BusinessInterviews.com: 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.
BusinessInterviews.com: 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.
BusinessInterviews.com: 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.
BusinessInterviews.com: 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.
BusinessInterviews.com: 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.
BusinessInterviews.com: 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.