What are healthcare organisations really getting out of big data analytics?

Business leaders in just about every industry you can name are facing pressure to begin adopting solutions for big data analytics. The thinking is that with better collection and analysis of data, companies can gain a better understanding of what they're doing right and wrong, and adjust accordingly. Nowhere is this pressure greater than in healthcare, where it may actually have the potential to save lives.

What in particular should health organisations be doing with data?

The only problem is that the healthcare world is impossibly complex. There are many different stakeholders involved in treating every patient – families, friends, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, drug manufacturers and so on. It's difficult to get everyone on the same page, working together toward better patient health. It's harder still because the exact value of healthcare data is tough to pin down.

What specifically should health organisations be doing with data? What particular problems can they address, and how? Having greater clarity on this can help ensure that big data analytics adoption leads to real progress.

Where data makes a difference

There's definitely a lot of strong positive sentiment about big data in health, but the trick is finding specific applications for data. Companies that go in without a concrete plan are likely to haemorrhage money by wasting time and manpower on overly vague analytical projects.

This is why the healthcare consulting community is actively looking for ways to put data to better use. Fortunately, they are making a bit of progress. For instance, Rebecca Hermon and Patricia Williams, computer and science researchers at Edith Cowan University, have found that data in health can drive improvements in four ways:

  • Improving administration: Hospitals and other health organisations need to fine-tune their operational strategies so that no resources are wasted.
  • Clinical decision support: When is it right to pursue surgical options? When is a more conservative approach required? Data can reveal trends that will inform these debates.
  • Influencing consumer behavior: Consumers make decisions all the time about the foods they eat, exercise they get, drugs they take and so on. They have a right to know what's working and what isn't.
  • Support services: When health issues arise and patients need fast, reliable care, it helps to have data to push them in the right direction.

All of the above are areas where health organisations can get more specific with applying data. The more pointed and direct their analysis is, the more likely they are to see a positive ROI.

How adoption can promise strong ROI

ROI, after all, is the goal here. When health companies make the big move to implement enterprise solutions for business intelligence, they want to be sure they're not wasting money. The way to ensure this is to begin with specific questions in mind and allocate resources that are highly likely to address those questions.

Make sure your company's QlikView investment will really pay off.Make sure your company's Qlik investment will really pay off.

Healthcare IT News advises that organisations invest especially well in discovery. The more information they can dig up, the more accurate their findings will be in the long run. Having large, statistically significant samples of information can help ensure strong results that will improve patients' lives.

A good IT consultant can help

It can be difficult for health organisations to adopt BI solutions on the fly. When your staff is used to doing business one way, and you introduce new technology that makes them go in another direction, the transition isn't always easy. That's why tailored consulting services are so important – if you bring in professionals to help with the BI transition, you're far more likely to make the move smoothly and successfully.

When you invest in a new solution for healthcare BI like Qlik, you're taking a big step. At AtoBI, we want to ensure you take it without skipping a beat.