Last week, Juice Analytics participated in the Health 2.0 Atlanta panel, a co-hosted event by the Data Science and BI Society of Atlanta and Health 2.0 Atlanta. The focus was on analytics and healthcare and it was a great event. There was so much interest, they had to move the event to a larger venue! That tells me two things - (1) people want to get more out of their data and (2) Healthcare is behind and they really want to catch up. Two of my favorite “tweetables” of the night, said by Jason Williams, VP of Analytics and Strategy at McKesson, backed up those assumptions.
Getting more out of your data
The first “tweetable” was something we see at Juice all the time: “Nobody wants analytics, people want answers.” This relates back to people wanting more out of their data. Right now many people simply have data - and that’s it. But people want more than just a bunch of charts and numbers on a screen, they want insight. They want to be told where the problem is and given insight into how to fix it. If you’re simply delivering data either in a spreadsheet or just a series of charts, you’ve missed the mark. And for the record, this problem isn’t specific to healthcare. It’s all over.
Catching up in Healthcare and the path forward
My other favorite “tweetable”, originally said by W. Edwards Deming, was “In God we trust; all others bring data.” To get buy-in on a problem and solution, you need the data to support your position. The problem is that not everyone is ready to embrace data. As the quote alludes to, it’s all fine and well to think or believe you know the answer, but data helps you actually know the answer. Sure there can be a human element involved, but being informed with data to back up decisions is useful and important. In order to move data in healthcare forward, there needs to be a culture around data. It needs to be ingrained in an organization as useful and be included in everyday conversation.
Embracing a data culture in healthcare will become even more important as we move into the future of what healthcare could look like. Much like Google Maps on your phone adjusts your course based on a wrong turn or an accident on the highway, it was said that healthcare will begin to use data in much the same way. Healthcare data should and will move in the direction of being event driven and using data to adjust as things are happening, rather than being reactionary. I don’t know about you, but that sounds exciting and full of promise! But to get there, you first need a good data culture.
The event was not only a great success, it was insightful - which is what we love! It would seem that to begin to move your healthcare organization forward, there are two things to focus on. One would be providing insight, not just data. The other is to promote a culture of data that is widely adopted within the organization. Without that, having insight won’t matter since nobody will want to use it.
To learn more about creating a data culture in your organization, check out Data Fluency: Empowering Your Organization with Effective Data Communication, written by Juice Analytics founders Zach and Chris Gemignani.