EGPAF (Egyptian Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation) is a well-known international Non-Governmental Organization(NGO) dedicated to the treatment and prevention of Pediatric HIV. After the exceptional advances in the medical field, most of the people in developed nations see HIV/AIDS as a manageable and preventable disease and no longer an emerging universal or an end of life for those who are infected. But in the universal battle against pediatric HIV/AIDS, the scenario and numbers are different.
With Microsoft’s effective Business Intelligence and analytics tools and the efforts of its staff, EGPAF is identifying new methods to utilise data in the journey to achieve an AIDS-free generation. Approximately, there are 2.5 million children living with HIV across the globe and around 600 children become infected. In the absence of treatment, closely 50 percent of HIV infected children die before they reach their second birthday and nearly 80 percent die by the age of 5. Besides, countries like US show supportive numbers with 95 percent drop in new pediatric HIV infections and throughout the world it is 58 percent.
Data Appeals Better Decisions:
For EGPAF, numbers mean a lot. It initiates with some clear data: 90 percent of HIV infected children got infected through mother-to-child transmission during childbirth, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. ART(Antiretroviral Therapy) is the clue to arrest progression of HIV and transmission of the virus in people who are hitherto infected. The risk of transmission can be declined to 2 percent when ART is given to HIV infected women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, infants get this treatment after birth.
Until now on a daily basis, in the drive of EGPAF support,
- How many infants and pregnant women were tested for HIV?
- Among tested, how many are positive?
- How many infected people took ART?
- What are the numbers for each clinic, district and country?
These are some of the data points that were gathered with painstaking actions.
According to higher officials of EGPAF, timeliness and precision of this data are crucial for them for various reasons. In Spite of talking about their success stories, what helps EGPAF more is showing and reporting this data with clear proofs to their funding agencies and partners-of both government and private. In addition to this, clear data reporting helps EGPAF staff in terms of public policy, research, communications, advocacy, or sometimes in managing human resources. Clear data helps in all stages of organization in achieving their goals. After realising the essence of data presentation and reporting, the informatics staff of EGPAF came to understand that data can be presented and gathered in more impressive methods in analyzing and preparing reports with the right technologies and tools for making better decisions.
Converting Data Into Meaningful Information:
Until 2007, EGPAF gathered data from various locations and sources using MS Excel spreadsheet, but the collecting data process was slow and not so efficient. The informatics team have undergone MSBI Training and implemented Microsoft SSRS(SQL Server Reporting Services) solution. With SSRS, informatics staff were able to capture, summarize and prepare standard set of reports and pitch it to the centralized reporting system. This helped the team a lot in gathering and reporting data from various resources. Not only informatics team but also other EGPAF staff are accessing these reports to fulfill the objective of the organization and meet their goals. EGPAF staffers from different departments can concentrate on their country programs such as nutrition, research, adolescents, tuberculosis and other subject areas by gathering and reviewing the data, identifying the gaps, analyze what has to be done and create right program action plans to resolve the problems.
Over a period of time, EGPAF has observed that the needs of each country program has changed and the complexities increased in analyzing and standard reporting data. It opted for Datazen(acquired by Microsoft) and Microsoft Power Business Intelligence(BI) for its powerful capabilities and has gone for implementation of this solution in a phase by phase manner. Currently EGPAF is using preview version of SQL Server 2016, which includes analytics, BI, mobile reporting and other improvements to reporting capabilities, and is planning to shift to the new version. In concurrence with SSRS, these BI dashboards and analytics functionalities give EGPAF employees a deeper insight of the data and prepare reports to meet particular needs. Using Power BI, anyone in the organization can use drag and drop functionality to visualize and analyze data and create interactive reports.
What EGPAF Say:
Out of many benefits that EGPAF is witnessing using Microsoft analytics and data reporting tools, Informatics staff are delighted to see their ambition of standardizing data is transforming into reality.
Stephanie Bruno, Deputy Architect Manager, Informatics EGPAF, says that the BI tools are user-friendly and self-explanatory and the staff are having fun while working with the tools.
Chip Lyons, President and CEO, EGPAF, says that previously they had only 5 or 6 data experts in the organization and now there are more than 500 data experts. All this is due to the capabilities of Microsoft’s powerful tools. Microsoft is winning hearts of data users and making them do a better job using data. Lyons also adds that, with their service built-in with BI solutions, they could save nearly 23 million women infected with HIV and eradicate transmission of HIV to their babies.