Ever feel limited by PerformancePoint 2007 Dashboard Designer?  There are several new features in PerformancePoint 2010 Dashboard Designer that add rich and useful capabilities for the customization of SharePoint 2010 dashboards.  In fact, there are far too many improvements to adequately address in a single article.  This article will be the first installment in a series of articles spotlighting some of the specific improvements that can be found in PerformancePoint 2010 Dashboard Designer.

In the 2007 Dashboard Designer, sorting and filtering of grids and charts is optimally performed in the underlying data sources.  More often than not, that means modifying the underlying cubes in Analysis Services.  Fortunately, the 2010 Dashboard Designer brings a WYSIWYG solution to the rescue.

(More after the jump….)

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Forecast? Cloudy.



I attended the Windows Azure Platform University event yesterday in Dallas, and I have to say, that as a partner who is aggressively getting into the cloud with our customers, this was a really great event.

I’m not giving away any secrets here but Microsoft is committed to the cloud. If you didn’t already know from the “We’re all in” campaign or the words “Cloud’” and “Azure” coming from anyone in the Microsoft realm, Microsoft is EXTREMELY committed to the cloud.  The commitment and investment that Microsoft is making is something to note, this isn’t a “dip the toe in”, this is “we’re all in”.

The best metaphor that was shared at the event would be cameras and photography.  For the longest time, it was buy a camera and buy rolls of film and then taking it to a photo shop for development or having your own development studio to get the pictures you wanted.  Kind of like enterprise solutions…the camera would be your infrastructure, the film would be software and the development of pictures was an organization’s internal IT team (red light dev room) or a solution provider/consultancy (Walgreen’s photo developers).  

Now, think of today’s cameras and photography.  It isn’t just cameras, film and the developer.  Camera types, camera sizes, printers, memory sticks, social media, storage, editing, the lis goes on for ways that people can have an affordable and quality way to take and share pictures.  Taking the same metaphor to the enterprise solutions realm, it can get fairly expensive and exhausting to build and maintain today’s solutions on-premise…enter the cloud. 

With the ease of use that Azure and Office 365 provide, Microsoft is showing that companies can stay true to “point and click” without burning budgets, time and energy on trying to get the processes and resources set up.  As Microsoft continues to invest in the cloud and beef up their capabilities, things will only get better for our solutions and our customers. 

Want to learn more about the cloud?  Join GNet Group as we take our customers into the cloud with us and ask us how we can help you achieve your goals!

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Minnesota’s Health Care Quality Measures are Prime for Business Intelligence Tools


Author: Greg Beaumont

The State of Minnesota has long been a healthcare industry leader for total quality of care.  United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings ranks Minnesota as the best State in the Union for a combined score of “All Outcomes.”

In November of 2010, The Minnesota Department of Health released a Statewide Quality Report for Health Care Quality Measures.  About 520 Minnesota clinics reported data for analysis via these measures.  The reports can be viewed at this link.

The Health Care Quality Measures provide scores for the treatment quality of conditions such as diabetes, vascular disease, and cancer screening.  These scores can be viewed for individual clinics, and for the State.  Basically, a report is available that is a static scorecard to benchmark Minnesota’s clinics in comparison to one another.

These reports are monumental leaps forward in the transparency of healthcare quality reporting.  Yet, they cannot answer certain fundamental questions that are subsequently raised by the measures.  For example, why does a certain clinic do well with diabetes treatment?

The logical next step for agencies that collect data for these reporting purposes, or for constituent clinics looking to monitor their own Health Care Quality Measures scores, is to add the drill-down analysis capabilities of Business Intelligence (BI) tools.  With BI tools, the ability to drill-down into these measures with slice-and-dice capabilities would be actualized.

Imagine having the ability to separate out how an individual clinic scores for diabetes care by age group, gender, insurance provider, zip code, and many more categories.  With BI tools, such analysis would be available with the click of a mouse on a reporting dashboard.  Without having to order or generate custom reports, the specific patient populations that contribute to a score can be isolated and analyzed.

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Health Care Quality Measures are a giant leap forward in healthcare performance monitoring.  The next step is to enable analysis of the root causes of those reported scores.  As mentioned in my previous blog post submission, Barack Obama’s Healthcare IT Coordinator has already requested for that next step to be taken.  The tools for that next step already exist, and it is only a matter of time before healthcare organizations and reporting agencies put the next foot forward.

GNet Group has created just such a BI-based tool with their Healthcare Intelligence Framework (HIF).  The HIF is designed to integrate healthcare data using Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) and SharePoint dashboards.  In addition to BI tools for drill-down and slice-and-dice analysis capabilities, GNet’s HIF also adds statistical analysis capabilities with tools commonly used for Six Sigma, Lean, and predictive analytics.

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GNet Group’s HIF Solution achieves Blumenthal’s ideas for meaningful use


We ran into a post on Fierce Health IT, that highlighted Dr. David Blumenthal’s speech at the HIT Policy Committee meeting.  During that speech, Blumenthal, the national healthcare IT coordinator, mentioned enabling and calling out users that are able to demonstrate significant outcomes versus “vanilla meaningful users”.

Speaking at this month’s meeting of the HIT Policy Committee, an HHS advisory panel, Blumenthal mused about distinguishing between “vanilla meaningful users” and others that might be able to demonstrate significantly better-than-average outcomes, healthsystemCIO.com reports. According to Blumenthal, some in the latter group “might say, ‘If I’ve accomplished performance outcomes which are three standard deviations better than other institutions, related to 10 outcomes criteria using health information technology, maybe I should be exempt from the task of checking boxes, because I’m there; I’ve risen above the criteria you put in the regulation.”

There were a few committee members that expressed concerns that such an approach to monitoring would be a huge chore, and the process would be time consuming and almost impossible to manage the data. 

Fear not! GNet Group’s Health Intelligence Framework (HIF) is an acceleration framework that intuitively joins data that already exists in most electronic medical record, billing & coding, financial management, and operations applications.  Business Intelligence tools applied to Six Sigma Management Strategy Statistics, Predictive Analytics, Performance Measure tracking, and advanced demographic analysis capabilities provide intelligent insights into Healthcare data.

Post Credit to GNet Group Consultant: Greg Beaumont

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