Dan Kotsmith, business intelligence manager at CentraCare, knew he needed a data catalog. Compendium is exactly what he was hoping for.
When leaders at CentraCare have questions about the organization’s data, Dan Kotsmith and his team dig up the answers. With more than 11,000 employees and at least 17 years of data, it’s a massive undertaking.
“We have so many requests coming in that we can’t possibly keep up,” says Dan, CentraCare’s manager of business intelligence.
He and his team of 10 developers and two data translators receive multiple tickets a day — requests for anything from a five-year analysis of sepsis patients and how they’ve been treated across more than 39 CentraCare locations to a new strategic dashboard that tracks eight KPIs in real time.
“It’s more than we can do,” says Dan. “We always have a backlog.”
We didn’t have a consistent place to look
Dan knew if he could somehow organize all of CentraCare’s existing data assets into a searchable format, he could free up time that was being spent hunting down — or recreating — reports that already existed.
“We’ve built thousands and thousands of reports, but not everybody knows about them,” says Dan. “We have people on our team that can find them, but it’s very time-consuming.”
Dan needed to free up his developers for more strategic work — and free up the data so anyone could access it.
He considered building it himself.
Eager for a solution, and with a background in software development, Dan started to build a data catalog from scratch, but there were simply too many other priorities to keep up with the project.
Then, in early 2022, CentraCare’s leadership turned the spotlight on the state of the organization’s data. They formed a department called the Center for Analytics, and the urgency became clear.
“It was glaringly obvious,” says Dan. “We needed a tool now.”
The data catalog built for healthcare
Soon Dan was leading the implementation of Compendium, the only data catalog that’s built specifically for healthcare data.
After a few weeks of behind-the-scenes integration work, all of it done by the Compendium team (“It never slowed us down,” says Dan), CentraCare’s business managers were already starting to search for their own reports instead of needing the BI team to find them.
“Now we have a tool where it’s a one-stop shop. You can search for everything in Compendium.”
It’s already helping
Even in the first few months of using Compendium, Dan’s already seeing the difference, especially with the newer developers on his team. “They don’t have all that subject matter expertise about old reports or where they might find this or that, so they’re leveraging it quite a bit.”
And because Compendium is so simple to use (“It’s basically a search tool,” says Dan), he’s confident anyone at CentraCare can use it easily, with little to no training.
When a business leader requests a report from the data team, one of the first things they hear back is, “Have you looked in Compendium first? Have you tried that?”
The fact that anyone can find the data when they need it is what Dan really appreciates.
“You used to have to know who to ask to get access to what you need,” says Dan. “Now everybody has access. Even if you don’t have access to view the asset itself, at least you know it exists.”
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