CUSTOMER CASE STUDIES

Leading Healthcare Improvement Company

A leading health improvement company committed to using data insights to improve efficiencies and reduce costs in the healthcare industry.

CLIENT

Healthcare Company

CATEGORY

Google Cloud Platform

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ABOUT

This organization facilitates the alliances of approximately 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems, and more than 175,000 other providers and organizations in the medical equipment supply chain industry. With integrated data and analytics, quality improvement collaboratives, supply chain solutions, consulting and other services, the company facilitates better patient care and outcomes at a lower cost.

THE CHALLENGE

The healthcare organization was looking for a way to better manage and control access to their data assets. Specifically, they required a solution to manage field, table, and dataset descriptions—both globally and across all projects—at any level of specific granularity, and in a transparent manner. 

In addition, they needed to ensure that an administrator could apply access controls to individuals and groups across any level of the data warehouse. Agosto’s expertise with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Analytics/IoT/Big Data workloads was instrumental in helping the client achieve these goals.

According to a Forbes report, two of the highest concerns for CTOs in adopting cloud environments are cost and data governance. Managing data warehouse metadata and access is especially cumbersome for the client due to its high volume of data assets and consumers. 

Since the client is handling highly sensitive Protected Health Information (PHI) data, and has internal and external facing consumers who require accurate and up-to-date pricing information, these complexities are even further compounded.

THE SOLUTION

From the Business Application Research Center, “data governance includes the people, processes, and technologies needed to manage and protect the company’s data assets in order to guarantee generally understandable, correct, complete, trustworthy, secure, and discoverable corporate data.”

Agosto began by conducting a remote workshop with the client to create detailed requirements that would support its analytics initiatives within its complex supply chain.

These requirements included:
  • Leverage collaborative tools to manage metadata updates and access.

  • Ensure security of data with a dedicated service account that can only be accessed by a designated admin.

  • Demonstrate the ability to rapidly stand up a scalable analytics solution so management could see the benefits for future projects.

Agosto provided the client with a centralized data access and metadata management system. This solution allows an administrator to leverage the simplicity of Google Sheets to update and tag BigQuery data assets with metadata, and control access at any level of the data hierarchy. Previously, these processes were manual and significantly time-consuming. They were also difficult to track and manage access. 

Today, BigQuery metadata and access management is accomplished with an easy-to-use Google Sheet that is automatically updated on a nightly basis, ensuring the metadata and access are current.

Agosto used the following technical expertise in Google Cloud Platform to solve this challenge:
  • GCPs managed Apache Airflow (Composer) to read a Google Sheet, make a copy to a version-enabled Cloud Storage bucket, and make BigQuery API calls.

  • The BigQuery API checks the current metadata and access to identify and make any necessary updates.

  • The metadata logic can be applied at any level of BigQuery’s hierarchy including fields, tables, datasets, and projects.

  • The entire process was executed using a dedicated service account that only a designated administrator has access to, as illustrated in the diagram below.

google cloud platform process

THE RESULTS

As a result of the solution, the client has greatly increased visibility and control of its high volumes of data. In addition, they were able to demonstrate to leadership a quicker, scalable way to build an analytics solution that other business areas can adopt and implement as well.

The following objectives were achieved:
  • An administrator can control access to a single document (Google Sheets) that tracks metadata and access.

  • The process is automated so the admin doesn’t need to go into the UI to make adjustments.

  • The process can scale out to allow a single entry in the Sheet to control the same metadata and access across different levels of data hierarchy, saving considerable time.

  • The client can now manage metadata for hundreds of data assets (fields, tables and datasets) in its domain, as well as control granular access across many teams of data scientists, analysts, and consumers.

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