Healthcare Business Intelligence: Shelfware or Salvation? - Cover

Healthcare Business Intelligence: Shelfware or Salvation?

I’ve spoken to many healthcare providers recently who are looking to take advantage of all that meaty data that now resides in their systems. The problem? It’s stuck.

It feels like we have historically been stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to extracting useful information from our hordes of data. Intelligence seems to be optional, which is likely why many of these business intelligence-type systems have sat on the shelf collecting dust rather than reaping the huge rewards pictured at the time of contract.

The conflict is between a system that is simple enough to use and a system that is robust enough to do the extremely complex queries that must be done to get real value. Either you get a system with training wheels where you get up to speed fast but then hit a max speed of 5 mph because the product isn’t flexible enough…OR you buy a top-end road bike with all the pieces delivered in separate boxes. If you can get the bike together, you’ll be amazed what it can do; otherwise you’ll be admiring the handlebars on your shelf and wishing you could ride.

In Jim Collins’ book Built to Last, he describes the “Tyranny of the OR” versus the “Genius of the AND”. It seems like we may now be at a point where solutions can actually be incredibly flexible and also easier to use. Genius! The trifecta may be that you don’t have to pay top dollar. The top two vendors in our recent BI study are examples. I admit to knowing little about Dimensional Insight or Information Builders before we did our homework, but they seem to have an approach that is working at first blush.

If you are a healthcare provider and need details on any of the BI vendors (including Mckesson, SAP or IBM), just ask me and I’ll get them to you ( . Now excuse me while I go finish putting my box of parts together so I can go for a ride…