Locations: United Kingdom
Area served: Healthcare
AdviseInc is a web-based analytics company that identifies sustainable financial benefits for the healthcare system by joining web-based analytics with commercial and clinical expertise. The applications they provide bring data to life from across the NHS and its supply base, saving trusts money and improving efficiency. “We provide them with dashboards that enable them, in a few clicks, to achieve something that would ordinarily take them a week or two to create on their own using Excel.” Ben Thomas, Head of Engineering, AdviseInc.
Ben, together with Lee Smith, Head of Visualisation for AdviseInc, shared his thoughts on using Qlik plus Vizlib to improve their customers’ user experience.
AdviseInc works with NHS Trusts’ clinical procurement data – cleaning, customising, and standardising it to provide their clients with access to that data in the form of Qlik Sense dashboards (and QlikView, to a lesser extent).
“We use QlikView and Qlik Sense for all our data processing,” Ben shared. “All of our front-end data presentations are provided through QlikView and Qlik Sense.” Ben Thomas, Head of Engineering, AdviseInc
To simplify the analytics journey for their end users, AdviseInc standardises the look and feel across their Qlik Sense apps with the help of Vizlib’s customisation. Together with this design standardisation, AdviseInc also provides basic training on their dashboards, further boosting Qlik Sense adoption. They usually only have to train users on one app, as the familiar design and layout ensure the apps are intuitive to use.
One example is an inventory management app they’re currently building. A Trust typically has tens of thousands of items on a shelf across dozens of locations, making it difficult to manage medical stock levels. With the help of Qlik and Vizlib, they’ll be able to reduce stock waste, which will be “a huge cost saving for them,” Ben explained.
Internally, AdviseInc uses Qlik Sense for all their dashboard usage- and internal system monitoring. “So we get to see who’s using what aspects of our apps and use that to improve the development process,” Ben continued.
For AdviseInc, however, the native functionality offered by Qlik Sense was not enough to meet their needs or their customers’. “With just standard Qlik Sense, apps are immediately recognisable as Qlik apps. We wanted more customisation than what Qlik Sense provided to us out-of-the-box,” Ben shared.
In addition to customisation limitations, AdviseInc missed the range of configuration options included originally with QlikView. “It would drive you a little crazy,” Ben admitted, “but at least there were many configuration options available with QlikView.” Switching primarily to Qlik Sense in recent years, they feel like they are “not able to achieve a pixel-perfect design by any stretch with Qlik Sense alone”.
“What attracted us to Vizlib was the idea that there are a lot more bespoke objects and configuration options,” Ben added. “Vizlib has been fundamental in augmenting our Qlik Sense app creation, making it slicker and a better user experience.”
AdviseInc found the additional customisation capabilities they sought when they added Vizlib’s value-added products to their Qlik Sense analytics. And have now been able to “really make our apps look and feel how we wanted them to,” Ben declared, “…like AdviseInc apps, effectively sort of white-labelled Vizlib.”
They were able to easily white label (implement their own brand design) their Vizlib dataviz components, such as Vizlib Sheet Menu, included in Vizlib Library. Along with the extra branding freedom, Lee added that “Sheet Menu is brilliant when you need to customise and style all apps.”
AdviseInc also benefited from the customisation options available with Vizlib KPI Designer. “It’s just a fantastic product,” Lee shared. “And containers as well, because Vizlib Container Grid gives us the option of doing what QlikView does in object layering. So showing or trying to hide an object behind each other, which Qlik Sense just doesn’t allow. We use the Container Grid to display different depths of information.”
Another component that improved the insight journey was Vizlib’s writeback capability, part of the Vizlib Collaboration product. “There was a second company offering writeback at the time, but it just didn’t match our products requirements. Not the same support, not the same backing that Vizlib offers, nor any additional product offerings,” Lee stated. “For our users to not have to update our database and building front ends that allow them to go in and effectively change what they’re seeing on the screen… it was amazing to get to that point.”
“With Vizlib’s support on the back end, it was clear why we went that way and the speed at which those changes happened. All because of the business support.” Lee Smith, Head of Visualisation, AdviseInc
The support Vizlib provides, as well as responsiveness, also stood out for AdviseInc. “You’ve always been helpful and very reactive. You’ve taken our suggestions on board and been very quick about turning around new versions,” Ben stated.
A final resource AdviseInc commented on was the Vizlib community. “That’s the place that I go to get the latest releases, updates, bug fixes, patches, you know, anything. So all of those are the reasons why we work with Vizlib.” Lee summarised.
In conclusion, Ben explained the direction AdviseInc would be taking in the future. “So we’re moving into more conventional data warehousing solutions and analytics points of view.” He added that “What customers now want to see is more than historical data, which is typically what we utilise. They want us to start building in more intelligent algorithms for predicting future outcomes.”
Vizlib’s feature-rich data visualisation products will help you get started on your data storytelling journey.
Got a technical question? Our Help Centre has heaps of helpful guides, articles, FAQs and more. Access Help Centre