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News You Can Use: 3 Programs for Data Visualization

News You Can Use: 3 Programs for Data Visualization

Across the organization, departments are mining large amounts of information with the use of data visualization programs, gaining powerful insight and informing decisions that are critical to the success of the enterprise.

Here are some examples of programs in use:

1. Tableau

Hetal Rupani, Department of Medicine analytics manager, says her department uses Tableau to display patient flow throughout the hospital. The department can watch bed capacity and demand in real time. If a bottleneck or breakdown occurs, they can quickly intervene.

  • Cost: Departments purchase the Tableau software individually, but the Tableau Reader is free. Departments pay an additional cost if the Tableau Server is used to publish and share data.
  • Ease of Use: Intuitive, with little training, and compatible with Excel.

2. SAP BusinessObjects

Jerome Williams, a Department of Radiology and Radiological Science software/systems engineer, worked with his team to create the Patient Safety and Quality Dashboard using SAP BusinessObjects. The tool made core quality metric data, such as infections, hand hygiene and other measures, easy for Johns Hopkins Medicine frontline staff to understand and act upon.

  • Cost: Based on enterprise licensing, SAP BusinessObjects is available for employees to develop, publish and view content at no incremental cost to the affiliate or department.
  • Ease of Use: Requires intermediate computer programming skills.

3. D3.js

Gorkem Sevinc, a systems development manager in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, and colleagues Anna Roose and Katie Hazard are using D3.js—a highly customizable platform capable of dynamic interaction and animation features—to capture how The Johns Hopkins Hospital is performing compared with other hospitals. The end product will be publicly available.

  • Cost: Free for download at
  • Ease of Use: Requires advanced computer programming skills.

To discuss which platform would be best suited for your specific needs, contact Sherri Flaks, an information technology manager for Enterprise Business Solutions, at

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