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NHS Scotland to upgrade business analytics



Organisation signs Advanced to work with IBM on reducing reporting times for August launch

NHS Scotland has laid plans to upgrade its business analytics capability with a deal with software and IT services company Advanced.

The company is set to work in a partnership with IBM to develop an application for Scotland’s 22 health boards to provide financial analytics and sharply reduce reporting times. The system is scheduled to go live in August.

Under the four-year contract, worth £360,000, Advanced will deliver the IBM application to act as a gateway between the eFinancials financial management system it already supplies to NHS Scotland and the Business Objects business intelligence solution.

It has previously developed a solution using IBM’s PureData technology to provide analysts and accountants with access to real time data without affecting the live operational database.


Colin White, national finance systems manager for NHS Scotland, said: “With our database size constantly growing, we needed a quicker and more efficient reporting solution. We explored various ways of doing this such as designing a datamart that only contained the data needed for reporting, but this would not provide access to real time data.

“We also looked at pointing our reports at a mirror image (disaster recovery) database which would at least divert the reporting away from our operational database, but this would not provide the necessary level of improved performance that we were looking for. It wasn’t until we approached Advanced that we identified a solution to this issue.”

He said the Advanced solution could instantly generate reports using any parameters NHS Scotland wanted, and replicate data in real time.

Document handling

The organisation has also previously implemented document management technology (powered by V1) to streamline its document handling processes including the use of V1 Capture within the accounts payable department. This integrates into eFinancials and electronically processes and archives around 5 million documents every year.

White added: “Like everyone in the NHS we have efficiency targets to achieve every year, and this new technology will address a key area where major savings can be made. By speeding up report production and improving access to real time data, staff will spend less time on report running and more time on analysing the information produced.

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