Profile: Advisory Board Co (ABCO.O)
23 Jan 2015
The Advisory Board Company, incorporated on August 9, 2001, provides cloud-based performance improvement software and solutions to the health care and education industries. The Company offers programs in three key areas that comprises of best practices research, performance technology software programs and consulting and management programs. Its consulting and management services programs assist member institutions’ efforts to adopt and implement best practices to improve their own performance. This model gives it privileged access to its members’ business practices and strategic plans and enables it to provide detailed best practices analyses on current industry issues. In addition, through its executive member relationships it align its research agendas of its existing programs to address its members’ problems, and also develop and offer programs and services to meet its members’ needs. The programs offer a standardized set of services, allowing it to spread its fixed program cost structure across its membership base of participating organizations.
As of March 31, 2014, the Company offered 62 distinct membership programs across three models best practices research, which is focused on identifying best-demonstrated management practices, critiquing widely-followed but ineffective practices, and analyzing emerging trends; performance technologies software, which allows members to increase revenue, reduce cost, and improve quality by utilizing software applications that provide visibility and analysis of their operational data alongside the best practices insights from its research; and consulting and management services, which provides strategic and operational support to member institutions to enable them to achieve key clinical quality and financial performance goals, and assist member institutions’ efforts to adopt and implement best practices.
Best Practices Research Programs
The Company focuses the senior managements of its members on important problems by providing an analysis of best practices used by some of the most successful organizations to solve those problems, and by providing tools and services to accelerate the adoption of best practices within its member institutions. Each of its best practices research programs is targeted at a specific member executive and addresses for each year the member’s specific strategic challenges, operational issues, and management concerns. Each program includes access to studies, executive education, proprietary databases and online services, and executive briefings, among other services, as it continue to enhance the programs with innovative features. For each best practices research program, the Company typically publishes two to four best practices research studies or modules annually. It published a total of approximately 100 best practices research studies and produced approximately 1,000 customized research reports in fiscal 2014. The Company designs each study and module to present the conclusions and supporting best practices in a graphical format, enabling the intended audience to assimilate quickly the 100 to 250 pages of research content. Consistent application of its research methodology and extensive staff member training across all programs enables it to maintain research quality in the programs.
In addition to its research studies, the Company delivers an executive education curriculum based on its proprietary research to member institutions nationwide through four channels: general membership meetings; presentations conducted on-site at member organizations; on-call access to experts; and frequent teleconferences. In all four settings, it uses interactive discussions to provide a deeper understanding and facilitate practical application of the best practices that it has identified. In fiscal 2014, the Company delivered executive education services to approximately 2,900 member organizations, reaching more than 82,000 executive and managerial participants through more than 270 member meetings, over 2,400 on-site seminars, and over 280 web conferences. These interactions serve as an important building block for its relationships with members, allowing it the opportunity to gather input about its research agendas and services, generate leads for cross-selling additional programs to existing members, and identify ideas for potential new programs.
Across its research programs, it also offers a variety of databases, cloud-based content, and online tools and calculators to increase the utility of its content, facilitate analysis of an organization’s performance, and assist the adoption of best practices at member institutions. Each research program has a dedicated section on the Company’s password-protected member website, accessible only to members of the program that includes such items as best practices, executive modules, online data, audit toolkits, and market forecasting instruments. Through the website, members of each program may search and access program-specific content, which includes the ability to access an electronic library of research studies, review executive education modules, view meeting schedules, and communicate with its staff and other members.
Performance Technology Software Programs
Each of the Company’s software tool programs are anchored by Web-based business intelligence and software tools, which are updated with member-specific data. The program’s members have continual access to these tools through the Internet. The tools provide access to specific performance improvement metrics at its member institutions, pulling data from disparate legacy information systems through standardized data extracts and, with analytics and metrics informed by its practices research, transforming hard-to-access legacy data into performance reports and benchmarks offering actionable insight for managers and executives. Members in these programs receive best practices from its research and from peer organizations through member meetings, teleconferences, and benchmarking, and, in addition, engage in regular interaction with members of its staff who are tasked with helping its members analyze their data and with suggesting tactics for improving performance.
The software programs are renewable and address perennial problems in areas in which the Company has developed knowledge through its research programs. These include, among other areas, revenue cycle efficiency, assistance with physician management, supply and other cost optimization, throughput in the emergency department and surgical suites, utilization management, workforce management and optimization, and quality of outcomes. In addition to online dashboards, the tools are built to be flexible and easy to use, offering members ad hoc querying, performance alerts, drill-down analysis, and comparative benchmarking.
Consulting and Management Programs
The Company provides members with support in managing certain processes and installing the best practices profiled in its research studies within their own organizations. In these programs it offers members a standardized package of management tools and on-site curriculum derived from content, data, and documents gathered through working with other members. It has two types of management and advisory programs. The first is an advisory service, in which it provides a standardized package of management tools supplemented by on-site sessions to educate executives and line managers in their use. The programs are designed to help members organize, structure, and manage an internal project team and to develop the action plans for installing those best practices. The second is a management service where it provides a leadership team with tactics and operating metrics to manage a portion of a member’s operations on an interim or long-term basis. In these programs it places a seasoned group of senior level executives on-site for an extended period of time to provide hands-on, practical expertise and to deliver long term value, optimizing the financial and operational performance of its members.
Advisory Board Co
2445 M St, NW
WASHINGTON DC 20037