CIOREVIEW >> Healthcare >>

How to Build a Successful Healthcare BI Application?

By CIOReview | Tuesday, August 9, 2016

In a data-driven healthcare environment, healthcare Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics paves the path to improve care continuum and increase financial and operational efficiency. BI, in many ways, can be interpreted as the ‘insight source’ in a centralized healthcare data world. Laura Madsen in her book, ‘Healthcare Business Intelligence: A Guide to Empowering Successful Data Reporting and Analytics’ states healthcare BI as “the integration of data from clinical and financial systems and other disparate data sources in a data warehouse that requires a set of validated data to address the concepts of clinical quality, effectiveness of care, and value for business usage.” When healthcare organizations get bogged down with issues like budget constraints, project planning challenges, and political battles, healthcare BI acts as the essence of decision-making by aggregating, researching, and analyzing data in real time. With the word ‘care’ being a part of the healthcare industry, organizations have it easy when it comes to developing an emotional and rational business service perspective as compared to other industries.

Making Better Decisions in Healthcare

BI enables managers in taking decisions in a bid to support better business decision making. With healthcare organizations interested in financial, operational and clinical data, they apply BI to support various programs like clinical performance and process management, cost and waste reduction, quality accreditation, and predictive analysis.

Healthcare organizations are taking active part in the data revolution by making full use of BI technology in a bid to transform their organization’s strategy and efficiency levels. With benefits like removing guesswork, enabling quick responses for business-related queries, helping one gain valuable insight into customers’ behavior among others, BI applications are gaining momentum in the healthcare industry. With newer BI models having simpler interfaces which are easier to use and can be operated and understood even by the most technologically-adverse employee, there is no surprise that every organization is inclined toward deploying BI in their enterprises.

For building a ‘good’ healthcare BI application, one must ensure to identify and follow these steps:

Capturing the interest of clients: The first step is to evoke the interest in the minds of potential clients by underlining the reason of the mission. This is an important part as it gives the basic idea in what the BI application wants to achieve.

Introducing BI product: Many of us believe that the product of a BI application is information and it acts as the interaction point for reporting and analysis. However, they are merely the output of the application and the delivery mechanism for that output, but they are not the product. The actual product of the business intelligence analytical application is to provide answers to business questions so that CIOs can take decisions.

Portraying the Benefits of BI Application: The next step is defining the downstream actions enabled by information provided by the mission. This includes identifying targeted clients, providers of required supplies and equipment, cost effectiveness of the relief among other things. This step is essential in making the clients understand which information is essential for the analytical product.

Compelling Return on Investment: The next step is making sure to develop a BI application that increases return on investment. This is important as all organizations look forward to it, be it mission-based or purely selfless endeavors. However, the question that arises here is how to get a payback on the BI application? The best way is the “pay-it-forward” benefit as it offers cumulative growth in the impact of the efforts put in. As this benefit is supported by business intelligence, it becomes mission-critical to the efforts and receives more attention, funding, and growth opportunities.


With the management of healthcare organizations starting to recognize the relevance of the definition of care products in relation to management information, BI has seen as a significant rise in the healthcare sector. With the trend still continuing, some healthcare professionals are deploying Master Data Management (MDM) tools in a bid to fuse patient identities across systems and feed stronger data to the data warehouses for better analytics. With experts having a view that MDM may lead to better screening, diagnosis and treatment decisions, exciting times are ahead.