Sometimes it feels that way. Like when you have that end-of-quarter meeting with the boss, and the boss’s boss, and you need all that data aggregated and displayed in those snazzy charts and graphs for your kickass PowerPoint presentation.
But what about literally helping to save lives? Can Power BI do that? Well, just ask Stephanie Bruno and Shannon Lindsay of the Informatics Team at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). Shannon runs a Power BI User Group (PUG) community in Washington, DC. Stephanie runs the PUG in Pittsburgh, PA. They also have an internal PUG at EGPAF in which they invite all countries to meet (via conference calls) to share resources and ideas and collaborate on projects.
According to Lindsay, “Community has been the key to our success in relation to the implementation of Power BI (among other technologies) here at EGPAF. In fact, it is because of our relationships with the community that these trainings happened at all! Stephanie heard about the Microsoft MySkills4Afrika program a few years ago from a volunteer at the Data Insights conference in Seattle.”
The trainings Lindsay is talking about are Power BI workshops provided by MySkills4Afrika to EGPAF staff.
“The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation works in Sub-Saharan Africa and India to end HIV and AIDS in children through a three-pronged approach of advocacy, program implementation, and research. In each of the 19 countries where we work, clinicians and researchers must be able to access and use data to ultimately improve the health outcomes of the patients we serve,” says Bruno. “At a global level, we need to ensure not only that we are using country data for better strategic planning and decision making, but EGPAF must also prove to stakeholders and donors that it has the data to back up its work.”
Power BI helps them measure the impact of their programs and identify trends. By analyzing such data points as how many pregnant women were tested for HIV, how many tested positive, and how many exposed newborn infants subsequently remain HIV negative, EGPAF has been able to develop methods to reduce the risk of transmission, averting more than 318,000 pediatric HIV infections and saving more than 91,000 lives since 2000.
“The data is the most important thing we have. Using Microsoft Power BI and analytics tools helps us make better decisions and save more children’s lives,” says Bruno.