Learn how this analytics provider is improving healthcare in the Netherlands with a faster, automated data platform that helps attract and onboard urgently needed specialist data engineers.
6Gorilla’s has one mission: to give back time to healthcare professionals and data engineers within service providers. But that’s a tall order when care providers today face a complex regulatory landscape, and a widening skills gap.
6Gorilla’s delivers data-driven solutions for healthcare institutions that provide services for mental health in youth, elderly care, medicare, and disabled care. From its headquarters in the Netherlands, the data science and business intelligence specialist provides out-of-the-box tools to support decision-making by delivering rapid insights about the healthcare industry—and the shifting regulations practices they must follow.
Changing regulations and a continued shortage of specialist data engineers
Dutch healthcare organizations face many changes, from complying with constantly changing legislation and accurately registering billable hours, to coping with rising workloads due to an ageing population.
Productivity is another major problem. According to some of 6Gorilla’s’ customers, their IT staff spend around 80% of their time on maintaining on-premises systems, and only 20% on analyzing data for innovation.
At the root of all these problems lies the data challenge. And it’s an obstacle keenly felt across the healthcare market, due to a continued shortage of specialist data engineers. To help its clients overcome these industry challenges, 6Gorilla’s needed a fully managed, modern data platform to make it simpler, quicker, and easier for its customers to find and onboard data engineers that specialize in the healthcare sector.
6Gorilla’s—a subsidiary of Tenzinger—also needed to address the large amount of data in its own databases, which it needed to store, process, and transform into insights. “We did some acquisitions in the field of health education research (HER), electronic records, and the applications managing them,” said Jeroen Sen, 6Gorilla’s Founder and Director. “After these acquisitions we realized we had a lot of data to manage.”
A smooth migration to Snowflake
As a young company, 6Gorilla’s had no incumbent data management solutions to work around. With complete freedom to choose the ideal solution, the analytics provider selected Snowflake’s Data Cloud. “We chose Snowflake for its accessibility, privacy, cost efficiency, and flexibility,” said Sen. “Snowflake is also constantly adding new functionalities and tools, which we like.” 6Gorilla’s also appreciated Snowflake’s’ native data privacy features.
As part of the Powered by Snowflake program, Sen and his team built a data platform prototype in three to four months. With Snowflake as its central data platform, 6Gorilla’s can bridge the gap between vast datasets and the healthcare services that need them.
Filling the talent gap to provide insights
While 6Gorilla’s was initially drawn to Snowflake due to its scalability and performance across large datasets, the company also uses Snowflake’s Data Cloud to solve its talent gap problem.
Sen explained: “Healthcare organizations face a major challenge in finding new employees with programming talent and interest for the healthcare industry. The fact that Snowpark also allows native SQL support for Snowflake means we can fish in a larger pool of programming talent, in contrast to other frameworks that create vendor lock-in.”
For 6Gorilla’s’ customers, Snowflake’s Data Cloud helps deliver the data and insights they need to make better business decisions. “We want to suck up data from all applications and store it in one place (this is where we use Snowflake),” said Sen. “The aim is to provide insights for more traditional business intelligence, use data science algorithms to provide new data and insights, and develop new applications based on the data in Snowflake”.
6Gorilla’s also uses Streamlit to visualize data. To test this functionality, Sen’s team built an app that highlighted the reason for each missed doctor’s appointment during the pandemic and predicted the likelihood of it re-occurring in the future. This use case—importing data from other sources to build more informed data science models—is something 6Gorilla’s wants to evolve going forward.
Improving compliance and avoiding revenue loss
Snowflake’s Data Cloud isn’t just about accelerating insights, it also helps 6Gorilla’s and its customers get clean, trusted data.
For instance, some of 6Gorillas’ customers encounter thousands of mistakes each month when registering billable hours, and more than a million errors when registering a new customer. While many errors can be immediately corrected, others are more difficult. And each mistake impacts revenue as the healthcare organization can’t bill for the services it’s provided.
This challenge is often exacerbated by changing regulations. For example, the Zorg Prestatie Model (ZPM) mental healthcare legislation, introduced in 2022, meant many of 6Gorilla’s customers had to change the way they carried out registration and billing to ensure they received payment.
6Gorilla’s overcame this problem by writing its own Kafka streamer in Snowflake’s Data Cloud to stream data pipelines for faster data access. And because the data is streamed through Snowflake, users can trust that the data is clean and properly governed. The platform automatically checks if registrations conform to legislation, so 6Gorillas’ customers get the data they need when they need it—and the income from every service provided.
Better healthcare for less time and money
Ultimately, Snowflake’s Data Cloud helps 6Gorilla’s and its customers save valuable resources at every stage of their work.
Faster onboarding for new data engineers helps them deliver client work quicker, increasing efficiency. And by using dbt alongside Snowflake’s Data Cloud, 6Gorilla’s’ DevOps teams can automate processes to reduce errors, and their impact.
With a faster, automated platform that makes onboarding easier, 6Gorilla’s helps its clients significantly reduce staff costs by minimizing maintenance requirements. And with Snowflake’s usage-based, per-second pricing, 6Gorilla’s has reduced its own costs as it no longer needs to pay for services and products during downtime.
6Gorilla’s is just getting started
Looking to the future, Sen is excited about Snowflake’s transactional table engine, Unistore. “Currently it’s still an analytical database, and we don’t yet have the ability to recognize if data is stored directly. And this is an absolute necessity for healthcare—especially when you want to build new applications.”
For 6Gorilla’s and Snowflake, this is just the beginning. 6Gorilla’s has ambitions to grow in healthcare and plans to scale up the use of Snowflake’s Data Cloud with medium and large clients in the growth phase.