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The State of BI, Data, and Analytics in Healthcare

This is the first in a series of Dresner Advisory Services Research Insights focusing on industry-specific analysis of BI, data, and analytics.

The data show, clearly and consistently, that for business intelligence (BI), data, and analytics, the healthcare industry has much lower maturity levels than the entire base of respondents to Dresner Advisory Services market surveys.

Healthcare reports lower-than-average success with BI initiatives. No single factor stands out as the reason for this difference. In fact, a host of factors contribute to healthcare’s lower-than-average success rate with BI—not a surprise at all for an industry that consistently reports lower-than-average scores in key areas.

There’s good news on two fronts for the healthcare industry. First, the data show significant room exists for improvement by healthcare in BI, data, and analytics. Second, most healthcare providers have large, actionable data sets that they should analyze for many reasons—including reducing costs, increasing patient satisfaction, and improving quality of care. Data visualizations, dashboards, and reporting are natural requirements extending from these areas. BI and analytics can and should have a significant business impact.

As you read this research, bear in mind that we did not ask survey respondents to identify whether their application of BI is operational (i.e., focused on improving the business overall), clinical (i.e., focused on improving patient outcomes), or a combination of the two. Furthermore, the respondents surveyed come exclusively from provider healthcare organizations; no payer healthcare organizations (such as insurers) participated in the surveys.

Executive Summary

1. The healthcare industry shows lower maturity levels than the averages for all other industries by respondents to Dresner Advisory Services market surveys.

2. Healthcare reports lower-than-average success with BI initiatives. Contributing factors include less-frequent use of data in decision-making, lower spending on BI, having and planning fewer data literacy programs, lower levels of BI user penetration, fewer chief data / analytics officers, and less mature data governance.

3. Healthcare has different objectives, drivers, and technology priorities. Respondents indicate higher priority for the BI objectives of improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer service, and compliance and risk management.

4. Most functional drivers for BI in healthcare are at or below the average. Operations—one of only two areas for healthcare that exceeds the average—aligns directly with the BI objective of improved operational efficiency.

5. Overall, healthcare respondents indicate much lower priority levels for specific technologies than the average. However, the few technology areas in which healthcare reports higher priorities than the average—governance, data discovery, and dashboards—also align closely with the BI objectives that healthcare prioritizes higher than average (improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer service, and compliance and risk management).

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