NHS Business Intelligence

NHS BI is a hot topic. Trusts face increasing demands for information. These include service line reporting and patient-level costing for new patient outcome measures to accurately report on cost improvement programmes. Accurate data is also required to assess commissioning quality and innovation as well as robust financial data to underpin contracting with commissioners. The four-hour A&E waiting time and 18-week referral to treatment targets also need to be tracked.

Besides the above each department will have specific applications for BI (some are mentioned below) and the Board will of course also want a single, clear and coherent overview across the Trust.

No compromises, no dead ends.

As MicroStrategy solution providers we are here to help you. For a quick overview of the MicroStrategy ecosystem watch this short video “No Compromises, No Dead Ends.”

MicroStrategy dashboards enable better quality healthcare

The video below brings to life the story of how NHS Scotland in Lanarkshire are using MicroStrategy dashboards to provide better quality healthcare to their patients. The dashboards they use include one to help manage emergency room beds, ensuring new patients experience minimal wait times and another dashboard to monitor the quality of nursing care being provided.

NHS BI. Get started for free

If you’ve not tried business intelligence tools before and find it a daunting prospect then we recommend downloading MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop. It is a fast, user-friendly visual analytics tool. Designed for self-service, it empowers business people to analyse and understand data without specialised expertise. Or if you prefer contact us first and we will help you get started.

Six reasons why NHS Trusts talk to CDS

  1. We are experts in BI technology and understand the benefits and pitfalls of different solutions, and can therefore ensure NHS Trusts gain the greatest long-term business value.
  2. We work with over 20 NHS Trusts, supporting them with products designed to improve patient care and we are a key supplier to NHS BSA .
  3. We ensure the right content is provided to the right person in the right context, empowering you to act on the information you have received.
  4. We provide easy to use technological solutions for clear actionable analytics required to implement strategic business change.
  5. We have the highest level Government approved security credentials.
  6. As an approved public sector supplier our services can be easily and cost effectively commissioned through public sector framework contracts including G-Cloud and Crown Commercial Service.

Strategic enterprise BI

Producing apps with attractive dashboards and standard reporting functionality to meet a tactical departmental requirement is relatively easy and can be done using any number of BI software products. But what happens when you want to scale your BI solution and produce enterprise level actionable analytics that Boards can use to drive clinical and operational change through improved information across a range of functions?

Faced with this challenge you discover that you really need a BI solution with the power to easily integrate diverse data sources, that is cost-effective, efficient and scales to enterprise level.

CDS, with BI partners MicroStrategy, combine business strategy with technology. We can help you identify and promote behaviours, approaches and strategies that will improve outcomes, the wellbeing of patients and the patient experience, while delivering efficiencies and reducing costs across the business. Our BI solutions empower both your staff and Board.

Tactical NHS BI applications mobile and desktop

To meet challenging KPIs and the need for real-time information to make faster and better informed decisions, CDS’ BI software partner MicroStrategy have developed a series of operational applications that empower clinical staff to get the answers they need to be more productive, more efficient and more effective. The apps have been designed in partnership with service users and clinicians and allow access to up-to-date information on a range of metrics.  The apps also provide total visibility across functions and departments, saving time and money in all areas.

Apps include:

  • Nursing Quality Dashboard (helps nurse with ‘people centred, organisational objectives, workforce and safe and effective targets)
  • Real-time A&E Waiting Times Application (helps prevent breaches of the statutory four-hour waiting time requirement)
  • Bed Management and Capacity Flow Application (real time reporting on bed availability and occupancy by ward, unit and hospital)
  • GP Practice Profiling Application (helps practice managers analyse and compare performance against annual government directives)
  • Spend View Application (allows boards to analyse spend and purchasing managers to spot savings)

Following the implementation of the capacity flow application at NHS Forth Valley, Jann Gardner EPQ (Efficiency Productivity & Quality) Programme Lead said ‘MicroStrategy’s dashboard for NHS Forth Valley is an intuitive, simple-to-use piece of software that has integrated with our current systems and provided a real time view of our systems capacity and flow, which helps us optimise patient flow, and help meet our patient access targets. Developed and implemented in under 6 weeks, the dashboard has provided us with a tool to greatly improve our ability to deal with capacity challenges during busy periods and aids the delivery of safe and effective care by delivering care to patients in the right place in a timely manner.’

Our NHS clients

  • Department of Health
  • NHS Business Services Authority
  • Papworth Hospital Foundation Trust
  • General Medical Council
  • NHS ProCure21
  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Northamptonshire Health Care Foundation Trust
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust
  • University Hospital Morecambe Bay NHS Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • North West London Hospitals NHS Trust Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital

Case study: Data Collection for Papworth NHS Trust

Data collection, data warehousing, data analysis and reporting is a key area of expertise and we have worked with many public sector organisations to help them collect and leverage the true value of their data with the overall aim of making better informed decisions.

CDS was appointed by Papworth NHS Trust to develop a secure online data collection form and database to collect research data from 400 hospitals and between 20,000-40,000 patients worldwide to update the information held by euroSCORE, the worldwide scoring system that helps heart surgeons predict the risk of death for patients having heart surgery. euroSCORE is the world’s most successful medical risk scoring system and is used worldwide, not only as a risk predictor, but also as a communication tool between surgeons and patients to discuss possible treatments and to make informed decisions. euroSCORE takes into account factors related to the patient, the heart condition and the operation.


The EuroSCORE data collection phase has been highly successful, collecting data on over 22,000 operations worldwide in 6 months, from over 400 centres of excellence worldwide.

  • The project achieved over 200% ROI, compared to EuroSCORE’s estimates for collecting the data manually.
  • The validation features of CDS’ system also significantly reduced the effort involved in the data validation phase following data collection, and meant that greater accuracy could be achieved in risk calculation.


Mr Sam Nashef, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Papworth NHS

Mr Chris Smith, EuroSCORE Project Manager; chris.smith16@nhs.net

Case study: General Medical Council website

CDS is a long term digital partner of the General Medical Council and is responsible for the development and hosting of the organisation’s external website http://www.gmc-uk.org/

CDS has also developed a mobile site as an extension to the main website to meet doctors’ demands for accessing web content on the move, which also includes the capability to browse two key reference sources:

  • Detailed ethical guidance – an A-Z of guidelines that doctors and the public alike can use to drill down to find information about standards, safety, and respect for patients.
  • Good Medical Practice In Action – a continuing professional development (CPD) feature, set in a fictitious surgery. A number of interactive scenarios give doctors the chance to test their knowledge of ethical guidance in everyday doctor-patient interactions

“CDS gave us excellent advice on how we could offer our website users access to important information via their mobile devices, wherever they may be – at work or out and about.

‘We were delighted with the design which gave our mobile site a modern app-style interface which is easy to use and navigate across a full range of mobile devices.”

Peter Markham – Web Manager at GMC

Case study: NHS Forth Valley – capacity and flow management

The requirement

NHS Forth Valley faced capacity issues as patient demand and the complexity of cases increased sharply for a variety of demographic reasons. The increase in patients and strict ‘seen within four hours’ waiting policy put pressure on NHS Forth Valley to allocate beds more efficiently to cope with demand and patient flow.

NHS Forth Valley was required to undertake a ward-by-ward check of bed and flow status. This was time consuming and inefficient. Often by the time it was completed, the staff found that the provision of beds around the hospital had changed. The reports were already out of date.

This highlighted the need for an easy-to-understand, near real-time information system to allow clinicians and service managers to monitor capacity and patient flow.


Using MicroStrategy’s BI software a detailed dashboard was setup that pulls data from systems already in place at NHS Forth Valley and produces a real-time, overall picture of patient movement and bed availability.

A clear and intuitive dashboard also shows the previous day’s overall status and a three-month trend view of demand and access. It also provides a system view of what’s going on across the acute and community hospitals with an overarching ‘traffic light’ view of demand and capacity. Clear graphical layouts and an automated alerts system give staff the essential information they need to enable them to utilise beds effectively to meet the pressure of the four-hour patient access targets.

Jonathan Procter, IM&T Director, NHS Forth Valley commented: “MicroStrategy’s solution provides us with the clarity we require to make informed decisions during our busiest periods. It has provided us with clear trigger points; when things hit red on the ‘Traffic light’ alerts clinicians and management to capacity issues. When it hits purple they’ll be called urgently. The system has been hugely instrumental in helping us to monitor and manage patient demand over a trying winter. I would definitely recommend other NHS authorities engage with it to determine if it can work as well for them.”

Our credentials

CDS is certified:

  • ISO9001 (Quality Management System),
  • ISO14001 (Environmental Management System),
  • ISO27001 (Information Security),
  • IT Service Management ISO20000-1: 2011 (Information Technology – Service Management)
  • BS OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety Management System), and
  • BS10008 (Evidential Weight and Legal Admissibility of Electronic Information certification).

We also have the required credentials and connectivity to access the NHS N3 connection.

Our clients rely on us to deal with  extremely sensitive data access projects.

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