There are several ways to increase the effectiveness of healthcare business intelligence and maximize the return on investment from these efforts.
Evaluate Current BI Capability
Historically, the major cost of implementing BI solutions has been the massive overhead of buying necessary technology and expertise, which discourages many organizations from pursuing BI. Knowing that the project will demand more and more funding does not improve matters and that makes it difficult for CIOs and IT leaders to sell the BI solutions to business decision-makers.
The best way to cut costs here is to use existing BI and data warehousing infrastructures that run on standard, commodity hardware. Organizations can use any excess initial capacity for processing other jobs, and then shop around for more hardware and software as needed without purchasing new infrastructure.
Evaluation of current BI capabilities involves reviewing tools, hardware, human resources and methodologies currently being used. It is also important to compare licensing and maintenance costs for each of these parameters.
Consolidate BI Solutions
Multiple BI systems may keep users happy, but they create an added burden for IT staff who must manage all the disparate apps. Plus, maintenance and licensing costs can quickly add up to big bucks.
Companies, in an effort to reduce costs and complexity, are considering consolidating or standardizing to one or two BI systems. But the task is not as easy as it sounds. In addition to the technical implications, there are personal and political considerations, too.
Consolidation of BI solutions also brings additional change management, which needs to be considered as a soft impact on BI ROI.
BI operational dashboards and automated alerts can reduce monitoring costs. This will not only allow users to receive alerts, but also will help in evaluating and measuring operational effectiveness, which in turn allows IT executives to determine the right capacity required for the operational team to maintain the BI solutions.
Automation in generating ETL code could reduce high development costs.
As BI evolved, many organizations built solutions on incremental basis, which led to duplication of functionality within or across tools. It is important to identify the redundant functionalities and remove or consolidate them. Data warehouses and data marts are designed such that there is some level of redundancy. But duplication of data such as patient name, provider, physician, etc., can impact business decisions.
It is important to optimize the current data warehouse, data management processes and technology components to provide operational effectiveness. Operations teams typically either lack competency or capacity to perform the optimization of existing infrastructures, which impacts end user satisfaction and the organizations’ ability to provide budgets for future BI projects. Optimization should not be limited to the ETL, report and databases, but should also include the organization processes to get a holistic view of opportunities for improvements.
Monitor for Continuous Improvement
Many organizations fail to conduct assessments on existing BI platforms before starting new projects or post-completion. Assessing BI solutions for readiness and completion involves evaluating business needs, architecture, organizational skills and capabilities, data quality, project management, and development methodologies in use or those that will be used.