7. Introducing InterSystems Reports (Carmen Logue)
In this episode, we chat with product manager for analytics and AI, Carmen Logue. Carmen tells us all about the newly released InterSystems Reports, what functionality it provides, how it fits into the existing set of InterSystems products, and more.
For more information about Data Points, visit https://datapoints.intersystems.com.
Derek Robinson 00:00:01 Welcome to Data Points, a podcast by InterSystems Learning Services. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app. Links can be found at datapoints.intersystems.com. I'm Derek Robinson.
Zack Krowiak 00:00:15 And I'm Zack Krowiak, and today we'll chat with Carmen Logue, Product Manager for Data Management and Analytics, about the newly released InterSystems Reports.
Derek Robinson 00:00:39 Welcome to Episode Seven of Data Points by InterSystems Learning Services, and for the first time I'm joined by fellow co-host, Zack Krowiak, fellow Online Course Developer in the Online Learning team. Zack, how's it going?
Zack Krowiak 00:00:50 I'm doing great, Derek. How are you doing today?
Derek Robinson 00:00:52 I'm doing well. Obviously we're all still adjusting, with the whole global crisis that's going on, global health crisis, with this virus. Everyone's at home, working remotely. We're still trying to keep the podcast going. Last episode we had Jamie Kantor joining remotely, and this time, not only are we going to have a remote guest, but we have a remote co-host. So how are you finding this whole situation, as you're adjusting to the remote life?
Zack Krowiak 00:01:14 Yeah. Well, it's been a change, but I'm pretty used to working remotely with our team. We have a few people who are full-time remote even before all this happened, but I miss seeing everyone's face. And how about you?
Derek Robinson 00:01:24 Yeah, that's really the big thing. I think I've mentioned before in a previous episode that our team is really well adapted to this. I think I might've mentioned before, it would almost be an ironic joke if the Online Learning team couldn't work remotely. I think that's kind of what I've been thinking to myself, but I think that missing that face-to-face interaction is certainly the biggest part of it, where you don't get to collaborate and kind of work over someone's shoulder, if you need to, or even just see people and just have that different feeling. Video chat of course helps, but it's just a difference not being face to face. So we're all adjusting, and hopefully if everyone continues to stay socially distanced and be responsible about it, this can end sooner than later, hopefully. So hopefully all of our listeners are doing well and staying safe. Moving to today's episode, Zack, tell us a little bit about who we're going to be interviewing today.
Zack Krowiak 00:02:09 Yeah. Carmen Logue is a Product Manager in Data Management, and I've worked with her a few times on creating video content for the InterSystems Reports product that we're releasing now. And I'm really excited to get a chance to talk with her a little more and share that all with our listeners.
Derek Robinson 00:02:24 Yeah. And so a new feature that's coming out, InterSystems Reports, and Carmen will be able to tell us all about that. And you know, you obviously have some interesting insight, having worked with her on some of this content that will be available as learning content. So, without further ado, let's kick it off into our interview with Carmen Logue.
Zack Krowiak 00:02:43 All right, Carmen, thank you so much for coming. Welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today?
Carmen Logue 00:02:47 Oh, I'm doing great. Thanks. It's great to be here.
Zack Krowiak 00:02:50 I'm glad to hear it. And how are you adjusting to living remotely these days?
Carmen Logue 00:02:54 Wow. That's a big adjustment. Isn't it? We've got a, we had to divide up our house in four segments so everybody could have a place to work. How about you?
Zack Krowiak 00:03: Yeah. Well my own monitor just came in. Before that, my wife and I had been fighting for one computer monitor and sharing a desk and a breakfast table. (laughs)
Carmen Logue 00:03:13 Amazing what we can get done, huh?
Derek Robinson 00:03:15 Making the most of it for sure. So Carmen, thanks again for joining us. And we're going to talk about InterSystems Reports today. So, really cool new topic that people might be interested in. So we'll get started with kind of the high-level overview of this topic, which is what is InterSystems Reports and why should people listen and care?
Carmen Logue 00:03:32 Yeah. Thanks so much for the question. InterSystems Reports is a new feature that we're rolling out here shortly. And actually, initially it's going to be really available to our developers and deployment partners and SE's to get their hands dirty a little bit and start trying stuff out, using it. And it's the ability really for our customers to create pixel- perfect reporting, banded reports, and other elements that they can include with their IRIS solution. So I'm pretty excited about it. There's two components to it. The first one is called Designer, which is really a report development environment, and it allows you to design and kind of prepare your reports there, and then publish those to the server. And then the server, which is a report delivery mechanism, really. So it allows you to do things like distribute lots of reports at a time and email, PDF, HTML, lots of formats. So it gives our customers a lot of flexibility in terms of how they deliver all that super important information that's coming out of IRIS. And I think the reason that it's important right now is that it's really a customer-driven thing. We've known for a while that customers have had this need, and they've been able to solve it in a variety of ways. Sometimes by acquiring another application to use, other times, you know, they've used some of our existing products to make that work, but I think this will really kind of take them forward in terms of giving those additional capabilities and making it just easier to distribute reports to their customers.
Zack Krowiak 00:05:13 Great. Could you tell us actually a little bit about those existing current analytics capabilities that InterSystems provides and how InterSystems Reports will fit into that?
Carmen Logue 00:05:23 Sure. Yeah. Happy to. So, InterSystems, well, we now call it as part of IRIS, it's InterSystems IRIS Business Intelligence, or BI. This is something that those of you who have used it on Caché know as DeepSee, and that's our business intelligence capability. So with that, we do dashboards, and really digging into understanding the data, and a lot of interesting real-time information that you can dig into. And I think this reports capability will really complement that in a way, because it's really looking at kind of historical, more static data that needs to be distributed out. It also gives us the ability to provide things as forms, bills, even. We may have some customers that do their W2's this way. So you can really define things in a way that's what they call pixel-perfect, which means, you know, completely configured and designed and then distributed. So I think it'll fit well with our business intelligence capabilities. We also, you know, over the last year or so, have been rolling out integrations with things like Microsoft Power BI and other tools like that because we know that our customers are all very different from each other, have lots of different needs. And the whole area of business intelligence has just exploded. And our customers have people on their staff who are experts in certain tools. And so we want to make sure that InterSystems IRIS supports those as well. So there are a lot of options out there, but you know, it's largely because we have a variety of customers who want to support what they know best.
Derek Robinson 00:06:59 That was a really good explanation of the tangible kind of way that this is implemented in a lot of customers' situations. And I'm sure that some people listening who employ those implementations, there's bells ringing in their head based on what you're saying. To take that and twist it a little bit for the person that might not have that implementation already, what are some real-world use cases, not so much from the integrations in technologies you're talking about, but the actual use case for why developing a more robust reporting solution would provide value to someone's business? Like what are a few business use cases that you can think of?
Carmen Logue 00:07:31 Oh sure. Yeah. So we've got a few of them, I think, that come to mind right away. The other thing that I think people might find of interest is that our TrakCare solutions, InterSystems TrakCare, has actually been using this capability embedded in TrakCare for a couple of years. And so they need to provide all kinds of reporting data within their solutions. I mean, right now with our current situation, they need to provide reporting on incoming tests, and positive/negative, to everybody from states and local governments to country governments as well. So being able to kind of create those reports and make them very easily distributable and schedulable, has been really important. We also have customers who I know are doing some billing or invoicing with our data as well. And so this gives them a way to do that as well. There's a feature called bursting, which allows you to take the same data and distribute a whole bunch of reports at once to different customers with different data. So you could email out things like a bill or an invoice on a monthly basis, for example. And it just makes that whole process much easier.
Zack Krowiak 00:08:42 Great. It sounds like a really enables customers to streamline that connection between the data they're working with and the users that are getting the value out of it. Now I just had a question. You mentioned TrakCare and InterSystems IRIS. Could you tell me a little bit about which InterSystems products will be able to support InterSystems Reports?
Carmen Logue 00:09:02 Yeah, we're rolling out InterSystems Reports initially for InterSystems IRIS and InterSystems IRIS for Health. TrakCare will continue to use the capability as well. It's embedded into their product, but we're going to make this available in InterSystems IRIS and IRIS for Health. And I think, you know, we'll look to adding other InterSystems products as time goes on, and as we get a little more experienced with embedding this into our solution.
Zack Krowiak 00:09:29 Great. Now, Carmen, can I ask you, what are you most excited about with regards to InterSystems Reports?
Carmen Logue 00:09:35 I think the thing that I'm most excited about is that I know our customers and our partners are super creative, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they're going to be able to do with this, because there's tremendous flexibility here. You can create reports that have embedded charts, all kinds of graphical elements, as well as the core data that is what they're interested in. And so I am really optimistic that a lot of our customers are going to find this an easier way to just distribute the information that they need to get out, and really put some more of the power in kind of those end users. So they've got report developers, but also giving some of the end business users real access to the data that they use every day.
Derek Robinson 00:10:23 Nice. So kind of transitioning to a slightly different topic. InterSystems has a great reputation when it comes to support, right? And I expect it will be no different with this product, but what are the plans for how this will be supported, and what customers can expect to get in the area of support, if they start using InterSystems Reports?
Carmen Logue 00:10:41 Yeah. Good question. So, our WRC is going to be our source for support here. This is a product that is powered by Logi Analytics, but we are going to be that frontline for support and we will manage all of that through our WRC.
Zack Krowiak 00:11:01 Great. I have to say, I'm wondering who can use InterSystems Reports and when? If I want to try InterSystems Reports, how do I get a copy?
Carmen Logue 00:11:08 Yeah. Shortly it'll be available for ordering through our standard ordering systems. And I should mention, this is important: We are asking people to sign off, or check the box, if they would like to use it, but this is included in your InterSystems IRIS licensing fee, so there's no additional charge for InterSystems Reports, but you do need to order it. So this would be for any existing InterSystems IRIS customers, as well as any new IRIS or IRIS for Health customers. So you can go in, add that to your order, and we will enable, you know, make the software and licensing available for you.
Zack Krowiak 00:11:48 Great. Well, that sounds really exciting. Carmen Logue, thank you so much for joining us today.
Carmen Logue Oh, it's been my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Zack Krowiak 00:12: So thanks again to Carmen for joining us today. You know, Derek, one of the things that I found really interesting about that is that in this point of time where there's so much information that we're able to process with the InterSystems IRIS product, we're now able to make it so accessible, not only to the users of the data platform, but to the ultimate end users, be those care providers or logistics, support, representatives. It's really great to see this addition.
Derek Robinson 00:12:26 Yeah. And I think, one of the things that Carmen mentioned that kind of jumped out at me was that we've kind of known for a while that this is valuable, right? But I think there's always been ways to do it, right? There's always ways you can…whether it's getting another tool, or building your own tool, or kind of using the existing dashboard and analytics functionality that was there. But really this way to bring it all together and make it so much more accessible and easier. And I think what you bring up is a great point about widening that audience. I think making more users have the easy accessibility to a suite of tools like this, I think is really effective. So, yeah, it'll be interesting to see, I think, how people use that and how they leverage that technology to be able to build those reports.
Zack Krowiak 00:13:10 Absolutely. I completely agree.
Derek Robinson 00:13:13 So that'll do it for Episode Seven of Data Points. Thank you so much again to Carmen for joining us. Look out for Episode Eight, when we're going to be discussing healthcare interoperability with Russ Leftwich and another one of our fellow course developers as a co-host, so you guys can look forward to that. We'll see you guys next time on Data Points.
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