All data, no insight

All data, no insight! A recipe for failure?

Means with which organisations are striving to tap business intelligence are getting sophisticated by the day. Who would want to miss lucrative opportunities after all! Data analytics looks extremely promising in terms of giving businesses valuable insights to revolutionize the way they conduct their business.

An increasing number of companies are investing heavily to tap all possible data points and record data – quantitative and qualitative, in the lure of breakthrough insights. The promise of insights that could change the game forever is enticingly being projected as being too glamorous and infallible.

But is the technology really the elixir that organisations are looking out for or is it still a pipe dream? Are state-of-the-art data collection systems enough to guarantee success? Does increased investment in data collection translate to increased returns automatically?

Well, unfortunately, that’s clearly not the case. Data and insights are neither synonyms nor complimentary to each other. Neither the amount, nor the quality of data is directly proportional to a surge in profit.

To put things in perspective, ‘Data’ is basically recorded facts and figures. This data is organised to help us to comprehend it better. The organised data is called ‘Information’. What we gather out of the information provided, is ‘Insight’. So basically, insight is the intelligence that is captured from the information.

Insights tell us something new and meaningful about our business, they can enable us to take action immediately, they can steer the organisation into new directions, they can provide a new perspective on business processes and do much more. Thus, insights are ideally game-changers.

While data and information are crucial to the task, the aim of the entire exercise it is to gain these invaluable insights. But often businesses are dished out just some more data instead of insights in the name of providing solutions, by several data analysts, thus defeating the purpose of the entire exercise.

Also, another setback is that all the insights drawn may not be actionable too. While some insights would be redundant, organisations would have to ignore some or they would not have enough clarity on what to do with some of the insights.

If we delve into the healthcare sector, it can ideally be called a great beneficiary of data analytics. The sheer amount of data it keeps on collecting intentionally and unintentionally should make it the most ‘insightful’ sector. However, it so happens in most of the cases that the insights get drowned in the abundance of data.

So how do we generate intriguing, actionable insights to keep the bottom line swollen?

 

Setting clear goals and objectives

Well defined goals and objectives enable analysts to identify and segregate the most relevant data to meet those goals. If the organisation wants to draw a feasibility report to set up a neonatal ICU unit, it would not be necessary to study demographics of people over 60 years of age.

 

The human connection

While we are striving to replace the human element with technology to achieve desired outcomes in lesser times, with fewer resources and mistakes, humans are still an important component of the system. If the on-ground medical practitioners and caregivers share the issues and challenges they face with data analysts on an ongoing basis, analysts would get a direction to work in. Rather than digging for insights in the plethora of data randomly, it would make the process effective and quicker.

 

Choosing the right tools

Using appropriate tools is the key to spotting insights that increase the efficiency of organisations. The correct tools would ensure in saving a lot of time and resources. For instance, they could enable healthcare practitioners to provide the ideal treatment without a delay in time.

 

Sanitizing data

Due to the nature of operations of healthcare organisations, there could be several data collection points which may result in duplication of capturing data. This could lead to biased or misguided insights. Organisations can use tools that analyse data real-time to straighten out such anamolies to create value out of the volume.

 

Use of Automation

Organisations can automate the data collection process wherever possible to channelize all the time and energy in analysing data to search for those invaluable insights.

 

Identifying the ideal investment avenues

Organisations have to make significant investments in order to translate the data collected into actionable insights. Investments need to be made to set up data collection systems, analyse the data, gather insights and act upon those insights.

Over-investment or under-investment in any of the stages would mean a hit on the return on investment. For instance, over-investing in just a couple of insights while side tracking the others may prove useless. And, under-investing may lead to the entire investment being a waste as little or no value can be generated out of it.

 

Effective change management systems

With effective systems in place, there can be plethora of insights being thrown up. Organisations need to ensure that they have a robust change management system in place which enables them to quickly get into action to benefit from the insights generated.

 

Looking outside

Often, the focus is on data collected from the organisation itself to gain insights. While looking inwards definitely helps to analyse the organisation’s performance, it would do more good if organisations could take a peek outside too. It would enable organisations to compare themselves with their peers and fill in the gaps in their services. It could also help companies to stay ahead of competition.

With the advent of wearable technology and health monitoring apps, a good chunk of data is generated by people themselves which too, if tapped efficiently, can generate several insights for healthcare companies.

To transform themselves, healthcare providers need to distinguish themselves from their competition, ensure a continuous surge in profits, generate happy and satisfied customers, keep employees motivated and fulfilled, comply with regulatory requirements and continue to meet the ever-changing demands of the sector. Data-driven intelligence is just the potion it needs.

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