In plain English, what sort of data sources go into healthcare analytics?


In a general sense, it’s well understood that analysing data can help healthcare providers make better decisions, regarding everything from allocating man-hours at health facilities to optimising insurance spending. However, it’s not always easy to figure out which data to use.

A lot of the literature out there on healthcare BI is highly dense and packed with technical jargon.

A lot of the literature out there on this topic is highly dense and packed with technical jargon. That sort of reading isn’t for everyone. For some people in the healthcare community – even very bright people with many good ideas – jargon might as well be a second language. They want clear guidance for healthcare business intelligence, but they want it in plain English.

What are the best sources of healthcare analytics data, and how can you make sense of them? This is all you really want to know – so let’s walk through it, nice and easy.

Digging into people’s health records

In the healthcare world, there’s always a paper trail, and that means there’s never a shortage of healthcare analytics data sources for you to choose from. With every patient who goes through the system, there’s a variety of records to cull from, including medical documentation, financial transactions and more. Why not put it to good use?

This is one of the things that business intelligence solutions do best in the modern BI era – search through records, find relevant information and help you discover trends that will influence your future behaviours. Nowadays, this is happening in real time with staggering accuracy.

Finding insights via social media

A lot of healthcare records historically have been kept under wraps, but in the social media era, that’s no longer the case. Millions of people are voluntarily sharing information about themselves on Facebook and Twitter that might have some bearing on their health situation.

Social media can be a gold mine for customer insights.Social media can be a gold mine for customer insights.

Information Week noted that this has played a significant role in detecting fraud. Companies can use enterprise solutions to listen to what people are saying online, check for inconsistencies in their records and sniff out problem cases. This is just one example of widely available data making a big difference.

Getting structure out of unstructured knowledge

Still struggling to find the best possible data for healthcare analytics? It’s possible that the information you’re looking for isn’t available in conventional places like health records and social media feeds.

An Oracle whitepaper recently noted that many health organisations have had success analysing unstructured data, such as qualitative insights collected from patient feedback. Every time a patient says something, record it. Accumulate enough knowledge, and a high-powered solution just might be able to turn it into actionable healthcare data.