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How Business Intelligence Can Revolutionise the Healthcare Industry

How Business Intelligence Can Revolutionise the Healthcare Industry

Business leaders are often highly reliant on every single piece of their business information to make profitable business decisions and further refine corporate strategy. This is where business intelligence comes into the picture.

Analytics

Image credit: Flickr

Designed to help people make better business decisions and turn the business into a profitable establishment, business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process that involves the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information through historical, current, and predictive views of business operations.

While, there are many industries have started embracing BI, let’s see where does it stand in the healthcare industry.

Business Intelligence and Healthcare

As the amount of information being generated is increasing exponentially, big data revolution has left many industries with repositories of information that they earlier had limited or no access to.

Healthcare

Industries are now looking into the prospects of moving to a data-driven establishment. The healthcare industry is also on the brink of transformation and according to a report by KLAS, over half of all health organisations are planning to buy a new and more advanced business intelligence system over the next three years.

Gartner reported that one of nine deadly mistakes in business operations improvement (BOI) in healthcare is the lack of BI strategy.

“Most vendors working in healthcare and other industries observe that healthcare has the most complex data of any industry (possibly excluding government intelligence efforts),” the report states.

The report also cited that organisations are not yet fully handling their data the way it should be tackled. The total absence of a well-documented BI strategy, Gartner added, is the biggest folly of the healthcare industry.

Forward thinking organisations like Harvard Medical School, St. Joseph Medical Centre, and Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust realised the importance of business intelligence in analysing healthcare data and swiftly plunged into the world of BI solutions to better analyse the efficiency of their services.

In the light of such findings, it’s fair to say that bridging the distance between data created and data analysed is where the success of the healthcare industry lies.

The rapid proliferation of new technologies at lower costs with greater availability of patient data has given birth to an immense opportunity for healthcare organisations to improve their efficiency.

Every healthcare business solution comes packed with a myriad of business benefits for organisations to better handle their data and further refine their health strategy.

So, let’s take a quick look at the main benefits of business intelligence in the healthcare industry.

How BI Can Help the Healthcare Industry

There are categories of data that any healthcare organisation should ideally be interested in, such as  financial, operational, and clinical.

In order to make better decisions, healthcare BI could be applied to organise this data into a form that can easily be accessed, readable, comprehensive, and analysable.

Single Point Access to Patient Data

A single point access to patient data makes their confidential information easier to protect, and improves privacy.

Data

It also becomes easier for healthcare professionals to retrieve a patient’s data and create an assortment of reports and analysis based on the historical data stored in their system.

Improved Operational Efficiency and Better Visibility

Such consolidation of data and easy access to information not only results in improved operational efficiency, but it also increases revenue and reduces the overall cost of healthcare.

It does so by improving the visibility of their operations, helping distinguish the highly profitable ones from the underutilised services.

By establishing a concrete ground for evidence-based decision making, one that is essential for the healthcare industry, BI can help improve patients’ outcomes by giving medical personnel access to more accurate histories and reports during diagnoses.

Big Data Means Big Savings

According to a report by McKinsey and Company, if technological innovations in the realm of big data  taken into consideration, overall healthcare savings could be enormous.

Cost

Image credit: Flickr

A broader data analysis can provide healthcare professionals enough knowledge to determine what risks the population is prone to. These valuable insights can help providers proactively prevent risks before they even affect anyone.

More importantly, big data can pinpoint what is needed where more accurately and precisely, to produce healthier populations, thereby decreasing the overall cost of healthcare in the region.

Opportunities presented by business intelligence here may potentially change the dynamics of the healthcare industry. If you are a healthcare provider and are considering using your data more effectively, you should consult a functionally and technically well-versed BI specialist that can help you create an efficient and effective BI strategy for your business.

So is your medical institution working on implementing a BI strategy yet? What is the most challenging aspect of this implementation so far? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Why You Need a Business Intelligence Consultant

Why You Need a Business Intelligence Consultant

The decisions you make today have a strong bearing on the operations of your business in the future. In order to make sound decisions, your enterprise needs to have the latest operational intelligence information. This is where ‘Business Intelligence’ (BI) comes in and a qualified BI consultant will be able to track your company’s status and operational data very quickly and efficiently.

The global market for BI platforms is witnessing a constant rise that has made it rank among the fastest growing enterprise software industries.

As per Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics platform from earlier this year, this growth is expected to take place at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8.7% through to 2018.

BI Consulting Trends

Source: Gartner (February 2015)

Martin Butler, an industry expert, commented on the importance of BI by saying that “an organisation without Business Intelligence bears a striking resemblance to a ship without a rudder” in his latest report.

So in this article, we will look at the reasons your organisation needs a Business Intelligence consultant, along with some tips to find the right BI consultants and hire them at the right time.

Tasks Performed by BI Consultants

An ideal BI consultant for your business will have sound knowledge of the underlying data system, along with programs and tools that create the data. The primary job involves carrying out constant monitoring of the business data and generates timely reports that can be shared with your company’s management on a frequent basis.

One of the most important yet ignored tasks performed by any BI consultant is finding and listing down requirements. The consultant can devise relevant strategies and focus on achieving better results for your business if they have a sound understanding of your business needs.

A smart BI consultant will focus on the business and then determine the technology and tools that need to be used in order to convert a vast pool of data into valuable information.

Having dealt with a number of enterprises, we realise the importance of having a level-headed BI consultant that can offer alternate solutions to emerging challenges with well-defined reports.

This goes a long way in helping the management make informed decisions that turn out to be successful in the long run. Therefore, you can term your BI consultant as the ideal partner for the decision makers of your business.

Rising Need to Hire BI Consultants

As needs are becoming more dynamic, it is getting increasing difficult to make the right, long-term decisions without a strong source of information and intelligence.

You need professionals that can provide updated operational data and information in an efficient manner upon demand. Your management cannot be expected to continuously monitor the data reports and use them to make informed decisions. It requires a specialist to provide the right kind of data and information and this is why you need a qualified BI consultant.

There is no perfect time to hire a BI consultant. You need to get hold of one as early as possible in order to increase your chances of making better decisions that yield quality results for your company. In addition, the sooner you hire a BI consultant, the easier it will be for them to develop an understanding of your requirements.

Skills to Look Out for While Hiring a BI Consultant

  • Must be an expert on your company’s underlying data system (IBM DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server or similar)
  • Should have sound knowledge of SQL, database functions and data modelling
  • Must be able to query recursively at a fast pace (to generate quick reports on demand) and execute analytic functions for complex inter-row calculations
  • Must have good knowledge about the source program (Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics GP or similar) used to generate data reports
  • Must possess excellent communication skills to understand the business requirements clearly, highlight the gaps and showcase valuable information on time

If you are going for a BI project for the first time, you definitely need professional help from agencies that have prior exposure to BI technologies and tools.

Also, you can opt for recruitment agencies that offer experienced BI professionals on contract or for permanent hires. However, you can also opt for BI consultancy firms that provide quality support for all your data-centric BI needs.

There is no room to experiment when it comes to BI for your organisation as a single bad decision can have very far-reaching consequences. Hiring a well-qualified BI consultant or a team of such consultants is a small investment that will pay rich dividends for your business in the long term.

The time and money you spend on hiring the right BI team will eventually help your business grow and increase profitability through well-informed decisions.

So do you plan to hire in-house BI consultants, or outsource? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!