Hayes' Healthcare Blog

7 Steps for Building a Data Analytics Foundation

Posted by Tom Maher on September 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

For years, we have seen discussions about Business Intelligence (BI), critical indicator dashboards and other data tools for decision making. It all sounds good in theory, but I don’t see a lot of effective BI in the real world. So what is the problem? The largest problem is and always has been a lack of structure in the underlying data.

Nearly every large health network has made an attempt to consolidate data from multiple sources into some type of data warehouse. However, having the data in one place does not make it useful or trusted as a source for business intelligence. There is usually an assumption made that if the data is together in one place (data repository or data warehouse), it can be used to perform a lot of wonderful analysis and become the basis for some great BI tools. The problem with this approach is that it lacks structure. You would not build a boat by strapping together anything that floats and hoping that you can figure out how to put them work together later. So why is there a tendency to think that it will work with business intelligence?

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Topics: Data analytics

Save Yourself and Your Organization A Headache: Test Your Software

Posted by Tom Maher on September 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

As I visit client sites I am constantly exposed to the many efforts that are in various implementation stages. Too often, I witness efforts that are interrupted at key moments because something was not tested adequately prior to implementation.

Testing: an essential business activity

One cause of these problems is that testing is typically viewed as a software activity, when in fact it is a business activity. Whenever business practices or procedures are changing, whether the change is fully manual or involves automation, testing the revised process is crucial to successful implementation.

We would all be appalled if design changes or maintenance procedures were drafted and implemented in commercial aircraft without testing, but we see processes redesigned and changed in business all the time with little or no testing. The only difference is the nature of the consequences when things go wrong.

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