Analytics must be a strategic resource, not a collection of reports.

The challenge: how can organizations leverage available data  and analytics resources in innovative (and revolutionary) ways to achieve breakthrough transformation in quality, performance, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction?

Many organizations feel that “leveraging data” means building many reports, and fulfilling a high number of ad hoc data requests, as if the volume of reports & requests is an accurate reflection of analytics value and team productivity. What many organizations don’t realize is that many of the ad hoc data requests are necessary because the reports being built don’t really answer the needs of decision-makers in the first place. In reality, high numbers of reports and ad hoc data requests likely indicate that analytics are not deployed nor utilized optimally within an organization.

Analytics must be a strategic resource for operational transformation within your organization, and not just a collection of reports. But if the analytics team is struggling to keep up with all the analysis to be done, how do they know if they are, or make efforts to become, a “strategic resource”? One point of clarification: I don’t mean strategic in the sense of serving only executive level stakeholders; on the contrary, to serve an organization well, analytics must penetrate all levels of an organization to inform better decision making. Strategic, in this sense, simply refers to analytics being seen as a true investment that provides value to the whole organization, not simply a cost centre that some people use to pull data.

Analytics become a strategic resource for your organization through understanding the organization’s information and decision-making needs and by using analytics to identify opportunities for improvement, transformation, and even breakout performance. This understanding is achieved through:

  • recognizing the context (i.e., business and quality improvement goals) in which analytics are being applied, and
  • through extensive dialogue  with key stakeholders regarding their data and decision making needs.

With context and dialog illuminating the performance goals of the organization, the innovative use of data analytics can help achieve superior depth and clarity of insight into performance, quality, and operations. This is only possible, however, when organizations:

  • have access to the right financial, process, and domain-specific data from various source systems,
  • have the proper analytics teams in place with required knowledge and skill sets,
  • apply the most suitable analytical techniques (i.e., predictive modelling, simulation, machine learning, etc) using the most appropriate tools (or software), and
  • deploy analytics via the necessary enabling technology (i.e., cloud service or on premise hardware).

There are many more considerations to an analytics system within an organization than simply what, or how many, reports need to be developed. Only by considering all these six points (context, dialogue, data, teams, tools & techniques, & technology) can organizations begin to realize the potential of analytics as a truly strategic resource central to transformation efforts. Otherwise organizations will remain trapped in the “reporting rut” with no discernible path for analytics to help achieve the transformational performance desired.

Note: You can read more about these elements of Analytics Strategy in Chapter 3 of my book “Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement“.


Online-Seminar-175wPlease join me for a webinar I am conducting with the National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI) on November 2, 2016. Entitled Data Analytics Primer for Healthcare Leaders: Transforming management with (the proper) analytics, this session will provide healthcare leaders with the essential information they need to fully leverage the power of the data within their healthcare organizations.

During this 1.5 hour session, I will cover how to synthesize data from source systems with proven Quality Improvement (QI) methodologies, well-defined quality and performance goals, and powerful analytical methods to enable more insightful, fact-based decisions within a healthcare organization.

The purpose of this webinar is to help enable your healthcare organization to better:

  • Transform analytics from a collection of reports & dashboards to a fully integrated management system and drive evidence-informed decision-making at all levels within the healthcare organization
  • Deploy the optimal data, team, technology, and analytical techniques to achieve the performance goals of your organization
  • Align quality and performance goals of management, departments, and programs to provide actionable intelligence for healthcare executives and transformation teams

In addition, one webinar participant will be randomly selected to win a copy of my recent book, “Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement.

Please visit this webinar’s page on the NIHI website  to learn more about this upcoming webinar and to register.


Toronto Health IT Summit, Hosted by IHT2, Begins This Week

by Trevor Strome September 18, 2016

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) Toronto Health IT Summit begins on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016. I am proud to be co-chairing this event with Shirley Fenton, VP and Director at the National Institutes of Health Informatics, and  Mark Stevens, Principal at ARRA Health Consulting, Inc. This year’s event will prove to be especially […]

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Join Me at the iHT2 Toronto Health IT Summit – September 21 – 22, 2016

by Trevor Strome July 27, 2016

If you attend ONE Health IT conference this year, make it the Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) Toronto Health IT Summit! I am pleased to announce that Shirley Fenton, VP and Director at the National Institutes of Health Informatics, Mark Stevens, Principal at ARRA Health Consulting, Inc., and I will be co-hosting the Institute […]

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Healthcare Analytics Update – Week of June 27th 2016

by Trevor Strome June 30, 2016

This has been a busy week in the world of healthcare analytics! I have come across a lot of interesting articles, videos, and other resources this week that I’ll share with you below. I will be making the Analytics Update a weekly feature, so if you have any articles, resources, or news bits that you’d […]

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Upcoming Learning Opportunity – Data Analytics Essentials for Today’s Healthcare Organization

by Trevor Strome January 8, 2016

Join me for four Healthcare Analytics online sessions that will kick-start your analytical productivity in 2016  I am pleased to announce that I will be instructing a series of four one-hour interactive online sessions in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI). Entitled Data Analytics Essentials for Today’s Healthcare Organization, the series will focus on […]

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Celebrating two years since “Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement” was published!

by Trevor Strome September 4, 2015

It’s hard to believe that it will be two years next month since my first book “Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement” was published, in October 2013, by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Since the book was published, it has been the selected textbook for many health analytics and health policy classes at institutions […]

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Don’t Miss the IHT2 Healthcare Information Technology Summit in Vancouver on September 17 and 18, 2015

by Trevor Strome July 20, 2015

Save The Date! Coming this September 17 & 18 in Vancouver BC is the first Canadian Health IT Summit hosted by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. This event will be an excellent opportunity for healthcare leaders to discuss important technology trends and issues that impact healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency. The panel discussions and case […]

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Learn about Big Data in Healthcare with this HIMSS Virtual Briefing on August 5, 2015

by Trevor Strome July 17, 2015

You’ll Learn About Leveraging Big Data with this HIMSS Virtual Briefing If your healthcare organization is deciding how best to benefit from big data, you’ll be interested in this upcoming virtual briefing from HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). On August 5, 2015 HIMSS will be hosting a webinar entitled “Big Data, Big Insight: […]

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Webinar: Leveraging Healthcare Data and Technologies to Improve Patient Outcomes

by Trevor Strome July 14, 2015

Please join me on Wednesday, July 15th for a webinar entitled “Leveraging Healthcare Data and Technologies to Improve Patient Outcomes.” Overview: Health information technology is changing how healthcare is delivered, and how people are managing their own health. Systems ranging from consumer health smartphone apps to enterprise-wide electronic medical records (EMRs) are generating incredible volumes […]

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