Olli_NylanderValvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health in Finland, works with huge masses of data and uses plenty of resources every year to maintain its IT infrastructure.  Reporting is a crucial part of Valvira’s work as it needs indicators to monitor the economy, its effectiveness and the impact made by different actors. Furthermore, Valvira was in the market for a tool to support the management of its own organisation. Valvira wanted to improve reporting and thus started modernizing its Business Intelligence solution and information management.

Valvira operates in a complex environment and works closely with the different local state administration agencies, Kela, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Statistics Finland and the Finnish Tax Administration. The partners provide information in different formats, which Valvira can then utilise in its various supervision and licensing tasks. Both their own data and that received from partners is used to generate statistical reports, which support Valvira’s key function. Reports are forwarded to the other authorities and citizens.

“A concrete example of external systems are patient information systems. Information from these Valvira receives from the National Institute for Health and Welfare. The patient information systems are primarily used in hospitals, but the idea is that Valvira would get non-personal numerical data for its monitoring purposes as a by-product,” explains Olli Nylander, CIO at Valvira. “Both internal and external systems have been created from different starting points at different times, and they don’t always work together seamlessly. Valvira may not able access certain information that it needs or the data it does acquire is not compatible.”

Towards more versatile and targeted reporting

The objective of the first phase is to create a reporting solution for management, which combines data from Valvira’s internal sources as well as some external ones. The end-user will have a reporting view for different purposes. Information assets are used to create performance indicators for management and for more extensive practical data applications.

“We want to achieve a solution that makes our reporting more versatile and targeted. It would be customised for different target groups – for our own organisation, the regional state agencies and citizens.”

“Reports generated by the BI solution are most effective when BI is established on the firm ground of information management. This is important for organisations like Valvira which need correct and up-to-date data to support its monitoring responsibilities. An automated BI solution uses raw, high-quality, commensurate data to work properly.”

“Valvira is expected to provide high-quality reports. We must secure our ability to provide valid and reliable data. Information management must be built on a solid ground instead of a swamp of incompatible databases. Master data and the controlling of information from the various systems must be the number one priority, otherwise unexpected and erroneous data is generated and reports become unreliable.”

“BI’s are only rough tools in the sense that unless information management is well structured and correct data is comparable, the end product is the delivery of incorrect data and thus poor and misleading reporting.”

Reporting Solution QlikView

Valvira’s choice for a new BI solution was QlikView, which can handle huge masses of data and create descriptive indicators for various needs. According to Nylander, it’s a good fit for Valvira thanks to its cost-effectiveness, excellent reporting features and ease of use.

“We wanted to find a BI solution that fulfils certain requirements such as being simple to control, independent from the provider and easy to extend both in terms of users and analytics. With QlikView it was relatively easy to start producing reports as a continuation to our previous BI solution.”

“The goal is to break down silos from our old systems first and later to improve the use of data masses from external systems. All roads are closed and master data must be taken via MDM,” elaborates Immonen.