It's not always easy to provide BI training to employees on the fly

Getting your staff up to speed with BI solutions might be a challenge.

Business leaders everywhere are in a rush to implement new solutions for business intelligence (BI). In doing so, they have the potential to examine their operations closely and find opportunities to make key improvements. A more productive, profitable future might be just one data analysis project away.

If your staff takes the time to learn BI skills, you'll probably have to sacrifice productivity.

There's just one problem – the business world is competitive now, not a year from now. If your staff takes the time to learn BI skills for the future, you'll probably have to sacrifice productivity in the present, and that means losing ground against hardworking rivals in your industry. No one wants that.

The secret is to train people on the fly while staying highly competitive. This is easier said than done, but it's not impossible.

Breaking down the training process

When you're deploying enterprise solutions for BI, your staff is going to have a lot to learn and not much time to learn it. According to the Industry Skills Councils, you're going to have three primary goals to tackle as an organisation:

  • Establishing the scope: The first step is to find out exactly how much your company is capable of with BI. Exactly which aspects of your operations are you looking to analyse and improve? Where are you looking for inefficiencies? Answering these basic questions will give your work direction.
  • Engaging your staff: It's often difficult to get your entire team on board with BI, as many of them are non-tech personnel who don't naturally take to data analysis. It will be crucial to communicate with them effectively and get their input.
  • Removing barriers to improvement: Your employees are bound to have trouble with new BI solutions at various points along the way. Looking out for difficulty and helping them through it will be crucial.

If you have a comprehensive plan for BI implementation that hits all of the above areas, your project just might be successful.

Steering clear of common pitfalls

Having said that, there are still sometimes additional problems that crop up along the way, even if your company has the right initial framework for implementing BI effectively.According to TechTarget, one common problem is that IT specialists don't know how to communicate effectively with staff members who lack their level of tech expertise. When you talk to other business users like IT people, you risk speaking a language they don't understand and alienating them.

Non-IT users can get confused by convoluted tech lingo.Non-IT users can get confused by convoluted tech lingo.

Along the same lines, another typical issue that comes up is speaking to people in the right dialect, but getting the timing wrong. Teach people the basics of BI too late, and they may have already been thrown into the fire and made mistakes. Do it too early, and they might forget the lessons they're taught once it's time to apply them. This is why many companies reach out for help in the form of solution consulting – they want to get their tone and timing just right.

How a good consultant can help

Getting your employees to fully embrace BI is not always easy, but the process definitely becomes smoother if you have good teachers in your corner. That's why, at AtoBI, we offer resources such as QlikView training courses that can help your people learn new technologies without a hitch.

A good consultant is someone who knows how to listen and develop a complex understanding of what challenges employees tackle and what difficulties they face. We have a team of such experts on our staff, and they're eager to get to work for your business. Talk to us today about how we can set your organisation down the path to BI success.

Learning the finer points of high-powered data analysis

A good data analyst has a handle on the whole process.

By 2016, the secret is out – just about every business under the sun has great potential with big data. By collecting large volumes of information about themselves, their operations, their customers and the competition, companies stand to make significant gains by fine-tuning the way they conduct their business.

This data-driven transformation is easier said than done, however. No company will be able to turn over a new leaf without first putting in significant work to prepare for analytics. This means changing the company culture so everyone is on board, planning carefully and assigning everyone a role that best utilises their talents.

Analytics success is predicated on a whole lot more than simply brute-force collection of lots of data. Arriving at a perfectly optimised strategy requires time and effort.

The perfect strategy for adopting BI

If your company is getting ready to dive into analytics, you've got to do a lot more than just adopt business intelligence solutions and hope the rest of the process takes care of itself. According to the Industry Skills Councils, being able to analyse data means being prepared for a complex, multi-step process:

  1. Deciding on your data. What sort of information will you use to tackle the business challenges in front of you? Choosing the right sources is key.
  2. Finding methods of analysis. What BI solutions will you use? How will you comb through your data points to distill actionable lessons?
  3. Uncovering trends. The hope is that, after extensive analysis, your data points to definite trends that reveal strengths or weaknesses in your business.
  4. Taking action. The final step is to be proactive about acting upon the trends you find, modifying your business' strategies for the better.

Before you begin with BI solutions, it's best to go through this checklist and ensure you're ready to tackle the entire process. If you're not, why rush into action too hastily?

Distilling the data that really matters

One of the toughest preliminary challenges you'll face is determining the scope of the data analysis projects you'll tackle. After all, when you're adopting enterprise solutions for BI, it's easy to get carried away with the potential and try to analyse too much, too fast.

Then again, you want to include as much information as possible in your analysis, at least in the very beginning. As IT Business Edge correctly pointed out, even savvy data scientists can't necessarily be trusted to predetermine which data points matter and which don't. It's better to paint with a broad brush at first, taking every data point possible into account and being sure not to miss anything.

Big data is really big. We can help narrow it down a bit.Big data is really big. We can help narrow it down a bit.

Eventually, you'll be able to filter out the noise and focus on the information that really matters. Because the advent of big data in business has dramatically increased the volume and speed of data collection, it's good to develop filters over time as you become more familiar with the analytical process. Only time and experience can teach you to do this accurately, though.

Solution consulting can lead you to success

It can be difficult to distill the staggering volume of data that's out there into just the stuff you need. Even some very intelligent business leaders have trouble figuring this process out. If you fall into that category, there's no need to worry. All you need is some solution consulting to help with identifying the challenges in front of you and addressing them.

At AtoBI, we can deliver that help. We're big believers in listening carefully to our customers and learning to understand them intimately. Once we do so, we'll be able to design and implement unique analytical solutions that will lead your business forward.

Technical support can help with easing the transition into BI

Offering tech support is important in the modern office environment.

At many places of business today, leaders have figured out that there's great potential behind business intelligence (BI). By analysing data about their operations, finding noticeable trends and using that knowledge to adjust their strategies moving forward, companies can increase their productivity and profitability dramatically.

Sometimes, employees aren't blessed with the necessary skill sets to make the most of BI immediately.

There's just one problem – sometimes, employees aren't equipped with the necessary skill sets to make the most of BI immediately. Sometimes data analysis doesn't come naturally to them, or they don't have the critical thinking skills to make sense of the findings they come across.

If and when this issue arises, it's no reason to panic. Your BI initiatives are far from doomed – instead, all you need is a strong framework in place for technical support. This should get your staff right back on track.

What goes into great tech support

Are you ready to delve into business intelligence solutions, but unsure of whether your staff will have all of the technical skills required? If so, you need to have a robust system in place for tech support. According to the Industry Skills Councils, the following are three key elements of the necessary tech support skill set:

  • Giving valuable IT insights: Tech support specialists should be experienced with a wide range of business technologies and willing to share their insights. They should also be skilled communicators, adept at conveying their ideas in a way that ordinary employees will understand.
  • Coordinating communication channels: People today like to resolve tech issues using a wide variety of methods, including in-person conversations and inquiries made via phone, email, mobile chat and so on. Tech support people must be willing to handle any of the above.
  • Gathering information: The more work your IT team does, the more historical data they'll have on what strategies have and haven't worked for your office in the past. They can use this knowledge to inform future decisions.

Technical and emotional intelligence both matter

What's truly challenging about giving technical support is that it doesn't just demand being smart. There's more to it – support specialists need to have emotional intelligence as well as the technical kind, which will help them communicate with employees and speak a common language.

Tech support specialists should be as nice and helpful as possible.Tech support specialists should be as nice and helpful as possible.

PCWorld notes that it's important for tech support people to understand that their clients don't always think like them. They don't always analyse computer issues in the same sophisticated ways, or speak using the same jargon. To truly level with people, it's important to adjust the ways they think, speak and act.

Another important aspect of emotional intelligence in tech support is respecting people's space. Computers – and these days, smartphones and tablets as well – are highly personal objects with a lot of private information on them. Tech support personnel need to keep their distance when it's appropriate and try not to be overly invasive, such as by fixing things that don't need fixing. The objective is to get in, do one specific job and get out.

Get solution consulting help when you need it most

If your staffing is struggling with a certain aspect of business technology, it might be time to get professional help to eliminate whatever issues there might be. At AtoBI, we offer help in the form of solution consulting, tailored to fit your company's specific needs.

If you're facing a daunting business challenge, we can help you overcome it. Our job is to prototype, develop and implement solutions that will enable your business to thrive. Talk to us right away about how we can do just that.

How data-driven culture can help businesses thrive

Business intelligence initiatives need to start at the top.

The business world is moving quickly, with digital innovations usurping traditional operating and reporting methods and giving birth to a new era of business intelligence. The tools are available to make modern organisations conduct analysis on many aspects of their operations. All that is required are the skills and willingness to unlock their benefits.

Such is the challenge many businesses are now facing – getting their employees up to speed with new techniques and how their efforts can be optimised. Promoting and nurturing a workplace culture driven by data is critically important in the digital era, so how can your organisation develop the welcoming environment required?

Business intelligence solutions should be a team effort.Business intelligence solutions should be a team effort.

The value of data-driven culture

Large or small, all companies thrive or fail based on the efforts of their employees. People are perhaps the most important element in any form of digital transformation, so creating a working environment that is receptive to change and prepared to work for a better future is the first step on the path towards effective business intelligence solutions. 

Nurturing a workplace culture driven by data is critically important in the digital era.

According to Deloitte's 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 82 per cent of CEOs and HR leaders agree that having a strong company culture can be a significant competitive advantage. That belief may not be enough, however – only 28 per cent of survey respondents feel they have a solid understanding of their own workplace, with just 19 per cent believing their existing culture is the right one.

Understanding is a two-way street. Not only do leaders need to have a clear view of how their employees are feeling before being able to adjust their workplace environment, but the reasons why change is required must be clearly communicated to the workforce.

"Trying to implement new behaviours and measurements without addressing the underlying culture is counterproductive – it results in even well-intentioned people slipping back into old, undesirable behaviours during times of pressure and uncertainty," says Alan Duncan, research director at Gartner.

"As something members of the organisation must do collectively, substantive business transformation begins with culture, and culture begins with a shared language for how information is managed and used." 

Building a data-driven culture can improve business intelligence success.Building a data-driven culture can improve business intelligence success.

Driving change from the top

If there's a theme running through the findings in Deloitte's survey it's that, in order to be effective, digital tools such as business intelligence solutions must be beneficial in a way that all employees will understand. The simplest way to do that is to ensure the leadership team are the ones driving the changes – outlining benefits, impacts to workflows and anything else employees should be aware of.

Research has shown that this top-down approach is indeed one of the best ways forward. In a survey of of 530 senior executives from around the world, the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 49 per cent of respondents felt that guidance from the executive level was responsible for the success of data-driven culture, followed closely by promoting the sharing of data amongst teams (48 per cent) and communicating the benefits of data-driven decision-making (40 per cent).

You might be noticing a pattern here, one of collaboration, sharing and communication. That's the secret to becoming a data-driven business – bringing the entire team along for the ride, not simply putting solutions in place with little or no internal discussion.

The team at A to BI not only has the solution consulting expertise when it's time to implement business intelligence, but also training programmes to ensure you and your employees have the skills required to get the most out of the tools. Get in touch with us today, and take the first step on the path towards a data-driven culture. 

Business intelligence: The key to agility

How can business intelligence help you become more agile?

The business world is one replete with buzzwords, trending terms that seem to appear out of nowhere and either become absorbed into the general lexicon, or disappear into the ether. A good example of recent years – and one which seems likely to stay – is agility.

Agility boils down to an organisation's capability to read the changing tide of the market in which they operate, and how quickly they can adapt their own operations to take advantage of new innovations. Intuitive technologies and streamlined workflows are regularly being developed, so those businesses that capitalise on the latest advances can generate a significant competitive advantage. 

Business intelligence solutions are one such technology. The collection and analysis of operational data – as well as any additional information relevant to individual industries – allows organisations to examine the past and derive insight that helps them to strategise for the future.

Businesses that capitalise on the latest innovations can generate a significant competitive advantage.

The path to greater agility

Before trying to increase your organisation's level of agility, it's worth educating yourself about the key ingredients. According to McKinsey & Company, evolving into an efficient and adaptable organisation depends chiefly on two factors.

"Agility needs two things. One is a dynamic capability, the ability to move fast – speed, nimbleness, responsiveness," says McKinsey's Aaron De Smet.

"And agility requires stability, a stable foundation – a platform, if you will – of things that don't change."

The central tenet of running an agile business is adapting, making decisions quickly in response to an array of unpredictable variables. Despite technology allowing organisations to speed up many processes and procedures, there are a number of areas that seem to have slowed in recent times.

Take the hiring of new employees, for example. Fortune Magazine research indicated that the recruitment and onboarding process took an average of three weeks longer in 2015 than in 2010. Whatever the reasons for this slowdown, it's a critical decision-making process that is becoming stagnant.

Business intelligence solutions can help guide your organisation through change.Business intelligence solutions can help guide your organisation through change.

Following the two tenets outlined by McKinsey above, in order to generate the speed and responsiveness of an agile organisation, businesses need access to a solid base of consistent, usable information. More and more companies are turning towards business intelligence solutions to gain that stable footing – Gartner indicates that statistical analysis, predictive modeling and decision-optimisation technologies are being widely embraced. 

Speeding up decision-making with business intelligence

There are obviously a number of challenges facing businesses today. In its 2016 CEO Survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) identified the two most pressing as understanding what customers value – 63 per cent of respondents – and changing direction – 61 per cent.

Businesses need access to a solid base of consistent, usable information.

The two issues are inextricably linked; if you can gain greater understanding of your customers' desires, your organisation can change direction to meet them. On the flip side, any changes to internal operations should ultimately be made with the goal of delivering a better service to customers. The biggest problem in the pre-digital era was gauging customer experience and sentiment to highlight where operations could be improved, but modern data analysis tools are designed for precisely that purpose.

By implementing business intelligence and analytics tools, any organisation can rapidly develop a much clearer perspective on their customer experience and operational processes, and devise strategies to optimise the two areas. Solutions such as Qlik present intuitive self-serve analytics that help businesses adapt to patterns with much greater agility, and make decisions with confidence and speed.

As Australia's leading certified Qlik solutions provider, AtoBI is dedicated to assisting businesses throughout their business intelligence journey. Getting in touch with the team will be the easiest decision your organisation makes today.

Investment in business intelligence is increasing rapidly worldwide

Business intelligence can be a source of great ideas.

It wasn't long ago that business intelligence (BI) was considered a luxury – something that only big corporations had the resources to take advantage of. It took considerable funds to invest in new BI solutions, and even beyond that, time and effort were necessary for training staff members and getting the entire organisation up to speed with BI. It was a lot to ask.

A wide range of users, from big businesses to small-time operations, are taking the plunge into BI.

We're now starting to see, however, that using BI to drive real business improvement is more of a mainstream goal than it used to be. A wide range of users, from big businesses to small-time operations, are taking that plunge.

This trend is reflected in the numbers. As the most recent research clearly shows, BI investment has continued to rise as acceptance has spread.

Billions and billions in new revenue

For evidence that business intelligence solutions are gaining traction on the market today, all you have to do is follow the money. A 2016 study from Gartner revealed that the total value of the market for BI and analytics is expected to reach $16.9 billion by the end of the year. This represents an increase of 5.2 per cent from 2015.

"The shift to the modern BI and analytics platforms has now reached a tipping point," said Ian Bertram, managing vice president at Gartner. "Organizations must transition to easy-to-use, fast and agile modern BI platforms to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources."

Bertram elaborated that in recent years, this acceptance of BI has become more democratised, meaning access is more widespread and more people are capable of taking advantage. Using data has become a key part of doing business for people in myriad industries, not just IT where companies might have more natural talent for it.

Making cost-effective investment choices

BI adoption might be a widespread phenomenon today, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be easy for your company to get on board. If you're going to invest in enterprise solutions to improve your business, it will require careful advance planning to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

Focus on solving specific business problems through data.Focus on solving specific business problems through data.

CloudTweaks recommends beginning that initiative with a narrow focus. Know before you begin a BI implementation exactly what question you're trying to answer with data. This way, you can focus on gathering relevant information rather than waste time or money on extraneous details.

For example, if you're looking to improve your company's marketing outreach, have a specific metric in mind for measuring your success. It might be the number of sales you make, or the number of qualified leads you have contacting your business via phone or email. Either way, make sure your measurements are clear and accurate and your methods of getting up-to-date information are seamless. If you can do that, you stand a good chance of implementing BI in a cost-effective manner.

Need a little help getting started?

BI can yield enormous benefits if implemented correctly, but not every business has the talent and expertise available in house to pull this off. If your company doesn't, that's OK – you can always reach out for the help of consultants who are more experienced in the field.

At AtoBI, we have a team of experts on business consulting in Melbourne who are ready to listen to your company's challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. We believe that good consulting starts with good listening, which is why our first step is to hear you out and develop a deep understanding of where you're coming from. Once we've done that, we can get to work on carving out a better future for your business.

How to extract real value from business intelligence in healthcare

Improving healthcare service can benefit everyone in the world.

The world of healthcare information technology is fraught with inefficiencies that need fixing. Patients everywhere are looking to receive care that's affordable and attentive to their needs; care providers are hoping they can deliver that service in a way that's reasonably efficient. On both sides, there's still plenty of room for improvement.

Healthcare providers have many years of historical data on file about their patients and their treatment histories.

The hope is that business intelligence (BI) and big data analytics can help make that improvement happen. Healthcare providers have many years of historical data on file about their patients and their treatment histories – the challenge is to analyse that information, find revealing trends and use that newfound knowledge to shape future strategies.

At many healthcare organisations, however, this is easier said than done. It requires careful preparation and attention to detail.

Analytics can have an impact for everyone

In many industries today, analytics are simply seen as a means for corporations to make more money. In healthcare, however, the beauty is that data can be mutually beneficial, helping to carve out a brighter future for everyone involved. According to the office of the NSW Minister for Health, numerous parties are reaping the benefits of data analysis in healthcare consulting:

  • Doctors and nurses are able to use analytics to continually improve their practices. By looking at patient histories and examining which treatment strategies have worked best traditionally, they can optimise their care.
  • Healthcare providers and insurance companies can improve their resourcing, allocating their limited funding and manpower in the optimal ways to deliver treatment to the most patients possible.
  • Consumers can make better choices about their own health, including pursuing the right treatments and purchasing prescription drugs that have proven to help others with conditions like theirs.

Really, everyone involved with the health sector benefits when data is added to the mix. There's no reason not to be on board.

Driving systematic organisational change

Having said all of that, there are still no guarantees that implementing new business intelligence solutions will be easy. Not all health organisations are loaded with talented technology specialists, meaning some will be out of their depth when it comes time to deploy a new BI platform.

Getting your staff trained for BI can sometimes be a challenge.Getting your staff trained for BI can sometimes be a challenge.

TechTarget advises that the first step towards making a wholesale change to a new system is getting all the relevant stakeholders involved early. Transparency is key – if you keep conversations about BI implementation contained to a small group of executives, it will be difficult to get the entire staff up to speed later. The more people you keep informed, the faster information will trickle down.

Healthcare organisations should try to decide as early as possible on the specific parameters of the projects they're working on. Exactly what questions are you trying to answer? What data points are you considering? As soon as you have these details figured out, it becomes easier to train project teams to hit the ground running.

Working with consultants who can help

Getting a large healthcare organisation to embrace BI can be a difficult process. The more employees you have, the harder it is to get everyone on the same page, working in lockstep towards using data to solve real business problems.

This is why it might make sense to explore solution consulting as an answer to your implementation and training challenges. If you invest in tailored consultancy services for your staff, it will be far easier to identify your BI needs and design solutions for them. At AtoBI, this is precisely the kind of service we offer. We have a passionate, experienced team with unparalleled expertise in healthcare BI, and we're ready to impart our wisdom to your staff.

The 4 most common business intelligence mistakes

Plenty of organisations have BI tools but not all of them are using these solutions to the best of their ability.

Wouldn't it be great if someone warned you of all the mistakes you were likely to make before you made them?

Well, lucky for you, AtoBI has seen its fair share of business intelligence missteps and we decided to give you a little warning. Let's take a look at some of the most common BI mistakes.

1. Letting your IT team have full purchasing control

While business intelligence platforms certainly fall under the umbrella of IT, many companies make the mistake of allowing their IT leaders to purchase BI tools without any input from the people that will actually be responsible for using them. This creates a major disconnect between purchase and adoption.

The foundation of business intelligence is good business practices.

"Even the best BI tools are ineffective if they're not utilised, and no amount of training or standardising will convince people to use technology they don't feel benefits them personally," explained Dell Software BI expert Joanna Schloss in an interview with CIO Magazine.

"Instead of telling employees they have to use something, help them clearly understand why they'll want to use it. Clearly articulate the value proposition and adoption will follow."

2. Neglecting to set business goals

The foundation of business intelligence is good business practices. You can't rely on BI tools to carry the full weight of a given project; you need to have clear goals set and processes to achieve them.

Leveraging a BI platform is a smart move for any business but don't make the mistake of thinking your work ends there. You need to build a sturdy foundation of strategy and objectives to see real results.

3. Focusing on features over integration

It's easy to get distracted by all the features a given BI solution can offer you. Modern business intelligence platforms have some pretty impressive functionalities. However, many businesses make the mistake of getting distracted by these bells and whistles and forget about the need for integration with legacy systems.

Features can be important tools but before you get too sidetracked by them make sure your BI solution integrates with your pre-existing business systems.

4. Collecting data but not leveraging it

What's the point of gathering data if you're not going analyse it and use the subsequent information to your advantage? Unfortunately, many companies allow the information their BI solution gathers to collect dust in the corner.

Don't make the mistake of letting this valuable info go to waste. Leverage the information you've collected to make decisions or solve internal problems – strategy and data should be closely tied together.

Ask AtoBI for a helping hand

Here at AtoBI we have plenty of experience helping our clients get the most out of their BI solutions. Reach out to one of our reps today and we'll not only help you steer clear of these common mistakes but get you on board with some of the best BI practices in the game.

4 tips for maximising ROI from your BI solutions

How can you maximise the ROI from your BI solution?

Did you know that every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data? According to IBM, this creation is so rapid that 90 per cent of all the data that exists today was created in the last two years.

This fact alone is one of the main reasons business intelligence tools are so important. In order for businesses to take advantage of the massive amounts of consumer information on hand, they need systems and platforms that can help them leverage it.

And while most modern organisations have a BI solution in place, there are few that are leveraging these tools to secure maximum ROI. So, how can your business better use BI solutions to ensure you are getting the most return on your investment? Let's take a look:

How can you better leverage your business intelligence solution to secure maximum ROI?How can you better leverage your business intelligence solution to secure maximum ROI?

1. Align your strategy with your BI functions

Leveraging a Business Intelligence solution without a clearly defined objective is pointless. There is so much information and so many functionalities within a given platform – you need to decide where you want to focus, why and how. Without a predetermined direction you will gain little value from your BI solution.

2. Draw up a road map

Once you have pinpointed the objectives for your BI solution, you should work to create a road map for your processes. How will you measure success? What are your metrics? What information do you need to support your goals? How do you extract it? Establishing these detailed processes sets you up on a path to success.

3. Start small and build up

It can be tempting to want to extract every last bit of information from your various systems. A much more sound approach is to take your BI knowledge and apply it to one small project at a time. This will allow you to not only secure maximum ROI from a given project but will give your team time to better familiarise themselves with navigating your BI platform in a meaningful way.

4. Consult the professionals

One of the best ways to secure maximum ROI from your BI solution is seeking out the advice of a consultancy. Here at AtoBI we have years of experience helping businesses leverage their BI solutions in the most effective ways possible.

Our consultants are well-versed in how to best align BI tools and functionalities with your businesses core objectives – ultimately helping you secure the best ROI. Interested in learning more? Reach out to one of our reps today!

How will you prepare your healthcare organisation to adopt BI?

Getting started with BI? You might need a little help.

In the healthcare industry today, there's a vague understanding that business intelligence (BI) represents a path to a brighter future. Business leaders have heard the buzz that adopting BI can help them make improvements both internally (i.e., creating a more efficient and profitable business) and externally (making the future brighter for patients everywhere).

There's a difference between a vague understanding of BI and a detailed knowledge of the strategies required.

This is certainly tantalising. BI has big potential, and many executives are eager to tap into it. The problem is there's a vast disparity between a vague understanding of BI and a detailed knowledge of the specific strategies required. Gathering data, analysing it and turning it into actionable truths about the future of your business is difficult. No company, no matter how smart and naturally gifted its personnel, can simply dive right in.

Preparing for BI is a multi-step process. It requires sizing up the challenges in front of you and deliberately putting together an attack plan for overcoming them.

What are the challenges in healthcare?

For those who are deeply invested in healthcare consulting, it's clear that solving all the industry's problems overnight using analytics will not be easy. Part of the problem is that the challenges faced in the industry today are numerous, and they're diverse. According to Deloitte's 2016 "Global Health Care Outlook" report, they include:

  • Financial issues: Just about everything, ranging from medical specialists' man-hours to prescription drugs, is suboptimally priced, which puts an enormous strain on consumers. How can the financial landscape be made fairer for everyone?
  • Tightening up operations: Eliminating waste is crucial. Whether it's time, talent or raw materials, currently a lot of key resources are being squandered by inefficient work processes. It's time to tighten up.
  • Changing demographics: The population is quickly aging, and that means there are new chronic health conditions that need to be addressed in greater detail.
  • The regulatory landscape: Government agencies are guarding against numerous disaster scenarios including product safety mishaps, cybersecurity breaches and cases of fraud and abuse. Can analytics help address them?
  • Future innovation: The hope is that medicine in the future will be stronger, as digitally connected health and other innovations take shape. Analytics may be able to drive this movement forward.

Overall, the goal in healthcare is the same as it's ever been – to continue improving care while keeping costs to a minimum all the while. The hope is that data can accelerate this.

Assessing your organisation's readiness

Is your organisation fully prepared to deploy business intelligence solutions and get to work on driving improvement through data? It very well might be, but according to research from A.T. Kearney, it's best to ask yourself a few questions first and ensure you have the answers ready.

Ask yourself a series of key questions about your BI readiness.Ask yourself a series of key questions about your BI readiness.

For example: What sorts of analytics projects have proven most successful in the past, either for your business or others like it? Have you benefited from data mining, predictive modeling or database analytics, for example? How can you improve upon past data initiatives you've seen in the field and perform yours more efficiently? Answering this requires taking an honest look at your staff, assessing what tech skills they have and admitting which ones they need to shore up.

Getting your BI plans up and running

Once you've committed to using enterprise solutions for healthcare BI, it's time to lay the foundation that will ensure your projects get off the ground smoothly. To get started with this, Information Age advises building your framework around a clear vision. What are the specific goals you're hoping to accomplish with data? What milestones are you looking to hit that will verify you've succeeded?

BI projects tend to perform the best when goals and milestones come from the very top.

BI projects tend to perform the best when these goals and milestones come from the very top. If you have support from your company's upper-level management to dive into BI, that will make it easier to secure the funding, manpower and other resources you need to make your projects successful. The hope, then, is that management's commitment to the project will trickle down, and eventually all stakeholders will be engaged and motivated.

Need a little help with the details?

Getting into BI in the healthcare sector is a complicated process, especially if many members of your staff are tackling a project like this for the first time. It's not uncommon to reach out for a little bit of help with understanding the finer points involved. Fortunately, we offer this sort of help at AtoBI. What you get from us is a straightforward approach to solution consulting built around understanding your specific problems and tackling them.

When your company starts using BI solutions, you're making a big investment. We can help you maximise it. Every dollar you spend, you want to pay for itself and then some. With our guidance, you can definitely make that happen.