With more than 1,000 hospital locations across the United States and an overarching aim to improve the wellness of pets through preventative care, Banfield Pet Hospital® has earned the trust of pet owners across the country. But its reliance on spreadsheets and PDF reports often made reporting more difficult. By using the data visualization features in Microsoft Power BI, the company’s analysts transformed company-wide reporting, boosting efficiency and helping its associates focus on what matters most to them: providing high-quality care to pets.
We use Power BI to do really innovative data work in our hospitals. Operational reporting and tracking help us better match demand with staff skill sets—which in turn can help our clients’ pets get the best possible care.
Rebecca McCarthy: Interim Manager, Data and Analytics | Banfield Pet Hospital
Healthy pets are happy pets
Banfield Pet Hospital has more than 1,000 hospital locations, making it the largest general veterinary practice in the United States. The company is passionate about partnering with pet owners to provide high‐quality veterinary care, using its extensive medical record database to share insights with pet owners and the broader profession.
Before adopting Microsoft technology, Banfield used different reporting methods to keep its executives in the loop with their hospital associates and field leaders. “When I entered the business, we were using a tool that produced static Excel and PDF reports,” says Kelsey Wiggin, Senior Manager of Operational Reporting and Insights at Banfield Pet Hospital. “This meant that our people spent a huge amount of time sifting through hundreds of thousands of files to find what they needed.”
They also encountered situations where people produced reports using Excel if existing PDF reports were unfit for their purposes, which sometimes led to silos and disconnected management processes. Understanding the need to innovate and change, Wiggin and other business analysts throughout Banfield sought a way to help transform reporting without a hefty price tag.
“Having led transformation projects for other companies, I know what can be achieved using enhanced business intelligence,” says Wiggin. “Banfield’s core principles support modernization, so I felt confident there would be significant interest in a new platform.”
Banfield analysts chose to use the powerful reporting and analytics features in Microsoft Power BI to create a frictionless and collaborative environment across business segments. This freed veterinarians and pet hospital associates to focus on the preventative care that’s critical to helping people keep their pets healthy and happy.
Transforming efficiency through easy report creation
Banfield’s introduction to Power BI started with a chance opportunity to test its field reporting tools following a Microsoft conference keynote address. “I downloaded Power BI, loaded a spreadsheet, and played around with its features,” says Wiggin. “I quickly discovered its drag-and-drop reports, mobile functionality, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. For me, there was no contest.”
With easy access to powerful dashboards and reporting tools, more than 19,000 Banfield analysts, executives, field leaders, and hospital associates now have deep operational and performance insights at their fingertips. “We use Power BI to do really innovative data work in our hospitals,” says Rebecca McCarthy, Interim Manager, Data and Analytics at Banfield Pet Hospital. “Operational reporting and tracking help us better match demand with staff skill sets—which in turn can help our clients’ pets get the best possible care.”
Thanks to Wiggin and her colleagues’ ingenuity and grassroots innovation, one of the company’s first Power BI dashboards that its HR department created earned a Banfield President’s Award. The company has now extended Power BI across other lines of business, such as marketing, IT, and finance, and Banfield finds new uses for Power BI every day, including using data in Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB to help further streamline the client experience. Banfield is also experimenting with using the built-in AI and automated machine learning capabilities in Power BI to discover the causes of data trend changes.
Top dog for business intelligence reporting
By building a single view of company-wide hospital operations, Banfield analysts achieved exactly what they set out to do: create better, faster reports to improve operating efficiency and executive visibility. “The new reports we’ve created with Power BI have been life-changing,” says Wiggin. “I’ve even heard stories of associates spending more time with their families because they no longer spend hours gathering data before morning meetings.”
Wiggin’s team also conducted an associate survey to measure the impact of the company’s new reporting system. With 90 percent of workers satisfied with the system and 80 percent finding new efficiencies and insights, the results speak for themselves. Banfield has put itself in a better position to quickly solve problems on the fly.
“We recently put together a business impact report in response to recent operational changes beyond our control,” says McCarthy. “The speed at which we put the data together with Power BI makes us feel positive we can pivot and adapt to whatever we might face.”
By eliminating manual processes, modernizing business functions, and providing easy access to sophisticated data-driven insights, Banfield can now identify and respond to trends faster and empower associates to make better-informed decisions. With greater contextual visibility in Power BI, Banfield teams can now easily celebrate successes, share best practices, and innovate from the bottom up to expand the company’s reporting capabilities.
“I couldn’t be happier with Power BI,” says Wiggin. “We’ve reduced the barriers to innovation, and we’re now free to spend more time using data to solve problems and drive real, positive change.”
I downloaded Power BI, loaded a spreadsheet, and played around with its features. I quickly discovered its drag-and-drop reports, mobile functionality, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. For me, there was no contest.
Kelsey Wiggin: Senior Manager of Operational Reporting and Insights | Banfield Pet Hospital