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Connecting Analytics to Results

Paul Boal

According to a global study by Mercer/HCI, a hefty 69% of organizations report less than moderate success with analytics initiatives. If that’s news to you, I’d be surprised. After all, the potential impact of analytics capabilities has been in the headlines (and boardrooms!) for years—nearly as long as the grumbling from leaders and executives wondering when they can expect to see their investments in analytics begin paying dividends.

If it helps to know that this isn’t a problem that is unique to the healthcare industry, I can offer that business and IT leaders across all industries are struggling. Given that I know you’re awash in data and under intense pressure to improve patient outcomes and experiences as you simultaneously reduce costs, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it doesn’t.

But, never fear! I actually do have good news. It turns out, healthcare organizations already have the fundamental building blocks in place to act on analytics insights. All you really need is a strategy for putting it together. As it happens, I’ve got one of those too!

4 Steps to Better Healthcare Analytics Outcomes

Getting to stronger outcomes as quickly and effectively as possible can be boiled down to four critical steps:

  1. Tighten at the Top
  2. Loosen at the Bottom
  3. Build in Windows, not Walls
  4. Paint a Picture

We’ll start where all good stories do: at the beginning.

 Step 1: Tighten at the Top

Many analytics initiatives are saddled with the same problem—being too open-ended. Even if you are receiving valuable insight, it’s unlikely that you’re offering any kind of guidance to decision makers about how they should act on it. That’s a problem because analytics programs at most organizations haven’t even reached the point where leadership is accustomed to receiving and acting on a steady stream of insights. An approach that essentially dumps information over their heads and moves along isn’t promising. 

Get Specific

Instead of going the “drinking from a firehose route” with your analytics effort, point the way toward specific actions. This means getting well acquainted with exactly who is on the receiving end of insights, what types of choices they’re making day in and day out, how they prefer to receive info and which actions they’ll be most likely to take when they do. This will require a far stronger connection between you and the “business” side of the organization, in addition to a pretty serious infrastructure humming along behind the scenes, but it’s a worthy effort in the ultimate drive to enable smarter decision making and the as-yet elusive results you’re after.

Want More?

Check back next week to learn more about steps two through four in wringing better results from your analytics initiatives. If you’re not the waiting type, feel free to download our latest free eBook, “Action Figures,” to get the full story right now.