Geisinger, Mount Sinai execs offer best piece of advice on succeeding with analytics

For starters, experts say you have to think beyond the C-suite.
By Tom Sullivan
11:31 AM
HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum

BOSTON – Healthcare analytics is complicated, but several experts on Tuesday shared their best, single piece of advice for getting analytics projects off the ground.

“You have to keep focused on the business use case to get to success,” said Ken McCardle, senior director of clinical operations at Mount Sinai Health System. “Be careful with the project scope, avoid allowing perfection to the enemy of the good, keep the team focused on deliverables. And prove yourselves as an operational analytics team.”

McCardle was one of several speakers sharing advice at the HIMSS and Healthcare IT News Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum in Boston.

Earning C-suite buy-in early in the process is important, of course, but sometimes data teams need to be creative in making things happen.

“There will always be executive-sponsored projects,” said Mark Poler, physician informaticist for enterprise data strategy at Geisinger Health System. “But you have to find a way to foster grassroots efforts and have an avenue to allow employees to explore the potential of data and then get it in front of executives who will sponsor it so we’re not always looking at things from the pinnacle of a pyramid.”

On the technological requirements, Sirius Computer Solutions Vice President of Data and Analytics Joe Bluechel recommended building a centralized core that you can, in turn, expand and add onto as necessary.

“If you have a solid foundation and allow your analysts to fail fast and move on to the next piece of evidence then you’ve won,” Bluechel said. “Without that core, you’re going to fail.”

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 Read our coverage of HIMSS Big Data & Healthcare Analytics Forum in Boston.
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