Health & Life Sciences / Modern BI

Health Insurance Provider Empowers Business with Power BI Deployment



Faced with increasing complexity from changing regulation and increased data volumes, a major health payor knew they needed to modernize their existing business intelligence capabilities. Stakeholders demanded a versatile option; one that could empower everyone in the business with relevant data for a myriad of use cases, such as: chronic diseases, Medicare analytics, and digital adoption. In addition to the technical hurdles, leadership knew they would need to generate user excitement and buy-in.

After a thorough evaluation, the corporation chose Power BI Premium for its cloud-scale capacity, interactive visualizations, and ease of use. As the company prepared to formally deploy the business intelligence ecosystem, a few hundred eager employees across several departments began using Power BI Desktop on their own.

Power BI Desktop enables individual users to collect, transform, and visualize data. Enterprise-class Premium offers a host of formidable, expanded capabilities, both to the business – including governance of data access and consumption, row-level collaboration, and performance scale – and to users – including easy collaboration and sharing of rich reports, whether peer-to-peer or through Power BI Apps.

Key Use Cases

Deciding on what use cases to focus on first can be a daunting challenge.  BlueGranite engaged with client stakeholders on a series of discovery workshops to determine which scenarios and use cases would be the first priority for Power BI adoption:

Chronic Diseases
- Analyze claim data to determine the prevalence of chronic conditions in plan members
- Improve the time to insight and visibility of provider metrics surrounding chronic conditions

Medicare Analytics
- Broaden the availability of data in support of key Medicare metrics
- Refine provider reporting for Medicare claims and members

Digital Adoption
- Analyze member usage and trends for the provider website and mobile app
- Look for ways to improve the efficiency of online resources and drive member digital adoption

The Challenge

While user acceptance and adoption is crucial to the success of any new technology, any solution and subsequent rollout must be built on a foundation of clear rules, roles, and responsibilities to maximize its benefits. The unanticipated, grassroots employee adoption of Power BI Desktop was untenable. It put enterprise-wide deployment hopes in a precarious position, risking overall adoption, and creating the possibility the organization might miss out on taking full advantage of the platform’s capabilities.

This fragmented employee Power BI Desktop use, along with their building and sharing of Power BI Desktop files, reinforced the need for comprehensive deployment and a good governance framework: better monitoring, structure, and security through more centralized distribution using the Power BI service.

The Solution

Using our Catalyst for Modern BI framework, BlueGranite worked with the health insurance provider to develop a customized and wide-ranging deployment approach. We provided guidance navigating possible deployment approaches, architecture choices, workspace design, security, and more. We also collaborated to introduce Power BI Premium, solidifying methods to more easily and securely distribute and re-use large and complex models in the cloud, rather than through opening Power BI Desktop files.

Dedicated capacity with Premium unlocked the ability to design a governance and deployment plan that better aligned Power BI to organizational expectations.

Deploying workspaces with Premium also helped lift some of the IT security team’s initial concerns about moving data to the cloud. Elements such as shared and certified datasets alongside auditing and monitoring procedures allowed the company to better manage PHI (protected health information) and PII (personally identifiable information) in the cloud.


Using multiple elements of our Catalyst for Modern BI, BlueGranite helped design a:

  • Deployment Strategy customized to this health insurance provider that meets stakeholder expectations across multiple departments – including IT and business decision-makers.
  • Deployment Guide to plan for elements such as workspace strategy and coordination of shared and dedicated capacity.
  • Security Guide to ensure the safety of sensitive information – like PII and PHI – in the cloud.
  • Governance Guide to ensure high-quality, available data.
  • Gateway Guide to create smart, secure permissions.


We also assisted with several QuickStart projects, alongside organizational staff, to help prove Power BI’s potential to achieve intended results across different use cases. Through QuickStarts, BlueGranite elevated the enterprise’s capabilities to extend best practices in data modeling, report development, and deployment.

Through training and exposure to BlueGranite’s methodologies, we empowered developers to bring these practices to more and more of the grassroots users. Some of the modeling, reporting, and training use cases included:

  • Dataflows
    • How to design and use Power BI Dataflows for curating data access for multiple Power BI models.
    • How to position dataflows alongside an enterprise data warehouse.
    • Using dataflows to blend data from multiple cloud and on-premises sources.
    • Exploring opportunities to leverage dataflows on a wider scale across multiple future use cases.
  • Feasibility of Shifting from Existing BI Tools
    • Uncovering the success and limitations of attempting to translate SAS analytics and Cognos reporting to Power BI models and reports.
    • Pushing Power BI to its limits in terms of model design, after complex data ingestion and transformation scenarios.
    • Determining how Power BI can enrich reporting alongside other tools deeply ingrained in organizational culture.
  • Enterprise Data Modeling
    • Curating data from multiple sources, such as Oracle and Google Analytics into the same model.
    • Exploring and testing strategies for larger models, such as composite models, aggregations, and incremental refresh.

The Results

With the help of BlueGranite, the company achieved a coordinated, efficient Power BI deployment plan. Completion of the various QuickStarts gave the health insurance provider confidence in Power BI and allowed the company to expand deployment into other areas of the business.

Business users and decision makers are now about to access data more efficiently, and uncover insights more effectively across Chronic Disease, Medicare Analytics, and Digital Adoption.

The engagement enabled the company to:

  • Boost collaboration and efficiency by reducing Power BI Desktop file sharing.
  • Modernize and scale analytics in the cloud.
  • Have a blueprint for combining many enterprise and self-service data sources together.
  • Extend its initial work with BlueGranite for more rapid, intentional adoption across the organization.
  • Preserve data integrity and security.

Considering a Power BI deployment? Set yourself up for success with BlueGranite’s Catalyst Framework. To learn more, contact us today!


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