These are incredibly exciting times for business analysts in the health care industry.
Rapid investments in emerging technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are improving patient experience and care. But technology investments alone won’t make a difference.
Leaders need to combine the power of technology with data science to succeed in their innovation journey. And that creates a world of career opportunity for business analysts.
An unparalleled opportunity for business analysts
As advisors to data scientists, business analysts have an opportunity of a lifetime to play a much larger role in the data analysis strategies that can accelerate innovation in health care and save millions of lives globally.
A caveat: The expectations from business analysts in the data science age have changed dramatically. Today, you need to become a domain expert, a strategic thinker, a constant learner with an aptitude for innovation and a storyteller.
The past: Business analysts in health systems spent their days sifting through existing applications for potential enhancements or going through the defect lists to analyze root causes.
The future: The ability to understand new technologies, outline business needs, decide key business priorities and bring about a user-centric approach—that’s the next big skill.
The health care industry is churning out data at a staggering rate of 48 percent every year and contributing to approximately 30 percent of the world’s data production. Business leaders are turning to business analysts to identify accurate, actionable insights from this huge reservoir of data to deliver personalized care, fuel drug discovery, lower medical errors and reduce health care costs.
With the surge of big data, there is an increasing demand for business analysts to support the business.
Five ways business analysts are helping transform health care:
Defining the data needs of different business areas. You can collaborate with data scientists to decipher patterns in genomic and proteomic measurements. This will open new avenues for personalized medicine and early diagnosis of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Providing the right data to help the business make informed decisions. You can help the business identify the correct KPIs (for instance, to measure the progress of clinical trials). In the case of multi-site, clinical trials, make sure that you accurately report the right performance parameters such as site performance, patient retention and safety reporting, among others.
Ensuring that the reporting needs of the business are met. Since you understand the business challenges, you can identify appropriate performance indicators to enable real-time reporting, leading to faster and smarter business decisions.
Ensuring that the attributes of data, the relationship between data elements and sources of data are defined and mapped. The research and development arm (especially drug discovery) of pharmaceutical drug development companies is constantly plagued by challenges of fragmented data. This makes it difficult to establish a correlation between relevant research entities and derive meaningful insights. You should be able to identify data entities and their relationships to improve downstream processes.
Transforming data into meaningful information that the business can use in making decisions. You can help derive relationships between various data entities and identify the best visualization tools appropriate for the business.
Dig deeper into technology
Now is the time to get closer to a career in technology.
Make a start by refreshing your knowledge of statistics and acquainting yourself with the latest technologies. By understanding the possibilities offered by new technologies, you can evaluate their utility, applicability and benefits in specific business situations. You can also elicit and communicate requirements more creatively to implement solutions.
By embracing data science, you can be the catalyst helping health care realize its full possibilities.
We’re growing our team of business analysts at Accenture, doing work that’s transforming the world. Find your fit with us today.
For a deeper look at the impact of business analysis on health care, download the Business Analysis in the Data Science Age - Accelerating Healthcare Innovation whitepaper.
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