The goal of business intelligence is to support better decision-making in business. The direction of modern healthcare is evidence-based medicine driven by the proper use of data. Clearly, the combination of business intelligence in healthcare would seem to be a match made in heaven. On the one hand, hospitals have terabytes of data about patients, procedures, pharmaceuticals, and diagnoses. They have a veritable goldmine full of data and information that can be used to drive superior patient treatment and care. If only they had a way to mine that data, though. The reality is that many of today’s healthcare systems are a discrete collection of legacy systems that do not share information readily, making it very difficult for a clinician to utilize all of the data that has been captured in a meaningful way for the patient’s best care.
When it comes to politics some have said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. It’s pretty much the same when it comes to business. Routing out poor performing products, services, or business lines takes the ability to shine a light on them. That’s where business intelligence (BI) is increasingly coming in.
Business intelligence has performed well as a corporate housecleaning agent – reducing the inefficiencies related to manual data entry for report creation and corporate ‘Excel farms’ creating one-off reports to satisfy individual stakeholders. Now it’s time for business intelligence to move closer to its ultimate goal of shedding light on all the dark corners of an enterprise’s data stores. New technologies, such as mobile accessibility, and better integration capabilities that can extract and normalize data from multiple, disparate legacy systems are features of the latest crop of business intelligence tools that reveal the promise for companies to seek a previously unavailable level of insight into their businesses, and drive top-line growth along with the standard cost-savings associated with BI and analytic tools.
Read our full IT Briefcase column on the value that business intelligence can deliver to corporations.