SATISFACTION WITH SPEEDMINER
In 2002, AME Africa was awarded the
contract for the design, implementation and operation
of an Electronic Patient Record system at the first
world class fully electronic hospital, Inkosi Albert
Luthuli Central Hospital in South Africa.
Adopting the well accepted views within
the Business Intelligence marketplace, AME Africa undertook
a product comparison, and procured an OLAP 'Cube' based
product, which is commonly used in the Health industry.
Having spent considerable funds,
both internally and with specialized OLAP consultants,
the project, was not to the satisfaction of the users.
An analysis of this 'unhappiness' was then undertaken
wherein the following issues surfaced:
1. The concept of updating the 'cubes'
on a monthly basis were not meaningful as the results
were too late for decision making process;
2. The fundamentals of data is such
that, defining 'fixed dimensions' is not practical when
in depth analysis and decisions are required;
Understanding this dynamics led AME
Africa to go back to the 'drawing board' and considerable
effort was spend with the specialists in trying to 'redesign
/ rework' the existing environment.
There were improvements in addressing day to day standard
analysis but the user could not get to the next level
for more real time, complex analysis. Users were not
able to analyze the data as and when needed without
having some work done on the 'cubes'.
Finally acknowledging that the current
technology not capable of delivering solution to our
requirements, with started to look out for alternative
Having reviewed many of the 'top end
cube' based systems, which still had the same limitations,
AME Africa was introduced to the Speedminer DW &
BPM. Being very sceptical to the claims of Speedminer,
a pilot was undertaken and the outcome of this pilot
which addressed the complex issues was astounding, as
reported by both the technical team and the end users,
in that both of the above challenges were met without
any loss of the existing functionality. Furthermore
Speedminer, enabled the technical team to 'customise'
the user interface to their exact requirements, and
hence add to their satisfaction. Then came the real
bonus; all of these were being achieved in a shorter
implementation period than the previous technology and
products. The technical staff did not want to return
to the previous method of development, as they were
now able to develop quicker and provide the end user
quality of work which they were very proud of. Development
time of the more complex statistical reports was cut
from an average of four months per module to only a
couple of weeks. This is a considerable achievement,
considering that the base health data had to be transformed
and clinically verified, both for quality and appropriateness'
before being released to the end users.
Another startling point is that this
improvement was seen after only four weeks of on site
training. The speed at which the learning curve was
scaled can be attributed to the:
1. Flexibility of Speedminer
2. Quality of the support, both from
a technical and application
provided by the Speedminer team.
Many products reviewed require Dashboard
views to fit a predefined look and feel, whereas the
Speed Visualizer's dashboard development is limited
only by one's imagination. The large array of embedded
components (features) of Speedminer, is easily combined
to create meaningful views of the data.
Although initially being very cautious
and apprehensive, the development team and end users
are now very excited about the way of working and the
fact that they are making such good progress.
No doubt that, when one considers
investing in Business Intelligence solutions, following
'tried and tested' products and technologies may not
yield the most effective and appropriate solution. Speedminer
DW & BPM certainly should be considered alongside
the 'bigger and more established' players in the Business
-- Bryn Woombell
Director and General Manager