Piedmont Healthcare and Exasol

Exasol Helps Piedmont Healthcare’s Infection Control with Fast Data Analytics

Piedmont is a not-for-profit healthcare provider consisting of 11 hospitals and 1674 beds based around the Atlanta Metro area. In 2016 alone they served over 2 million patients, with plans to increase its footprint further in 2018 with the addition of 3 more hospitals to the network. The business intelligence and data architecture teams are comprised of 24 people, who are responsible for compiling and disseminating the healthcare provider’s enormous amount of raw and highly sensitive data to its planning and analysis groups, and relevant hospital decision makers.


Piedmont had to extract value from over 555 billion data points and was suffering significant scalability problems with its old MS SQL Server system


Exasol was used to replace the data warehouse and improve Tableau performance


40% reduction in harm

By placing Exasol at the beating heart of our analytics we have seen significant improvements, not only to the organization’s bottom line, but to the satisfaction and safe delivery of our services to patients.

Mark Jackson Head of Business Intelligence at Piedmont Healthcare
0 %

reduction in harm in 1st year with Exasol


infection rate across several Piedmont Hospitals

0 BIL.

data points Piedmont had to extract value from

0 MIL.

patients served in one year


Healthcare providers store a colossal amount of data in the form of decades of patient information, gathered before the real birth of data analytics, and before the concept of “Loading...big data” even existed. Piedmont alone had over 22,000 fields to analyze gathered from around 30 different published data sources. Multiplied by the number of records available Piedmont had to extract value from over 555 billion data points.

  • Industry Healthcare
  • Application BI acceleration
  • BI Tool Tableau
Case study background details

The journey

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The challenge

Piedmont wanted to take their processing and understanding of its available data to the next level. Thanks to an aggressive growth strategy greatly increasing the size of the business, Piedmont ran into significant scalability problems with their old MS SQL Server system, resulting in mounting security, speed and cost issues when analyzing its data. Piedmont outlined its requirements for a replacement with a set of guiding principles:

  • Data should be democratized and disseminated within the organization
  • Data should be immediately available to decision makers
  • Reports containing data from internal systems should be no more than 24 hours old
  • Visualizations should seamlessly enable the end user to explore data from summary level detail
  • Reports should be consolidated at a single portal using a uniform presentation layer
  • The solution

    After over eight years of using Tableau for all its business intelligence purposes, Piedmont selected Exasol to be the beating heart of all its data analytics needs, while keeping Tableau’s front-end user interface for its visualizations.

    Piedmont’s topology consisted of EPSi, healthcare financial decision support software that acts as an aggregator for all healthcare systems. It also included Epic, an electronic healthcare record system which was the source of a huge amount of data. Exasol was used to replace the data warehouse component, both the core repository and also systems aligned to Piedmont clinic (a sub organization of Piedmont) and the Piedmont Physicians group.

    Piedmont set itself the goal of inflicting zero harm from the time patients entered its facilities to the time they left, seeking to protect them from any further infections and reduce the recidivism rate to as close to 0% as possible, a hugely audacious and ambitious goal for a healthcare provider.

    The benefits for Piedmont Healthcare

    Executive leadership puts analytics at the heart of healthcare with Exasol

    Having Piedmont Healthcare’s executive leadership focused on data was the first step towards enacting a slew of datacentric projects, which have now permeated down through the organization. Now, anyone within the organization can get access to see certain data through Tableau Server and 311 members of staff are actively using Tableau Desktop – much larger than the original business intelligence and data architecture teams of 24 people. With this democratization of data has also come an increased allowance for staff autonomy when it comes to using data to improve processes.

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