Pathways provides a broad range of community-based behavioral health services across 18 states plus the District of Columbia. The organization primarily partners with government agencies and school districts to deliver its services on site, but it also staffs and maintains many of its own outpatient facilities. Pathways is a growing enterprise with more than 5,000 staff and ongoing plans for expansion. The company understands that in addition to dedicated personnel and a strong management team, it takes rapid access to decision-making data to scale successfully. That’s why Pathways depends on Domo and BT Partners.
"We’re all reading from the same book now. There’s not a single department within Pathways that hasn’t been helped by BT Partners and Domo."
Like most healthcare organizations, Pathways relies on a multitude of software applications to manage its operations. Also like many others, Pathway struggled to gain visibility across the disconnected applications. Without the ability to review all financial and operational data cohesively, the company risked making decisions without understanding the big picture.
“Our biggest challenge was not the lack of data. Our problem was too much data and no way to tie it together,” recalls Robert Parrott, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for Pathways. “We have many source systems but each dataset was siloed. Any analytics we managed were all prepared manually in Excel. As we all know, spreadsheets are prone to errors, and of course there was the problem that no one knew if they were looking at the latest version of a document.”
Parrott knew what the answer was, and in mid-2020, he began researching Business Intelligence applications. “I reviewed Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, and Domo,” he says. “But I quickly zeroed in on Domo. Domo is an end-to-end solution, while other BI applications can require additional tools and programs. We wanted robust but simple, and that’s Domo.”
In addition, Domo conveniently offers a prebuilt connector with Pathway’s financial management application, Sage Intacct, and was also recommended by a colleague at Pathway’s parent company.
“Domo referred us to BT Partners,” Parrott explains. “They are experts with both Domo and Sage Intacct, so while they aren’t our Sage Intacct partner, they certainly understood our technology platform and could hit the ground running.”
Planning the implementation, Pathways and BT Partners focused on integrating the financial information first, saving operational data inputs for round two. “Phasing the implementation like that worked well for us since it gave us usable data really quickly,” says Parrott. “In fact, after seeing how well Domo works and how easy BT Partners was to work with, we’ve expanded our scope even further and are now looping in other business applications more quickly than expected.”
The dashboards, analyses, and reports BT Partners has helped build for Pathways are now used by hundreds of the company’s personnel. “We’re all reading from the same book now,” Parrott says. “There’s not a single department within Pathways that hasn’t been helped by BT Partners and Domo.”
He refers to it as the democratization of data — the ability to put powerful decision-making data into the hands of even non-technical users. “We keep buying more licenses because people understand the power of this kind of visibility and they come up with new and more valuable ways of looking at their data. I get requests for new reports and queries all the time. Some of the requests I can handle, others I bring in BT Partners to tackle for us.”
A particular concern for Pathways, and healthcare organizations across the country, is high employee turnover and the vacancies created. The company sought to better understand employee retention rates and the factors affecting those rates. BT Partners connected ADP with Domo, allowing the company to leverage payroll and timesheet data alongside financial data — and the results have been transformative. “Now more than ever, we need to keep a close eye on retention rates,” explains Parrott. “We want to understand what positions people are leaving, how long they’ve been with the company, and what a particular vacancy will cost us in terms of lost revenue.”
BT Partners built a retention dashboard that provides Pathway’s management team with this information in real time. “Previously, we could look at monthly reports, but now we have this information available on demand when we can still react and work to address situations before they become problems,” Parrott says.
Time savings and speed are also among the benefits Pathways draws from Domo. “I used to have to go through three or four steps just to print a simple report from ADP, and then spend hours pulling the report table into Excel and pivoting it to get the right presentation,” Parrot notes. “Then, when we want updated numbers the next day, we’d have to repeat the process. Now, with Domo, that information is updated in real time to our dashboards and available instantly. It’s completely automated.”
Parrott estimates that the company’s financial team previously spent 20% of their time gathering reporting data — but no more. “I would conservatively say we’re saving the cost of one FTE,” he adds.
“Working with BT Partners is a pleasure,” Parrott concludes. “Even though they were familiar with our industry and the applications we are using, they approached the project with a genuine curiosity and openness that gave us superior results. I’d call our relationship a highly successful collaboration. Things change rapidly in the healthcare industry, and the combination of BT Partners and Domo help us pivot. By unlocking our data, they allow us to see how the world affects our business.“