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How to be a champion of data-driven decision-making

The Big Data era has carved out its groove and is here to stay. But for some reason, executives continue to feel pushback from skeptical managers who are reluctant to incorporate data systems into their decision-making processes.

The most agile companies employ analytics to drive strategic decisions, and organizations that refuse to adopt a data mindset will rapidly fall behind.

Whether managers are afraid of being replaced by machines or are just plain lazy, modern businesses simply cannot survive without collecting and analyzing data.

As the head of your company, it’s your duty to create a data-driven culture that empowers, rather than alienates, your management team.

Overcoming the objections

Some managers scoff at Big Data and think their years of hard-won experience trump mathematical models, while others view data as a crutch that weak leaders rely on when they can’t come to their own conclusions. Some managers, on the other hand, just simply don’t want to add what they see as an extra time-consuming step to their decision-making process.

Help your managers overcome these misconceptions by showing them how data enhances, rather than replaces, their performance. Display how data works in concert with their already capable analytical skills by double-checking their instincts against the numbers. And debunk their time-consuming complaints by showing them how analytics systems are easier than ever to utilize and provide leaders with real-time data in an organized, efficient format.

Data empowers department heads to adapt on the fly and quickly respond to dips in sales or engagement based on numeric trends and insights. Your leadership staff can create powerful predictive models that will immensely help your teams improve their processes, hit more targets and ultimately make more money.

Putting data in your DNA

A data-centric culture isn’t possible unless the entire executive suite buys in. Bad things happen when only a handful of people are making well-informed decisions. Once everyone at the top is on board, it’s time to convert the rest of the crew.

These three strategies will help you incorporate a data mindset into every level of your company:

  1. Incentivize data. Tying tangible employee bonuses and raises to data adoption will get employees looking for more opportunities to use data on a regular basis. In performance reviews, ask them how they’ve recently used data to make better decisions for their departments or customers. Reward them accordingly.
  2. Lead by example. Send out regular email blasts that detail trends and efficiencies you’ve uncovered through your use of data. Show your employees how they can use those trends in their daily work, and encourage them to find their own.
  3. Be transparent. Also openly discuss every negative trend you’ve uncovered through data analysis. The more your team understands data’s role in day-to-day operations, the more you’ll see a cultural shift toward regular data usage across departments.

Big Data supports clear, adaptable, logical and future-minded thinking, and the ideal data-driven environment strikes a balance between human and non-human input. In fact, proper data analysis often requires a human perspective to determine whether you’re drawing valid conclusions. Your managers know the stories the data doesn’t tell.

Make sure you tell your managers that data analysis will not replace them; it will just make them better.

Listen to Your Gut But Check Your Assumptions and the Data

Even as a self-professed data nerd, I still find myself itching to go with my gut when I’m faced with a key decision. It’s only natural. We humans sometimes struggle to set aside our fragile pride and accept that another source of information might trump our intuition.

In business, it pays to put aside pride. Making a decision that you know is backed by data gives you confidence in what you’re doing, takes away the pressure of leading your team into the unknown and creates a culture of trust between you and your employees, customers and stakeholders.

People often think they’re safe from assumptions when they’re dealing with data. But assumptions have a funny way of weaving their way into every aspect of your business. They can gradually steer you in the wrong direction but you can you regulate your assumptions to strike the perfect balance between intuition and data. The first step is to be aware of your assumptions so you can judge when they’re misguided or just plain wrong.

Here are four common assumptions in business and ways to combat them:

1. Your employees are fulfilled.

The areas where business leaders most commonly allow their assumptions to take over involve the human elements of business.

It’s easier to assume that your employees are feeling happy and fulfilled than to regularly evaluate how satisfied they actually are. But without a healthy dose of data, all these factors can change overnight. When you find yourself in one of these human areas, take special care to look at data before you let your assumptions do the talking.

2. Everyone wants to work for your company.

You need to believe in the desirability of your company, but you can’t simply assume that your work culture is second to none. If you’re struggling to fill roles and have no idea why, check the data. Use it to unveil the biggest turnoffs potential employees see when they interview at your company so you can refine your recruitment process.

3. All potential customers need your expertise.

You want to believe that you’re the best fit for your target customers’ pain points and that customers who wanted your last product will want your newest one, but use data to track customer satisfaction and pay attention if it says otherwise. Ignoring facts will prevent you from finding new revenue streams and innovating.

4. Regional profiles are always true.

You’re not the only one who has trouble sorting assumptions from facts. Your industry — and everyone within it — operates on assumptions to a certain extent. Much of the information you receive from external sources is based on assumptions.

Be aware of others’ assumptions, just as you’re aware of your own. If there’s a trend in launching businesses in a certain city on the East Coast, don’t automatically assume that the location is going to be right for your business. Do your research. Data can help you discover pockets of opportunity you were unaware of.

Accept that data might know more about your business than you do or that it can lead you to understanding your audience’s desires better. Matching human intuition with the data patterns to back it up will make for more confident decisions. In fact, a recent study evaluating the leadership behavior of 50,000 business leaders found that those perceived as having poor decision-making skills were deemed weak at fact-checking, confirming assumptions and gathering additional information.

You want to be a good decision maker for your team, right? Hunt and gather all the information you can to inform the decisions you make. The more you know, the better your decisions will be. That is key to pushing your startup from shaky success to a definite winning streak.

The Next Big Thing Isn’t BDaaS – It’s How You Use It

At one time, only the corporate elite could afford to collect and crunch millions of data points to optimize their businesses. But with the advent of big data as a service, companies of all sizes now have the chance to take part in the big data revolution.

Although the need for data isn’t new, the amount of information and the type of intelligence it can provide looks starkly different than it did even a few years ago. In fact, the same amount of data influx that was achieved over the past 50 years is now achieved every two days.

If you’re serious about data, you need a way to store, manage, and analyze millions of numbers that will point your business in the right direction. As your company expands, your data stockpile will also grow exponentially. Wrangling a large volume of data early on will free you to focus on the creative growth of your company. And with the help of BDaaS, you can better understand the data you’re collecting, how to set it up against your strategy, and how to hone your competitive advantage through data.

But with so many outsourced tools, cloud providers, and consulting services available, you need to diagnose the state of your company before prescribing the right BDaaS solution.

To make data work for you, start with these six steps:

  1. Ask Whether It’s the Right Time

It’s important to honestly work through this point before moving forward. You need an overall strategy in place and should feel comfortable with your long-term goals to get value out of BDaaS companies.

If you are in survival mode or still struggling to stay afloat, you’re probably not ready to invite external support into your organization. Recent changes in management or overloaded employees are also telltale signs it’s not the right time. You need adequate time, money, and human resources to devote to proper adoption.

However, if you’re hungry for growth opportunities, don’t wait to invest in data management.

  1. Weigh the Cost of Hiring Internally vs. Outsourcing

If you have the budget, consider hiring an internal data expert. Of course, having a dedicated data manager on staff will be valuable, but make sure to weigh the cost of hiring someone internally versus externally to see whether you can justify the expense.

  1. Focus on Where You Excel

Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking they need to wear every hat. But undertaking your data management requires constant care and attention. To find the right BDaaS balance, focus your energy on what you do best, and leave the data duties to trusted advisors. An external company or expert will have a fresh perspective that can help you build the most efficient system possible.

  1. Be Transparent About Your Current Data Landscape

You’ll need to express the status and trajectory of your company to the big data consultant you choose to hire. The advisor should seek to understand the current state of your business and your data organization methods to conduct a status report and determine areas of weakness and opportunity. Carefully audit your current data management process, and be prepared to communicate the ins and outs to your partner.

  1. Don’t Let Current Data Go to Waste

A good outside firm will be able to innovate and manage your data practices without scrapping your existing structure. If you’ve started a business, chances are you’ve established at least some data foundation. An outside company should help you construct an initial strategy based on the foundation you’ve built, work with you to develop a new process for collecting and housing data, determine any need for new tools and processes, and work with your team to adapt and adopt these new processes. Be sure to choose a company that integrates your existing data into the new structure.

  1. Be Prepared for Disruption

There’s always a level of risk involved with manipulating the structure of your business. A new data management system will inevitably upset your daily processes as your team adapts. It will take time and patience before you feel fully integrated and comfortable with the systems, but the insights you gather will be well worth the initial growing pains.

Imagine thinking about your company’s huge data expanse and feeling a rush of excitement instead of nausea. With BDaaS, you can now confidently collect and store data knowing your company will extract valuable insights from it. Don’t treat your valuable data store like a collection of random numbers. Monetize this information through BDaaS, and you’ll begin to uncover new ways data can set your startup apart from the pack.

FTI Catalyst offers healthcare professionals improved organizational analytics, enhanced decision-making, better strategy implementation, and improved overall operational efficiency. You founded Future Technologies Inc., a business analytics company, in 1996 and then developed FTI Catalyst, a pre-built data model specifically geared toward healthcare analytics. What has contributed to your overall growth and expansion into the health space?

Asha: FTI works across a broad spectrum of industries, and as the company grew, we noticed an ongoing greater need for data management. This was especially apparent with our clients in the healthcare industry. Their industry changes so rapidly, so we created a flexible tool that leverages data to measure hospital performance and create new revenue opportunities. This strong data management system also helps them monitor their margins and enables them to receive real-time information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of their establishments. What are some of the biggest barriers business leaders face when trying to create value from data?

Asha: Business leaders today, in healthcare or in any industry, need to be more agile than ever before. New data assessment sources are popping up all the time; leaders should assume that their competition is proactively staying ahead of the curve and using these tools to become even more profitable. If they don’t follow suit, their companies will undoubtedly fall behind.

Leaders also face the need to effectively consolidate and analyze complex data as quickly as possible. Data is at its most useful when it’s easy to digest and used in real time. Raw data is typically delivered in huge, disorganized piles; leaders need tools that help compile and present it in a helpful format that encourages well-informed decisions. How does your company help others use data to formulate and communicate well-informed business decisions?

Asha: FTI Catalyst offers healthcare professionals improved organizational analytics, enhanced decision-making, better strategy implementation, and improved overall operational efficiency. It does this by distilling complex healthcare data into pre-built data models that crystallize KPIs into user-friendly dashboards. This integration of data and delivery of analytics is designed to serve business decision makers across the entire establishment: service lines, nursing units, and financial executives.

FTI Catalyst’s enterprise-level solutions create daily awareness of trends and variances that are typically unattainable. By linking operations, finance, quality, and staffing, executives and managers can now intervene with a higher level of confidence regarding cost overruns, bottleneck avoidance, and patient satisfaction and safety.

Equipped with more than 40 customizable, ready-to-use dashboards, FTI Catalyst’s balanced scorecard approach permits users to achieve organizational transparency and rapid speed to value.

FTI collaborates with FTI Catalyst users to help integrate data from disparate sources into our pre-defined data models. In the end, users have access to a best-in-class set of dashboards that can easily be implemented across their entire organizations. We also provide ongoing advice on how to further build upon these tools. You speak regularly at conferences and serve as the entrepreneur in residence at Columbia University. What are some of the most important messages you try to communicate during these outreach activities? 

Asha: I’m passionate about data and what it can tell us about our businesses. I don’t think people realize that we’re living in an excellent time to launch a company. Methods for collecting, storing, and analyzing data keep getting cheaper and cheaper, and the effective utilization of these methods will lead to the discovery of new revenue streams and create a foundation of solid information underneath startups.

In my presentations, I primarily give tips and takeaways on how business leaders can take the first steps toward seeing huge ROI from an investment in big data. I talk to them about the collection process, how they can best monitor data, and how they can act upon the stories their data tells them. What are some of the biggest trends and issues you foresee in big data this year?

Asha: I think big data is going to continue to make strides toward improving organizational productivity — specifically in the healthcare world. Hospital executives will be able to better oversee facility operations such as discharge management, length-of-stay trends, and admission sources. All of these efforts will improve staff satisfaction and result in higher-quality care for patients.

I also think data sharing is going to play a huge role in the coming year. Companies will continue to create stronger relationships with customers, and we will all feel more informed about the services and products we pay for. What advice do you have for would-be entrepreneurs when it comes to using data to their businesses’ benefit?

Asha: Before you even approach setting up a system for monitoring and collecting data, always go back to the strategy behind what you’re doing. Establish a vision and central points of focus before rushing into an investment in data infrastructure. You should be able to clearly articulate where you want to see more value created in your business, why you’re heading in that direction, and what you hope a better data infrastructure will accomplish for you.

Retail Data Model: How to Make it Work for the Healthcare Sector

Healthcare DataThe retail sector has long been using data to improve its services — from tracking customers’ habits to finding new solutions to age-old problems. In this guest post, Asha Saxena, president and CEO of a data management firm, gives hospital executives a rundown of how they can capitalize on big data. 


Half of U.S. retail marketing executives claim being driven by data helps them maintain a competitive advantage. And, according to research by McKinsey & Co., the U.S. healthcare sector could create more than $300 billion in value every year by harnessing big data and using it to drive creativity and efficiency.

Here’s how you can make the retail model work for you:

  1. Make data part of your routine. The first step is to recognize that data represents an opportunity to serve patients more effectively. While many retailers have had the flexibility to incorporate data tracking and analysis into their infrastructures, many healthcare organizations have focused on adapting to meet new demands placed on them by the government and other organizations. The sooner data becomes a routine part of the decision-making process, the sooner it will pay off — both in improving services and helping meet demands.
  2. Add data to infrastructure. To incorporate data into your infrastructure so you can properly house and analyze it through data visualization tools, set up your environment so you’re monitoring patient feedback and employee performance. Make a list of the metrics you need to prioritize, get a regular feedback cycle going from patients using surveys, and actively call on this information to guide everyday decisions.
  3. Track consumer behavior. Tracking technology has advanced rapidly in the retail space. Amazon has always led the way on this trend, but now, many smaller retailers and software engineers are forging ahead by innovating specific tracking solutions for their markets and products. One example is Shopperception, a product made with motion-detection technology that can monitor customers’ movements and interactions with products.
    Consumer tracking can be adapted to the healthcare space to monitor how patients respond to individual staff members, how their habits change between hospital visits, etc.
  4. Reach out to customers before the need arises. Just as the retail sector uses its customer behavior data to offer customers products before they even know what they want, the healthcare industry can use data to offer preventive care. By better understanding how patients behave and react through advanced electronic medical records (EMRs), hospitals can better predict the future course of an illness and respond before new symptoms become a problem patients.
  5. Track quality and customer service. This is an important one for retailers because looking after quality and service creates loyalty and boosts the bottom line. It can do the same for hospitals. Tracking the performance of staff can illuminate how patients experience your facility. As a result, it can reduce readmission rates due to hospital error, identify an accurate nurse-to-patient ratio and measure patient satisfaction.
  6. Create new revenue streams. Retailers are now using the data they’ve collected to go beyond customer service and innovate new revenue sources. Retail innovators like Nest that have designed technology for a specific function (such as controlling home heating systems) now find that they can innovate further and that the same technology has the scope to tackle a whole community’s carbon footprint.
    Similarly, hospitals could use data they gain through EMRs to conduct studies and uncover trends based on patients’ behavior and history. This information could become crucial to other health organizations — creating an opportunity for increased revenue as well as valuable advancements for patient care.

There are endless opportunities for healthcare to capitalize on the growth of data as an organizational and creative tool. Investing in the data infrastructure of your organization will help you make more intelligent and efficient decisions. You’ll be able to cut out historical analysis and go straight to real-time information to innovate where it really matters — saving patients’ lives.

How to Employ Data to Empower, Not Replace, Your Managers

People love to joke that robots are going to someday steal our jobs.

Don’t panic — nobody is being replaced just yet. You can put down your stapler.

But don’t relax, either. Because it’s time to revolutionize the way middle management utilizes Big Data.

The role of data collection and analysis commonly falls on the shoulders of middle managers. Given our increasing reliance on data, many business decisions are only made if they can be supported by data. This raises an interesting question: Do we still need middle management if Big Data is making all of their decisions for them?

My answer: Yes and no. Big Data should replace some traditional management positions and help to evolve the roles of the remaining ones.

For example, Tom Montgomery, co-CEO of clothing brand Chubbies, explained that traditional marketing events were developed by managers who thought about the “why” behind their companies’ events — and an associate would make the “how” work. Today, Montgomery’s event planner can use her dashboards to track the sales and social media response from any given event, which allows her to make the call on not only how future events are held, but why. She doesn’t need a manager to validate her choices — she has data.

Companies that use big data analytics are two times more likely to have top-quartile financial performance and five times more likely to make decisions “much faster” than the competition. If you’re not in this group, it’s time to start the evolution today.

Evolving middle management

It’s important to remember that this is not an all-or-nothing situation. This isn’t about replacing humans; it’s about redefining job descriptions. Big Data and your evolved middle manager positions should happily and productively coexist.

Data analysis tools have become so efficient that managers can access real-time data and take informed action immediately. This means our evolved manager can be inventive and focused on the future.

You should gradually bring together your data scientists, managers, and data tools to meet your unique business needs. You need to have a clear strategy so you can introduce this evolution without terrifying your team. Here are four tips to help:

1. Identify (and reap) the benefits. Replacing some middle manager roles with Big Data tools will shift your company’s mindset. It will free up time for your employees to focus on interpreting data to drive innovation. Big Data will make your company leaner and give you more bang for your salary buck.

2. Keep your employees in the loop. Some of your employees might feel uneasy when they learn their roles are going to change. You need to clearly explain how their jobs will be affected, what new opportunities they’ll have, and what tasks they’ll no longer need to complete. Be as transparent as you can and remind them that you are there to help ease the transition.

3. Research your tools. You have endless options to consider when developing your management structure. You’ll need to spend a lot of time plotting your infrastructure, identifying what you want your data to accomplish, and matching the capabilities of each tool to these needs. At the very least, your wish list should include data visualization, real-time collection and the ability to customize interdepartmentally.

4. Create a collaborative model. The only way that Big Data can effectively help you manage your company is if it’s incorporated into your employees’ roles. You can’t just leave it alone and hope it produces insights. There is still a necessary human element to the proper utilization of data.

Go ahead and follow the Big Data trend. Trim the extra manager positions, but remember that you still need humans to steer the ship. Evolving your business to incorporate this deep level of data will empower your employees and put you in line with the most successful names in the industry.

No robots in sight — yet.

6 Ways Hospitals Can Ease Patients’ Fears About Security Threats

Data and technology have become integral parts of healthcare. They work together to offer physicians a timely and precise glimpse into patients’ personal health.

They allow physicians to consult with patients and fellow doctors around the globe. They allow medical records to be transferred and accessed with the touch of a button. But they also make patients — and healthcare facilities — vulnerable to cyberattacks.

New data breaches are making headlines every few days, affecting thousands (if not millions) of American consumers. And the latest trend of cybercriminals stealing personal information from insurance companies and healthcare facilities has consumers more concerned than ever. It’s no wonder patient trust in healthcare security standards has taken a major hit.

Learn more >

When Will Tech Get Smart Enough to Stop Being ‘Men’s Work’?

Only men should be plumbers.

That sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But once upon a time, it was completely acceptable to call a male-dominated trade “men’s work.” So what about the tech field? Is this men’s work as well?

Some people use this old-fashioned line of thinking to explain the glaring lack of women in tech. But does the field lack gender diversity because women are incapable of excelling in it? Or are women simply not interested in tech?

Learn more >

5 Questions to Help Decide If Outsourcing Is the Solution

5 Questions to Help Decide If Outsourcing Is the Solution
Asking what tools you should use to solve problems and optimize your business is a bit like asking how you can make your life better. There are endless possibilities. It all depends on what you want, what your values are and what particular problems you’re experiencing.

Companies are constantly facing the choice between buying tools and building customized solutions. And now, a third option is available: the “do it for me” option, in which your company’s function or problem is entirely outsourced to another company.

The DIFM revolution has already changed the way we buy. Now, we can pay for complete services such as all-in-one printing and publicity for our self-published books. The same trend is also revolutionizing how we conduct business. Outsourcing solutions can offer a quicker turnaround and a cleaner long-term result. Companies that “do it for you” will often work to a tighter deadline and deliver a more professional finish than your in-house teammates, who may not be experienced enough to solve this particular problem.

But even as the DIFM trend gathers momentum, you need to keep in mind that building and buying are still solid options. You can figure out which method is best for you by using a five-step interrogation:

1. What’s my problem?

The best tool for your business depends entirely on the specific problems you need to fix. Do you need a solution for payroll, marketing or in-house operations?

Sit down with your team, and critically analyze what you need to achieve and the most important facet of your problem. Let this factor drive your decision. If you need a solution quickly, building a customized tool from scratch becomes a less attractive option. If you need to save as much money as possible, that affects your choice, too.

2. Who do I know with insight into this problem?

Once you’ve identified your unique needs, reach out to network experts with specific goals in mind. Sift through your contacts to find people who might know of some options you haven’t thought of to give you the best chance of making a fully informed decision.

3. When do I need this solution, and how soon do I need it to pay off?

When you analyze the problem or function you need to solve, a sense of urgency should become clear. How soon do you need to see the ROI from the tool?

For example, if you’re looking for a system to generate invoices, you’ll probably need that tool ASAP. Otherwise, your company won’t get paid. A system that tracks employee performance, on the other hand, might be less time-sensitive and benefit from a holistic solution that you can build from scratch.

4. What percentage of my needs will be fulfilled by this method?

A good rule to follow when deciding whether a solution works for your company is the “80 percent rule.” If you’re browsing tools to buy and calculate that 80 percent of the initial problem is solved by that tool, buy it. If you’re looking at a lower percentage (meaning you would have to significantly supplement the tool yourself to meet that 80 percent benchmark), it’s probably wiser to build something or outsource.

5. Are there any byproducts that could make this decision easier?

Companies often forget that when they employ one tool for one problem, it may aid other functions or remedy other problems that it wasn’t initially designed for. This byproduct value can potentially upgrade a “70 percent tool” to an “80 percent tool,” making it worth the investment.

Sometimes, it’s hard to gauge when you should build, buy or join the DIFM bandwagon. But don’t be intimidated by this trinity of tech solutions. As long as you know what your needs are, wise up about the array of options available and remember the “80 percent rule,” the most efficient solution for your company will become clear.

Then, you can start focusing on the next problem.

The Med Student’s Guide to Analytics in Healthcare

The Med Student’s Guide to Analytics in Healthcare

As a future physician, you’re constantly learning. You spend years studying, memorizing, reciting, hypothesizing, shadowing, and practicing — laying the foundation for the rest of your career. And if you strive to be a patient advocate, your acquisition of skills and knowledge will only continue. That’s why it’s crucial to start learning the ins and outs of healthcare analytics right now.
With each passing year, technology and data play a larger role in healthcare. So it won’t be long before analytics are a major component of every physician’s daily routine. Getting a head start on the facts means you’ll not only be one step ahead of your future colleagues, but you’ll also arm yourself with knowledge that could positively impact the health and lifespan of your future patients.
The Importance of Analytics in Medicine
The introduction of technology and data has brought about some amazing changes in healthcare. Thanks to electronic health records, doctors have access to more patient information than ever before. And because data provides a well-rounded picture of a patient’s health, it eliminates a lot of the guesswork in diagnostics, cuts down on costs by eliminating unnecessary tests and treatments, and even forecasts when the patient will face health issues.
As more and more facilities take advantage of analytics, physicians’ roles will likely change. With predictive information at their fingertips, they’ll be able to adopt more of a consultative role. And in doing so, they’ll spend more time with individual patients, form longer-lasting patient relationships, and decrease negative patient outcomes.
But like any new initiative, there’s a learning curve, and traditionally, physicians aren’t analytics-focused professionals. What’s more, even if a physician is ready to adopt analytics, many organizations are still in a transitional phase of making this a commonplace process.
However, healthcare is moving in that direction, and as data-driven, predictive medicine becomes pervasive, all physicians will have to be trained on the programs before they can benefit from the massive amounts of information at their fingertips. Luckily, you can avoid the awkward transition period by getting a jumpstart on learning about healthcare analytics now.
Become Fluent in Data
Data is a vast topic, and fully understanding it can be an overwhelming task. That being said, you need to start with the basics by developing an appreciation of data and how it relates to medicine. You can begin by learning these six terms:
1. Smart data is information that makes sense to users, such as graphs or charts that make meaningless numbers digestible. Algorithms can turn mounds of patient data into actionable insights, which will help doctors make more accurate diagnoses.
For example, imagine that a patient visits the ER complaining of chest pain. It can be tough to gauge whether the patient should be hospitalized, but by entering his information into a system with an accurate predictive algorithm, a doctor can supplement his judgment with that of the algorithm. This way, he can make the best decision possible.
2. Big data is a huge buzzword these days, but at its core, it’s actually quite simple: Big data is any data that is too big or too fast to fit within the structures of a conventional database. Having access to this large amount of data will help doctors successfully anticipate, diagnose, and treat illnesses.
3. Analytics leverage data in a particular functional process or application to enable actionable, context-specific insight. Analytics are used in an array of industries to process real-time data so leaders can make quick business decisions. In healthcare, analytics can be used to collect patient feedback on the quality of care, which physicians can use to improve their practices.
4. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of connecting any device with a switch to the Internet or another device. It’s a giant network of connected “things,” including people-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things relationships. By the year 2020, it’s estimated that there will be more than 26 billion connected devices.
Wearable devices are becoming huge in healthcare for patients who need to track their health information. Some facilities have even started using “smart beds,” which can detect when beds are taken and when patients are getting up. These beds can also apply pressure based on patients’ needs without a nurse’s manual help.
5. Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term for a variety of software applications — such as data mining, online analytics processing, querying, and reporting — used to analyze an organization’s raw data. In a healthcare setting, it can be used to cut hospital costs, perform innovative research, and improve the decision-making process. Doctors make critical decisions every day, so BI is an important tool for them.
6. Data dashboards are graphical reports of static or real-time data on a desktop or mobile device. Dashboards provide a quick summary of significant or changing information, including important patient data. With a data dashboard, patient data will be readily visible, which will cut down on the time doctors have to spend sifting through raw data.
Once you’ve gotten a grasp on the terminology and methodology, you can begin investigating where data is stored and how it’s currently being analyzed in the medical world. Look into where organizations are integrating technology and data analysis to improve healthcare. Then, you’ll be ready to tackle the future of data.
There’s a major evolution in healthcare on the horizon that will transform the way medicine is practiced. Refining your foundational skills now will help to position you as a caring, forward-thinking physician in the future.