BI/Analytics in Healthcare: The Scrabble Conundrum

Business intelligence and analytics are front and center of healthcare provider strategies, but KLAS’ recent BI perception report shows great provider uncertainty when it comes to a future standout market leader.

It has been more than five years since I have won. Really.

My wife always beats me in Scrabble, despite my continued and creative best efforts to win.

When behind, I often race to make sense of my Scrabble tiles to come up with a word, any word, that I might be able to make work. Sometimes the word I come up with doesn’t even sound real, but it occasionally gets by, only because I look it up in the dictionary and happen to (luckily) prove it is real.

The BI/analytics market in healthcare is kind of like a giant game of Scrabble.

The word tiles are numerous, and the vendor players are growing in number. It is not uncommon for unknown or unusual words (vendor products) to be introduced into the game, thus creating questions and confusion. The result? A frequent need to look into the dictionary (take a reality check) to make sense of all the information and different players in the market.

Provider Perception: No Standout Leader

In the latest KLAS BI perception report, BI Perception 2013: Who Will Lead the Fleet?, more than three-fourths of senior-level executives (C-levels and VPs) indicated that they were unable to identify a vendor who they thought would lead the market in enterprise BI.

While some vendors (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP) were mentioned as potential leaders more than others, no single vendor was mentioned more than 12% of the time, and when they were mentioned, it usually wasn’t without reservations.

Lack of Healthcare Specificity 

The pressing need for more healthcare specificity in BI tools has created an opportunity for other BI vendors to enter the market. Explorys, Health Catalyst, and OptumInsight (Humedica) are examples of healthcare-specific BI vendors who received provider recognition as potential leaders in KLAS’ perception report. 

When considering these vendors and the others noted in KLAS’ BI perception report (i.e., Dimensional Insight, McKesson, QlikTech, SAS, and Tableau), what are providers to make of the layered and complex vendor market? Who will stand out? The BI/analytics Scrabble game continues.

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