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?