Mark Jackson, Executive Director of Business Intelligence at Piedmont Healthcare, on the data strategy driving speed to insight at scale


Piedmont Healthcare is a rapidly growing healthcare provider caring for patients at over 1,400 locations across the U.S. state of Georgia. Key to its growth is the ability to support its healthcare practitioners with data via self-service analytics platforms which enable more than 400 data workers across the organisation.

After joining Piedmont to work as the Manager of Business Development & Project Management at its Heart Institute in 2010, Mark Jackson spent a year streamlining insights for the cardiovascular service line. After being recruited to help modernise the report delivery of the Decision Support team, Jackson’s role broadened to cover a Business Intelligence function capable of delivering data and analytics to serve the whole business.

A digital transformation journey

Piedmont’s growth has caused Jackson’s team to re-think its approach and re-tool multiple times over the course of its digital transformation journey to-date. “What once worked well as a five-hospital system was no longer reasonable with our rapid growth,” he notes. “The famed economist Herbert Stein stated that ‘if something cannot go on forever, it will stop’. Those words are always at the back of my mind as I think about the success of our program. We have to look ahead and see whether our infrastructure and processes can continue to thrive into the future. If we foresee that it cannot, we must adapt.”

Piedmont found itself at one of these watershed moments in 2016. Jackson says the organisation had reached what Gartner terms the ‘trough of disillusionment’. Tableau was still an amazing tool,” he notes. “But it couldn’t scale to meet our demand for data as it grew. Enter Exasol…”

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