Healthcare organizations have gathered big data for several years, and volumes have grown from two zettabytes in 2010 to almost 100 zettabytes in 2022. According to Statista, the quantity of data is projected to reach 181 zettabytes by 2025. When big data is used in business analytics, it produces actionable insights. Integrating business intelligence and big data enables healthcare enterprises to make more informed decisions and increase their competitive advantage, although there are subtle differences between them.
Business Intelligence and Big Data: Understanding the Difference
Companies across all industries have relied on business intelligence (BI) for decades. Still, it’s only recently that we’ve been able to combine BI with big data analytics to deliver the kind of results now available. So, what is the difference between business intelligence and data? The answer is that they occupy different levels in a hierarchy. Data are the individual facts and observations gathered. A collection of these facts and observations constitutes a dataset, and business intelligence uses analytics generated by multiple datasets to produce a predictive narrative and actionable insights for organizations.
The BI Effect: How Intelligence Impacts Health Organizations
Since big data debuted in the healthcare market, BI has become even more helpful for organizations than before. The type of healthcare data collected includes information from patients’ electronic health records (EHRs), clinical trials, research studies, hospital records, medical office visits, lab results, prescriptions, insurance claims, drug prices, and adverse event reports. Combining this data with BI gives organizations a greater understanding of their patient base. They build a better knowledge of patients’ needs and wants, can personalize treatments according to individual criteria, and identify emerging issues and opportunities as they develop.
Drug manufacturers can leverage business intelligence and big data to develop new and improved products. Primary care providers can improve patient communication and monitor treatment adherence. Hospitals and clinics can detect workflow challenges and redesign their processes to resolve these. For example, Xevant’s analytics platform automates pharmacy benefits management (PBM) in real time. It enables users to control inventory, administer contracts, oversee health plan partnerships, and address drug supplies and pricing changes as they occur.
With faster, more accurate reporting and analysis, improved data quality, and better operational efficiency, healthcare enterprises can use BI to lower costs, maximize resources, and increase their overall profitability significantly—all while enjoying several additional advantages.
Benefits of Integrating Business Intelligence and Big Data
Healthcare organizations can now make sense of the past and predict the future. Real-world opportunities exist to have big data and business intelligence combined to help the company. These include:
1. Identifying Treatment Opportunities
EHRs have been around since the 1960s and are a primary data source for healthcare analytics. From these, we can generate statistical reports on patients to identify trends and patterns across patient populations. Analyzing the records and combining the insights with BI enables clinicians to identify potential therapies based on similar health conditions, lifestyles, age, or genetic factors.
2. Predicting Patient Numbers
Most people in healthcare recall how the global pandemic caused hospitals to run out of available beds. The current shortage of medical staff also affects care delivery across the nation, just as we head towards another winter and the possibility of flu and Covid-19 flare-ups. Predictive BI enables institutions to forecast patient needs and numbers based on historical data and external factors. This capability makes a significant difference to any organization’s patient outcomes.
3. Facilitating PBM Opportunities
Analyzing pharmaceutical claims data enables users to identify medication risks, errors, utilization, and other trends. By combining business intelligence and big data insights, employers, pharmacy benefit managers, and healthcare advisors can make informed decisions about patient benefit options while simultaneously containing costs. Automating analytics in real-time empowers faster, more accurate, and more proactive decision-making and brings additional benefits to the PBM table.
4. Foretelling Telehealth Trends
The growing use of telemedicine is another COVID-19 legacy. Telehealth usage soared 38 times during the pandemic, and it’s not stopping there. According to an October 2022 report by Market Research Future, the telemedicine market is projected to grow 22.1% from 2022 to 2030, reaching a value of USD 423 Billion by the end of the period.
Understanding how big data plays into business intelligence enables healthcare institutions to predict future telehealth trends based on projected patient numbers. This information empowers facilities to staff their shifts appropriately, shorten wait times, and ensure that patients in need receive attention promptly.
Making BI a Priority
By implementing a strategy that combines business intelligence and big data, healthcare enterprises can enhance treatment planning, utilize resources better, achieve stronger supply chain management, and improve their patient outcomes substantially. Make BI a priority in your organization and experience the benefits of accessing the information you need when you need it.
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