TC14 Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Randy Fagin, Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery

Tableau users are taking their organizations (and sometimes their careers) to new heights through innovation, comprehension, and business optimization. Whatever the data, their goals are being achieved with Tableau. 

Each month we will feature one of our Tableau Conference customer speakers in the Speaker Spotlight Q&A. You’ll learn about their past experiences at conference, what they're looking forward to, and gain a brief glimpse into the session they'll be presenting at the Tableau Conference in Seattle, September 8-12, 2014.

This month you'll hear from Dr. Randy Fagin, Chief Administrative Officer for the Texas Institute for Robotic Surgery. Prior to becoming a world-renowned robotic surgeon and healthcare thought leader, Dr. Fagin was a professional magician for 20 years. Outside of his current role managing information & performance for the robotic surgery programs at over 80 hospitals across the country, Dr. Fagin enjoys spending time with his wife, Heather and their two children, Trevor (13) and Sofia (10).

Tableau: How do you use Tableau in your job?

Dr. Randy Fagin: I use it every day to take real-time information, learn, and provide time-sensitive data that impacts a wide array of our business decisions including growth strategies, capital deployment, and cost reduction initiatives. Quite simply, without Tableau I wouldn't be able to do my job. It's my one-stop-shop for accessing data sets across multiple business units and using that data to ask and answer questions (without a background in data analytics or programming). In addition, the unique visualizations that allow answers to appear through simple pattern recognition lets me transfer that knowledge easily to others creating real-time accountability from real-time information.

Tableau: You will be giving a session at conference, "The Perfect Healthcare Storm." What can attendees to this session expect to learn? How will this help them in their career?

RF: This session applies to businesses beyond just healthcare. The ability to learn in real-time and rapidly adapt to a changing environment is critical to the success of all our businesses. To do this means moving away from quarterly reports delivered by someone in the back office of each individual business unit, and into real-time data that provides an integrated view of all business units and can be accessed by the end user.  But we can’t stop there, we also need to make the data interactive so the end-users can be charged not with receiving this information but with asking and answering questions using it. I’ll be sharing lessons on how the world's largest healthcare management company is doing just that, and will provide a framework for any business to drive results at an unprecedented pace.

Tableau: Have you attended Tableau Conference previously? If not, what are you most looking forward to?

RF: I've attended local Tableau User Groups but have never attended a Tableau Conference before. What I've been struck by in the local programs is the unique ability of this company to provide and nurture a cross-pollination of ideas across both similar and differing businesses. I've always found the ideas that end up impacting my business most are the ones I get from companies outside my business space but can apply to my own business. I am truly excited to be a part of this large scale conference and to both contribute to and receive the benefit of the collective intelligence these conferences provide.

Tableau: What advice do you have for first-year Tableau Conference attendees?

RF: This conference and the technology it supports can be truly transformational for your business.  However, to receive the full benefit of both the conference and the technology you need to be, in the words of John Wayne, “short on mouth and long on ears.” Ask good questions and use the exceptional people and wealth of information available to you as resources.  

Tableau: What is the dashboard you’re most proud of?

RF: I’m most proud of a “tree” dashboard (I still need to understand why its called a tree) that integrated market dynamics and volume/growth data. The unique way this graph visually presents the integration of size and color allowed us to recognize a previously unknown pattern that impacted how we now deploy one of our most expensive capital resources.

Tableau: If you didn't have Tableau, what would happen?

RF: Without Tableau, my division of the business would have had limited, local success.  With Tableau, from initial concept for our business to now (only 3 years) we have become a national resource for the management of nearly $1 billion in resources and revenue.

To learn more about this session and others offered at TC14, head over to

Subscribe to our blog