NHS Estates Chooses Dynamic AI

NHS Estates, an agency of the UK national Department of Health, is a prime mover in the area of creating data entry systems and data analysis, via the Internet, that allow NHS organisations, typically Hospital Trusts to “benchmark” their performance in comparison to national and peer group standards. Something above 1.5 million records have accumulated over a handful of years in relation to particularly the mandatory ERIC performance returns, and this number is increasing rapidly as new systems join the EFM-Information suite of which the ASCKEY Data Services ERIC on Line development was the pioneer system.

A combination of Data Access’s Visual Dataflex Web Application Server both managing data input and generating XML, and Microsoft Excel for data analysis using that XML output has proved highly effective for both acquiring the data from the Hospital Trust managers, and delivering analysis at the local and peer group level. However, providing in-house analysis, particularly in the flexible “off the cuff” development required within NHS Estates encompassing the whole, rapidly increasing data set has outgrown such simple tools. Something more along the lines of a data warehousing operation was looming in order to produce the needed results. And yet, conventional data warehousing is complex and restrictive for the real time, “blue sky” analysis requirements that are core to meeting the needs of NHS Estates’ operations.

ASCKEY Data Services was able to introduce NHS Estates to Dynamic AI, which, for the user, is an entirely web page based system allowing for the creation of complex multi-level reports, including comprehensive business graphing. With only two days training (related as much to the structure of the data as to the mechanics of using Dynamic AI), NHS Estates staff are very satisfied with their initial usage of the system, and ASCKEY Data Services are equally impressed at the rapidity with which the drudgery of creating reports in more traditional tools such as Crystal, and Excel have, for these large number crunching exercises, disappeared. Dynamic AI is particularly effective at allowing users to set up on screen “Dashboards” monitoring specific data values for conformance with expected values, considerably enhancing NHS Estates capacity for pro-active action.

Dynamic AI appears to be capable of dealing with large numbers of data records on-line, without needing the intermediate “data warehousing” process. As a result, Dynamic AI is proving to be a far more flexible tool, all the more remarkable in that it achieves all this without noticeably impacting on overall system performance, or even requiring the installation of any software on the client PC.

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