Business Intelligence for Senior Living: A Buyer’s Guide
What is a Business Intelligence (BI) solution?
Business Intelligence software combines data from different systems (like payroll, CRM, and general ledger / rent roll) to provide a single source of truth for data and enable users to make data-driven decisions.
Why is BI valuable for senior living owners & operators?
Running a successful senior living business requires balancing occupancy, rates, labor costs, and more! Getting this data requires accessing information in your payroll system, CRM, and general ledger. A BI solution can automatically pull data from each of these systems, calculate senior-living specific KPIs, and make the right information available to everyone in a simple and easy-to-use format.
Why do most BI projects fail?
Sadly, many BI projects fail (and waste time and money). Here are the 3 main reasons:
- Failure to get data out of the source systems. A successful BI solution needs to integrate with multiple systems to get the required data. Failure to integrate with any one of those can jeopardize the entire project.
- The data is inaccurate, incomplete, or users don’t trust the data. It’s essential to quality check data and confirm that everyone agrees on the definitions. For example, are you counting move-ins as financial possession or physical possession of the unit? If there are any doubts about the accuracy of the data in the BI solution, users will continue to go to the source system (or not use data at all).
- The BI solution doesn’t keep up with the needs of the business. New challenges are always arising, and it’s essential that your BI solution can be customized to provide additional data or views to answer new questions that arise. If the BI solution is too complex or difficult to adjust, then users will stop relying on it.
How to pick a BI partner
Many senior living teams consider building a BI solution in-house with their own team or hiring outside consultants to implement a BI solution for them. These approaches can seem attractive, but it’s very challenging to find new hires or consultants who understand both the business nuances & technology required to successfully implement a BI solution for senior living.
The most successful approach is to partner with a vendor who specializes in Business Intelligence for Senior Living. Senior living owners & operators can maximize their likelihood of success by looking for the following criteria in their partner:
- Access to all the data. Many source systems (like your CRM or General Ledger software) may already include a dashboard or pre-built reports. However, these systems only show the data that is in that system. For example, the dashboard inside General Ledger software can’t show payroll data, which greatly limits the value of these dashboards compared to a complete BI solution that shows all the data.
- Expertise in senior living. Your BI solution partner needs to understand technology and senior living so that they can access the data and correctly interpret it to calculate occupancy, census, rates, employee retention, and more.
- Hands-on support and flexible reports. Adopting a BI solution requires support and engagement from the entire organization. It’s important to select a BI partner who can assist with training and implementation as well customize their technology to evolve as business needs change or the team has new questions.
Suggested questions to ask when reviewing potential BI partners
- How do you validate data quality and ensure that everyone is using the correct KPI definitions?
- Have you worked with senior living clients before? If so, do they use the same source systems?
- Do you have a Customer Success team who can help me during implementation? Are they familiar with senior living?
- Can you help me if I have a more advanced analytics question that I can’t answer myself?
- If I need to update the BI solution or add additional KPIs – how does that work?
What to expect for implementation timelines
A new BI solution may require up to 6 months of implementation time to access the data, complete data quality checks and KPI alignment (getting everyone to agree on KPI definitions), and roll out reports for the organization.
What is the return on investment (ROI)?
Success with a BI solution has a positive impact across all the entire company. This includes:
- Hours of time saved by automating reports and confusing KPI calculations
- Optimized spend by tracking expenses across departments and communities
- Increased revenue via sales, pricing, and customer KPIs
- Become more data-driven and run your business from a single source of truth.
About Clarent (previously Bateau)
Clarent is the first Business Intelligence solution built specifically for senior living. Clarent’s software turns messy, disconnected data into a single source of truth. Clarent includes pre-built integrations, 150+ senior living specific KPIs, and flexible reports.
About Paul Jarvis
Paul Jarvis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Clarent. Paul has 10+ years of experience successfully implementing BI projects at senior living and Fortune 500 companies through his work at Clarent and Palantir Technologies.