04 Oct Why Life Sciences Can’t Ignore Big Data in 2018
For the past several years, big data has been much-discussed in the healthcare and life sciences industries, so much so that’s it’s been hard to escape the chatter. Are you tired of hearing about it yet?
The fact is that data is incredibly valuable in this space – and there is certainly no shortage of it. Your organization likely has access to an incredibly vast amount of data, whether it’s from patient-monitoring devices, mobile apps, virtual reality technologies, or even purchased reports with provider information. As technology continues to improve, the opportunities for data collection will only grow. So, what’s all the fuss about – why is big data still such a hot topic after all this time?
What Do We Do with Our Data?
The problem is no longer related to data collection; all companies have data. It’s now a question of how to turn all of that data into actionable insights. When data is not used for strategic decision-making, its collection is a wasted effort and an opportunity is lost. Time and time again we speak to companies who are overwhelmed by the data that they have and are unsure how to move forward – and that’s why the big data conversation continues.
The companies who are using their data strategically are at an undeniable advantage in the marketplace, getting a quantifiable return on their investments and confidently planning for the future – but the fact is that a surprisingly high number of companies aren’t doing this. If you’re looking for the silver bullet solution, you’re not going to find it here – because your data strategy should be uniquely tied to your organization.
Forget Tools and Methodologies
While a proven tool or methodology may seem like the easiest way to approach this challenge, they are often useful only in a broad sense. That is, not every solution will work well for every organization, and you may need a hybrid approach that encompasses several types of tools and accompanying tactics. To identify the best path forward, consider a technology-agnostic approach – assess your unique business needs, identify a holistic solution, implement a plan that meets your budget and aligns with your overall strategy, and design a measurement plan to track results.
This type of structured, customized roadmap will help you determine what data you need, how to collect and display it, and how to apply it to meet your goals. Stop there for a second. Has your company defined goals related to your data? Do you know what business decisions you’ll use your data for? This is where you should start. You can’t put your data to work if you don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve. In some cases, you may need to seek out additional data sources (and discontinue others).
Then, for this initiative to truly take hold within your organization, you’ll need to manage the people, process, and technology changes accordingly, with tactics such as a stakeholder management plan, an impact assessment, a communications plan, and a training plan – to name just a few. These tactics will help establish a data-driven mindset with all impacted stakeholders and ensure that your overall strategy is executed, adopted, and sustainable.
It doesn’t end there. Your data strategy has to evolve over time – and that’s why a cookie cutter approach won’t work. You’ll need to routinely revisit your goals to ensure that they are still appropriate, and then you’ll need to adjust your strategy to ensure that you’re on track to meet those goals. This will give you the confidence you need now and over the long term.
We predict that in 2018, the number of companies without a data strategy will decrease drastically. If you’re left behind, you’ll miss the opportunities your competition will be poised to seize. We can help you craft and execute a roadmap to ensure that data is a key driver of value in your organization. Contact me at email@example.com or 484.383.0606 to learn more.