Cerner Corporation turns health data into actionable insights

When health-technology company, Cerner Corporation created their new HealtheIntent product, they needed a way to deliver and display analytics. Developing their own system would take months—and ultimately wouldn’t have the analytical depth that their customers needed. The new system needed to be intuitive, and immediately provide value to both employees and customers.

Cerner Corporation develops and sells software designed to improve processes in the healthcare space. Cerner is a Tableau OEM partner, embedding Tableau Server into a number of their industry leading healthcare solutions, including HealtheIntent software—a cloud-based platform that helps organizations match individuals to the right care programs.

With Tableau, Cerner's salespeople can meet with clients and immediately start producing insights. And Tableau empowers clients to delve into their own data to answer deeper questions. Jeff James, Senior Software Architect, says that when he shows Tableau to clients, “Smiles immediately pop on their faces.”

Tableau: Tell us how you use Tableau at Cerner.
Jeff James, Senior Software Architect: Cerner has a relatively new product suite called HealtheIntent. And we're using Tableau as the primary method for showing visualizations, showing and delivering analytics out of that HealtheIntent platform.

Tableau: Why did you choose Tableau?
Jeff: We decided, ultimately, that we were going to use Tableau because we've done other systems, we've done build-it-yourself things and the return on investment on those other tools and the compelling visualizations that we can build with Tableau were just lacking from those other tools.

Tableau: How has Tableau impacted Cerner?
Peter Smart, Director of Reporting and Analytics: We're able to start using Tableau and turn around something that's aesthetically pleasing, that's producing value, that's actionable, that's drillable for our clients in matters of hours and days as opposed to taking weeks and months to go through a development cycle.

Tableau: How does Tableau play a role in your sales process?
Jeff: In general, the client feedback from the sales process has been very positive. You know, a number of our clients already use Tableau, so they're really happy that that's the direction that we've chosen to go.

It's pretty slick. That's one of those things that, if you can engage with a client and quickly turn things around, it really changes the discussion from, you know, oh, it needs to go into the development queue and get prioritized and who knows when it's actually going to spit out of that queue?

My favorite thing about Tableau is how quickly we can deliver new visualizations and new content. We can roll things out, get it out there, get it in production, get it moving, and iterate through the visualizations, make improvements, and just kind of do things on the fly.

Tableau: What do your clients think when they see Tableau?
Peter: They're real excited because they'll come up with an idea and we'll work through it and within a day or two, if not in that same meeting, we're actually delivering the information back to them.

Tableau: Does that change the sales conversation?
Jeff: So the reaction from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive. Clients that knew about Tableau, of course, they love it. Clients that don't or prospective clients that don't know about Tableau see the quick way that we can drill into data combined with the prettiness. And, you know, smiles immediately pop on their face.

Tableau: And how is that impacting client relationships?
Peter: I think it really leads to a lot more client satisfaction because they don't have to wait around. They don't have to trust that we're actually working on that stuff. It's there, it's coming, they can see that they're getting the results that they want in a much faster time frame.

Jeff: The trick for me is ensuring that all of that becomes actionable in value-add and that we're not just creating pretty pictures. But, definitely, it's a gorgeous product and it's a gorgeous product that's easy to use.

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