Sales analytics: Analyze data needs beforehand

Q. What are some key challenges for HME providers implementing big data analytics?
Friday, January 25, 2013

A. Before you hitch your wagon to big data and analytics consider challenges you need to address.

Analytics is a new area for most HME companies and that brings many new challenges to the forefront: big risk, the need for larger IT and reporting budgets, and requirements for more experienced resources.

Analytics is a parallel process, not sequential, unlike day-to-day online transactions processing. Companies will require a completely different technology and storage strategy for data processing. 

Storage strategy, as with processing, is not usually part of the traditional IT strategy or budget and most IT departments lack storage expertise. Analytics requires a tiered storage approach that places the most frequently accessed data on faster storage devices, and less used data on slower hard disks. Companies should prepare for this by introducing storage as a component of their overall IT strategy with an eye to upgrading to the latest in storage technology. 

Analytics is not about writing reports. Do not recreate your Top 20 reports. This will not get you answers on how to stimulate growth or manage overall costs more effectively. It will only create more resistance to change and slow your transformation toward becoming a true analytics driven organization. Companies must build the internal knowledge necessary to develop queries and use analytics tools to move away from fixed, static reporting to real-time dashboard reporting.

Results are only as good as the data being mined. Clean your house and make sure your data is complete, accurate and free of any duplicative data.

Align the business goals for analytics with the IT strategy and in-house IT capabilities to build a solid case for change before any investments are made. Companies need to understand the questions they want answered before investing in analytics.

Zachary Madrigal is vice president of business development, HME Healthcare, for Genpact USA. He can be reached at 203.512.3501 or