Free Your Compliance Operations from the Shackles of Spreadsheet “Manulytics”

Posted by on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021 in Compliance, Compliance Technology

Many healthcare compliance teams are trying to monitor and manage data exported from business systems into spreadsheets to find trends, look for outliers, and identify behaviors or engagements that require further investigation.  When you consider the amount of data with which you interact and the diversity of sources and structures, it’s a difficult path to take the spreadsheet-driven “manualytics” approach for this data.    This approach tends to break down over time for several reasons:

  • When trying to map transactions across different data sets, many times you won’t have a single key or field that you can use to easily map to the same healthcare provider (HCP) or salesperson.  You may need to apply more advanced matching logic to make these connections
  • Data files exported from business systems may have many extra fields or may need field values to be reformatted or transformed in order to make sense and match other data.  This leads to a sea of changes to the data – hiding rows or columns, applying formulas to many cells, renaming fields to align with other sources, and so on.
  • These data files can become enormous in size, stretching the capabilities of standard spreadsheets and PCs, oftentimes taking minutes to update and recalculate.
  • Visualization becomes very difficult when you have data spread across multiple files and formats

Once you start manipulating these files, it becomes almost impossible to reproduce these changes when needed or even remember all of the steps you’ve taken to massage your data to a usable form.  The more manual changes or transformations that are required, the risk of human error increases.  It’s exacerbated when you get updated source files periodically – and you have to repeat the process all over again.


In summary, spreadsheets don’t enforce quality and consistency. The owners of the spreadsheets must be careful to update them properly and not lose previous updates or data.


A more manageable approach for data-driven compliance can be found by moving out of spreadsheets and into a database environment – better yet, a database environment hosted in the cloud for performance and ultimate scalability.   Download our data-driven compliance monitoring white paper to learn more at