The amount of data is just increasing. In fact, the amount of electronic data that exists today is massive and is growing at a rapid rate – more than 2.7 zettabytes (that’s a 1 with 21 zeroes after it) of data exist today. This is projected to grow to 67 times that number in less than two decades. The way to manage this volume of data? – big data technology. With data is the ‘new oil’ being the mantra of leaders today, big data and analytics are all set to drive the next evolutionary jump of healthcare and business as we know it.
Big data- the portal, the key, the new world
Big data is a very holistic term. Pick anything, ranging from electronic data stored on a retailer’s computer to health data- including your DNA and genome sequence- Big data encompasses it all. And very much like anything else in the world, Big data too, houses several ideas and terms that could be segmented to gain a better understanding. There is unstructured data, structured data, and semi-structured data.
Unstructured data: Basically, any data with an unknown form or structure is tagged as unstructured data. Needless to say, it is vast and poses several challenges in terms of its processing and deriving value out of it.
Structured data: Opposite to unstructured, any data that can be stored, accessed or processed in a defined format can be called structured data. For the most part, it refers to information with a high degree of organization.
Semi-structured data: As the name suggests, semi-structured data falls somewhere between structured and unstructured. It contains both these forms of data- it could be structured but with no clear definition of the format.
Some studies estimate the amount of data generated every day totals $2.5 quintillion bytes. This amount is hard enough to comprehend, let alone make use of and yet organizations have been progressive about their adoption of data.
Creating “Big” value
In this age of digitization, data is a valuable frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. Big data can be used to derive insights and obtain value in many ways, which can be categorized broadly into:
The applications of big data don’t just stop here: improving business opportunities, refining operations, engaging customers, improving machine learning, managing logistics, analyzing medical records, understanding genome sequences, analyzing frauds and abuse- to only name a few.
Got data? Here comes the next step
We understand that no matter the role, no matter the sector, data has the potential to transform it. Companies have already begun restructuring themselves, their internal processes, their systems and cultures to explore and address the opportunities provided by data. The question that remains- how?
Answer: analytics. As data becomes more intelligent, more usable and more insightful, analyzing data would require noteworthy capacity and prowess. Analytics drive business and it’s important to understand what kind would work best:
Data-driven revolution? Check. Time to make way for data-driven healthcare
Just in the United States alone, several major sectors are transforming to become data-driven, like:
As for health care, the costs are already driving the demand for big-data driven healthcare applications. Then we have the issues on access, equity, quality, efficiency and healthy lives. However, there have been standards and incentives for digitizing healthcare along with boosting improvements and decreasing costs. To begin with, almost 80% of healthcare data is unstructured and is growing exponentially. The first and the foremost issue that needs addressing is data integration. As capturing and bringing all the information about every patient together is realized, we gain a complete picture for care coordination, population health management and ultimately- value-based care.
Several initiatives like fraud, waste and abuse analytics, predictive analytics, evidence-based care, and real-time monitoring are grabbing eyeballs and illustrating the transformation to a data-driven world.
Summing up, access to data is critical. While the use of data may vary across sectors and operations, the road to proactive innovation is data-led. Some projects and initiatives may work straight away; some will reveal a significant learning curve. However, it has to be understood that digital transformation isn’t just about data and technology- it’s about embracing the change, exploring millions of possibilities and paving the way to long-term success- quantitatively.
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If you want to see our efforts in the area, Schedule a quick demo
If you want to see our efforts in the field of Big data and analytics, schedule a quick demo and join us at Becker’s Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference, at Booth #408.