Notes from Tableau Roadshow: Every Picture Tells a (Data) Story

May 14, 2013
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My colleagues and I had the opportunity to represent Attivio at the recent Tableau Roadshow as a partner vendor. Unlike some BI events I have experienced, line of business and IT managers alike in attendance were strongly focused on finding analytic solutions offering industry-specific benefits – notably healthcare – as opposed to being fixated on various technical aspects.

My colleagues and I had the opportunity to represent Attivio at the recent Tableau Roadshow as a partner vendor. Unlike some BI events I have experienced, line of business and IT managers alike in attendance were strongly focused on finding analytic solutions offering industry-specific benefits – notably healthcare – as opposed to being fixated on various technical aspects.

Attivio fit nicely with this business solutions focus by serving as an “Analyze Everything” platform, uniquely integrating insights from structured data (databases) as well as from text-based information sources. 

For example, while some vendors might have talked about their products in the abstract with a lot of “speeds and feeds” techno-speak, we demonstrated an actual healthcare data viz, developed by Attivio and Hitachi Consulting, that addresses a serious real-world problem: healthcare providers not getting paid for all services provided – an issue the attendees readily understood, even if they did not work within the healthcare industry.

One major cause of uncompensated care pertains to missing diagnosis codes, which determine what a healthcare provider is paid for, and how much. Our data viz demonstrated a solution to this issue, presenting existing diagnostic codes assigned by patient, plus missing diagnosis codes that should have also been assigned!

How is this possible?

The answer is that Attivio automatically integrates and JOINs together assigned patient diagnostic codes (from a database) together with such unstructured information sources as physician progress notes (free-flowing text) and more. This unified information is then made available for data viz tools with the same ease as accessing a simple database.

The end result: compelling visual evidence of all services provided for each patient beyond what would be visible working with databases alone. In other words, Attivio enables a truly complete business picture. Attivio helps organizations get the more out of next-generation data visualization tools like Tableau than they ever imagined possible.

Just as data viz tools enable users to create highly impactful data pictures, Attivio provides a whole new level of unified information: linking and correlating relevant structured data and unstructured content (emails, documents, case notes, social media… any text-based source) – with no data modeling in advance required.

The payoff of next-generation data visualization tools like Tableau, recently noted by BI consultant Chris Gerrard, applies equally to the payoff provided by Attivio AIE as a next-generation information backend: it’s all about “the reduction in the barriers, the friction, between people and their data, just like digital photography removed the barriers between people and the pictures they take.”

Attivio dramatically expands what can be “seen” and “pictured” using data viz tools. It’s the difference between taking an excellent “data picture” of a tree, and gaining the ability to take complete, vast “museum quality” data pictures that rival the iconic outdoor photography of Ansel Adams.

Data viz tools, led by Tableau, have ushered in a revolution on the BI frontend. Attivio is now leading a similar revolution on the information backend, freeing business users and IT professionals alike from the “barriers” that separate silos of enterprise data and content from combining together to enable a complete picture; a true 360-degree view of the business that enables a new level of insights for new business success.

That message resonated strongly with Tableau Roadshow attendees, and we welcome the opportunity to bring that new level of BI-driven business value to your organization and your next-gen data viz tool of choice.