Making Education Institutions Nimble by Leveraging the Power of Business Intelligence Tools

Making Education Institutions Nimble by Leveraging the Power of Business Intelligence Tools 

Colleges and universities face a fresh cluster of challenges in these turbulent times.

Governments, parents, students, industries, and taxpayers continue to demand that higher-education institutions do more with less. The demands keep escalating—more class offerings, larger facilities, better faculty pay, more revenue-generating research, smaller budgets, and higher employee morale. 

Amid these hurdles, educational institutions must also address the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic, which demands quick decisions. “Should we go to hybrid classes? Remote? How do we make up lost revenue if students refuse to return? How do we handle an influx of possibly infected students? How can we enforce mask rules?” 

Education institutions (EIs) must be nimbler and discover new ways to leverage powerful business Intelligence (BI) tools to simplify administrative workloads and reduce labor-intensive tasks such as the creation of reports and university datasets.

[Are you struggling to create Tableau reports that best display your company's  KPIs? Save time with Pixel Perfect.]

Use Cases

  • University Transcript is a student’s permanent academic record, detailing courses taken, grades received, honors received, and degrees conferred to the student. Of course, it’s essential for every student, especially when dealing with the increase in transfers brought about by the pandemic. 
  • University Class List provides a simple and high-level view of class schedules, capturing details such as student name, email ID, major, class description, graduate level, and credit hours. Such a detailed report can be challenging and time consuming to produce at scale. Among other problems, the COVID crisis is throwing college scheduling into a new level of chaos because students and administrators must juggle class loads and sections, creating a need for agile reporting solutions.

It doesn’t take a graduate-level college course in BI to understand why Pixel Perfect is at the head of its class when it comes to creating perfectly formatted, print-ready PDF reports to meet any collegiate need—all within the Tableau dashboard. 

Transcripts can be easily printed on security paper, with transcript legends adhering to all specifications, including university logo, headers, footers, and TLFs (tables, listings, and figures).

Isn’t it time to graduate to the next level of modern BI solutions? Try Pixel Perfect today with a free demo. Class dismissed. 

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How Governments Can Utilize the Power of Modern Business Intelligence

How Governments Can Utilize the Power of Modern Business Intelligence

We are currently living in unprecedented times—and you don’t need a blog to tell you that. COVID-19 spread rates continue to spike. Political upheaval keeps rearing its ugly head, and every news report that isn’t about the pandemic or politics recounts yet another hurricane, wildfire, or earthquake. 

Tasked with solving all these problems and more, national, state, and local government agencies must work together—now more than ever—to address the crisis of the day. They must be able to easily share and disseminate action-facing data analyses and reports. And they must do so in a way that facilitates reasonable response from private stakeholder and companies. Our lives literally depend on seamless governmental cooperation.

Though a world populated by an interrelated slate of cooperative, connected, and efficient governments may only be a utopian dream, many public institutions leverage the power of modern business intelligence (BI) tools to drive a higher elevation of performance and interagency synergy. Sadly, many agencies are still mired in outdated, slow, and clunky legacy BI systems.

When crisis situations are measured in seconds, governments can’t afford to wait hours or days for insightful data reports. In addition, costly legacy tools make compliance reporting expensive and frustrating. This leads to:

  • Higher costs, more downtime, and more staff hours
  • Poor customer service from agencies
  • Loss of taxpayer confidence
  • Companies also face difficulties when it comes to generating required reports for government agencies such as the IRS—a tangled mess of legacy systems can’t even “speak the same language”

Modern BI platforms, such as Pixel Perfect, leverage the power of the Tableau dashboard, creating reporting solutions that keep government agencies on task and on time. 

[Are you struggling to create Tableau reports that best display your company's  KPIs? Save time with Pixel Perfect.]

Use Cases

As mentioned in our recent healthcare post, any attempt to blog about the thousands of reporting requirements government agencies generate is like trying to pour the ocean into a thimble, However, as we discuss the power of next-level BI tools, we can drill down into some of the more common use cases, such as:

  • Form 1042-S is an IRS tax form. It covers mandatory U.S. income tax filings for a foreign person’s source income in the United States. Every nonresident alien individual, nonresident alien fiduciary, and foreign corporation with such income must file a U.S. income tax return. Known as one of the most difficult forms to file electronically, this form can generate issues including incorrect codes, email errors, and inaccurate formats—and all files must be in standard ASCII code. 
  • Form 1099 is known as an “information return” form. It records income received from any entity or person other than an employer. The form has very specific guidelines—if someone files more than 250 Form 1099s, they are required to file them electronically with the IRS in a specific format. If they have less than 250 to file, they must file paper copies instead, and the filer must send a copy of Form 1096 as well.
  • W-2 is the best known tax form besides the 1040. It’s the form anxious employees wait to receive every year to find out what the damage is going to be or to celebrate a fat refund. For employers, it’s a mandatory tax filing and records how much in taxes has been withheld from paychecks throughout the calendar year. Consisting of six forms total, this extremely detailed report must be completed and mailed out to each employee, and it must be completed by a certain date. Upon receiving the W-2, employees face a deadline of about two months to file their returns.
  • W-4 is the lesser known of the “W” forms, but every new employee fills one out upon being hired. Also known as the Employee’s Withholding Certificate, this form provides employers with information as to how much tax they must withhold from an employee’s paycheck. The employer is then required to send the amount withheld to the IRS, along with the employee’s name and Social Security number. Think of it as the IRS’s “Show me the money!” form.

With such a vast array of reports and forms to create, maintain, and distribute, employers must rush to generate them in a timely and accurate manner or face the wrath of the IRS in the form of penalties. These forms and reports must be at scale—a complicated, time-consuming, and difficult proposition for a legacy BI system.

Pixel Perfect may not be able to bring government agencies and stakeholders together in perfect peace and harmony. However, Pixel Perfect does bring the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your governmental reporting requirements are powered by a highly customizable reporting solution that seamlessly complements Tableau’s existing capabilities. 

Pixel Perfect facilitates the development of well-formatted, print-ready reports at scale when required. Users easily create pre-populated, perfectly formatted, print-ready reports at the click of a button from within your Tableau dashboard. Take the next step to bring some measure of harmony to your government relationships. Try a free demo of Pixel Perfect today. 

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Financial Services—Why Rely on Innovative BI Tools in 2021

Financial Services—Why Rely on Innovative BI Tools in 2021

As the global economy continues to reel from the continuing chaos brought about by health and political threats worldwide, banks and financial-service organizations are being pushed and pulled on all sides by new regulations and mounting expectations in the face of monetary uncertainty.

For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finalized new regulations concerning records and information disclosure. A Deloitte report notes further new rules that changed how bank regulators tailor institutions under Enhanced Prudential Standards (EPS): “The EPS tailoring rule fine-tunes requirements for capital, stress testing, liquidity, large exposures, and reporting based on financial metrics that serve as a proxy for a firm’s size, complexity, interconnectedness, and systemic importance.”

Other new regulations include a modified Volcker Rule tailoring requirement that addresses the size of trading assets and exemptions for community banks. All of these regulations are in addition to the evolution of rules addressing anti-money laundering records and suspicious activity reports.

The Need: Next-Level BI Tools

Clearly, banks and financial services organizations need an innovative tool to stay above the torrent of growing regulations. They need the power of modern business intelligence (BI) tools. That’s where Pixel Perfects shines.

Pixel Perfect offers a dynamic toolkit to super-charge the reporting process. Not only does Pixel Perfect complement the Tableau Dashboard, but it also leverages the data you need, when you need it, to generate compliant reports.

With Pixel Perfect, your team can format reports the way they want. You’re in control, with powerful reports featuring headers, footers, pagination, page numbers, images, tables, and listings. Pixel Perfect also offers superior versatility in exports, including popular formats such as PDF, MS PPT, MS Word, MS Excel, CSV, HTML and JSON.

Distributing compliant reports has never been easier. Choose your method: emailed, or saved to a network drive on a scheduling basis or ad-hoc. Ready to share your reports with your stakeholders? No problem. Pixel Perfect reports are ready to be printed for both internal and external audiences.

Finally, users can control the information that needs to be exported by applying focused filters and selecting across views.

[Are you struggling to create Tableau reports that best display your company's  KPIs? Save time with Pixel Perfect.]

The Requirements: Types of Reporting

As already noted, the banking world faces a constant blizzard of reporting requirements at every level of government. Pixel Perfect helps organize and make sense of any reporting use case, including the following:

  • CECL Reporting is a credit loss accounting standard issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board as of June 2016. The CECL requires financial institutions to record expected losses based on estimation over the remaining life of its loans, as opposed to incurred losses of the current standard.
  • Volcker Reporting restricts American banks from executing or making certain types of speculative investments if they do not benefit the bank’s customers.
  • Crosstab Reporting, also known as a contingency table, is a matrix format report displaying multivariate frequency distribution of variables. Crosstab summarizes the relationship between categorical variables and provides business users with an overview of the relation between two variables.
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Reporting comprises a set of laws, regulations, processes and procedures designed to prevent criminals from legitimizing illegally obtained funds, generally analyzed via precision software to uncover suspicious transactional patterns. To help identify money laundering, the AML requires banks to file a suspicious activity report if such an instance is noticed. Institutions face massive fines if they fail to correctly file them.
  • Dodd-Frank Reporting is a federal law passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis. The law established several new government agencies tasked with overseeing an increased amount of documentation requirements. Needless to say, the law adds a mountain of forms and reports to an already strained administrative department.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Reporting is an international banking supervisory committee formed to develop standards for banking regulation. Its main objective is to improve understanding of supervisory matters and enhance the quality of banking supervision around the world.
  • UCC Financing Statement is a legal notice filed by creditors used to publicly declare their rights to potentially obtain the personal property of debtors who default on business loans.

The Solution: Pixel Perfect and Tableau

These are only a few of the thousands of reporting regulations faced by financial services and the banking industry. As an added challenge, these reports are often required at scale with a minimum margin of error. Obviously, this can be prohibitively expensive in terms of time and money.

Pixel Perfect is the antidote to the regulation blues. With Pixel Perfect, your bank can generate pre-populated, perfectly formatted, print-ready reports at scale with the click of a button. Because it’s so easy to migrate and use, Pixel Perfect is, well, perfect for a bank or institution looking to sunset traditional BI tools. Effectively adopting Tableau for all ad-hoc reporting requirements has never been easier. 

Ready to take the next step in next-generation reporting tools? Request a demo of Pixel Perfect today. 

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Healthcare Industries Rely on Timely Reporting Now More Than Ever

Healthcare Industries Rely on Timely Reporting Now More Than Ever

With the healthcare sector already facing a whirlwind of unprecedented disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, industry stakeholders struggle to address these daily crises’ while also tackling an ever-growing stack of reporting requirements and regulations. 

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on the validity of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry exists in a sort of limbo right now when it comes to predicting future regulatory changes. What’s required in 2020 may well be overturned in 2021.

No matter what changes may come—including the transition to a new administration—health agencies will continue to require accurate and timely compliance reports across the board. Companies will continue to face the prospect of creating, processing, and distributing these reports or face stiff fines and penalties. 

Though the future may be uncertain, it’s clear that healthcare providers must apply intelligent, modern, seamless solutions to these evolving reporting requirements. Deloitte’s 2020 Health Care Regulatory Outlook offers this sage advice to stakeholders:

[Healthcare] companies should continue to modernize and rationalize their regulatory, legal, and compliance functions and their practices. A modernized compliance function can help achieve compliance as efficiently and effectively as possible by ... harnessing leading compliance practices and technologies to comply with current and future regulatory requirements.”

The report concludes: “Some companies are even looking at their regulatory and compliance risk management programs as a competitive differentiator that enables them to be more nimble in the marketplace.”

As we’ve seen before, clunky, outdated legacy business intelligence (BI) tools just can’t hack it in a disruptive environment. Pixel Perfect, however, can empower healthcare companies to not only survive the brave new world of compliance, but also thrive in it. 

[Are you struggling to create Tableau reports that best display your company's  KPIs? Save time with Pixel Perfect.]

Use Cases

Although a blog post can only scratch the surface when it comes to discussing compliance reporting, here are some of the most pressing reporting requirements generating the most common use cases:

  • Regulatory inspections reports stem from Food and Drug Administration specifications and guidelines and are designed to evaluate and validate the integrity of data that’s submitted to concerned healthcare authorities. Reporting details cover a medical device’s site inspection with site status, approval information, inspection information and observational summaries. 

  • A national surveillance report is a mandatory regulatory filing for the purpose of gathering information to better monitor the safety of a prescription medication or medical device. Report categories include spontaneous reporting databases, prescription event monitoring, patient registries, electronic health records, and record linkages. Like many reports, it must be recorded in formatted specifications as directed by the specified regulatory agency. 
  • Clinical trial safety reports serve a twofold purpose. First, they collect safety data from multiple clinical trials that help detect safety signals, develop safety profiles of a given drug, and protect patients from unnecessary risks. Second, the reports track the serious adverse reactions and events of clinical trials. Trial reports have become especially vital as drugmakers rush to develop an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine. The reports may also include medically relevant safety label information for products under development.
  • A clinical trial summary report details clinical trial results of a product or medical device. Healthcare providers must submit a summary that includes different types of collected data transformed into analyzable datasets that help address specific questions within the report. A subset of the data from the analyzable datasets is used to generate results, tables, and figures for published articles. These reports are submitted in formatted specifications as directed by the concerned regulatory agency.

Because each of these reports is vital to the health and safety of patients, each must conform to the highest standards of accuracy and precise formatting. When required at scale and with a minimal margin for error, these reports can be highly challenging and time consuming for healthcare providers to generate.

That’s where Pixel Perfect comes to the rescue as the modern BI champion of compliance reporting. Working within Tableau, Pixel Perfect offers simplified, lightning-fast reporting. 

Users stay in control of every required step and component. The result? Perfectly formatted, print-ready PDF reports at the click of a button—all within the Tableau dashboard.

With Pixel Perfect, output reports adhere to all business specs—business logos, headers, and footers. Tables, listings, and figures (TLFs) can be paginated as an inspection summary with subheaders in several types of views, including geography. Pixel Perfect also includes an On-Demand option with a hosted service operated directly from the Tableau Server.

The future of healthcare regulatory reporting may be murky—but the present is crystal clear with Pixel Perfect. Try a free demo today. 

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Leveraging Innovative BI Tools in the New Normal

Leveraging Innovative BI Tools in the New Normal

With the ongoing global spike in new COVID-19 cases, evidence-based, agile business intelligence (BI) projects are becoming indispensable to business sustainability.

Consider these eye-opening stats:

  • A COVID-19-related white paper by Sisense reveals “68 percent of small businesses are using analytics in their COVID-19 response.” 
  • In addition, 50 percent of all companies report using data more often than pre-COVID-19 times, according to the study. 
  • The white paper also notes 55 percent of businesses started using BI to improve efficiency. 
  • Forty-seven percent of those same businesses started using BI for customer support, while 45 percent deploy data to predict future outcomes.

Why are so many businesses relying on modern BI tools? Despite some gains in economic growth following the initial pandemic spike, economic experts still worry the worst may not be over.

“[There’s] the risk that there is some longer-run damage to the productive capacity of the economy and to people’s lives who have been disrupted by the pandemic,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently told CNBC.

Clearly, forward-facing businesses must leverage innovative BI tools in the “new normal” of economic uncertainty. The only way to maximize return on investment (ROI) is by identifying inefficiencies, optimizing cost efficiency, protecting assets, and maintaining investor confidence.

The research speaks loud and clear: Businesses must implement top-level BI tools in order to survive and thrive the coming year. But how do older legacy BI platforms stack up against modern solutions, like Tableau? As we’ll see, the success of your economic future may hang on the answer.

[Are you struggling to create Tableau reports that best display your company's  KPIs? Save time with Pixel Perfect.]

Legacy vs. Modern BI: An Overview

Despite their many limitations, legacy BI systems still haunt business offices and data centers. Legacy platforms are older, clunkier, and more feeble than today’s super-charged BI systems. For example, legacy programs crank out reports at a snail’s pace—over weeks or months, instead of hours or days. How can a dynamic company expect to make nimble decisions with that level of reporting? 

Conversely, modern BI tools enable self-service analytics, with no specialized programming skills needed. They deliver governed reporting and analytics in an agile and user-friendly way, which in turn supports an expanded role in terms of analytics. The result: A laser-focused peak of ROI supremacy that’s unparalleled in driving competitiveness.

Still not convinced that modern BI tools outpace legacy in every way possible? Consider these vital ROI factors. Ask yourself the following questions: 

Can BI tools fuel self-service collaboration? 

Legacy systems require specialized skills when it comes to programming, often using outdated software or platforms that can’t “talk” to each other. That means a business using legacy programs must hire a programmer with narrow, specific skills. Such an employee usually can’t perform any other job functions. 

By not empowering multiple users who are generalists, legacy systems stymie content sharing, making it clunky or non-existent. Exported reports remain static and unavailable for analysis in real time. That kind of time lag kills collaboration. Data becomes obsolete at the point of report generation. 

With BI tools like Tableau, any team member can easily learn how to master the system without programming experience. This allows content creators to collaborate like the pros they are. Plus, they can easily develop and validate action-facing reports and data analysis. Your team can do more with less—less time and less cost. Your ROI is looking strong!

Can BI Tools be more seamless?

A legacy BI platform is like the fabled Tower of Babel: a hodgepodge of data systems all speaking different languages in a programming pandemonium. By relying on such a baffling patchwork of often outdated systems, legacy data tools also create licensing issues. Who knows which system has correct and updated licensing in place? Your business can’t afford such a costly mistake. 

In addition, legacy systems are often distributed across several data warehouses, resulting in a minefield of potential security breaches. Your organization also can’t afford the risks of such a scattered data environment.  

Tableau is enterprise-ready—the entire bundle in a neat package—leveraging existing technology into a seamless, on-site, or cloud-based environment.

Can BI Tools be more user-friendly?

Legacy systems often confuse users with a puzzling knowledge base, sometimes with contradictory information. When your team wastes time trying to navigate a system that won’t ”play nice,” your ROI suffers. 

With BI tools like Tableau, teams can cross-train across the entire platform. Go team! Plus, users can easily navigate the process using simple drag-and-drop functionality. 

Tableau: The ROI Champ

If you’re not convinced by now that Tableau is the reigning champion for BI-tool ROI, consider these facts. A Forrester report examined the effectiveness of Tableau over a diverse client base. The report shows the following: 

  • A 127 percent ROI using Tableau’s BI products
  • A 400 percent increase in standardized reports 
  • An 87.5 percent reduction in report creation times 
  • Reduced report distribution, storage, and duplication costs, plus the simplified publishing of reports

In addition, the report notes that adoption of Tableau incurs no training costs and that it frees up BI analysts to perform higher-value tasks. 

In a field of BI tools, Tableau stands out in its class, taking ROI to new heights. Better yet, combine Tableau with our Pixel Perfect extension and quickly create print-ready reports at a click. 

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5 Reasons to Shift to a Modern BI Tool

Five Reasons to Shift to a Modern BI Tool

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Taking Data Beyond Tableau

There is no doubt Tableau has brought data visualization to another dimension. You can tell very compelling stories by displaying data using Tableau, making it easy to understand the data and follow the trends.

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