The key to successfully harnessing the power of data in healthcare is to analyze, interpret, and share the results in a way that is meaningful and effective for decision makers. Those located at the front lines — healthcare data analysts — play a central role in this process. As the healthcare industry rapidly changes, data analysts must continue to grow their knowledge and skill set to efficiently transform data from numbers to actionable insights. While each analyst has strengths, and each data set is unique, here are five traits that make a healthcare data analyst more effective:
- Well-rounded. Effective healthcare data analysts are familiar with a variety of analytic tools, know the benefits of each, and can easily adjust their analysis based on the relevant data set. Knowing a little about a lot (e.g. SAS, R, Python, Tableau, etc.) can prove to be quite useful when examining data. Healthcare data analysts should understand which tools will allow them to perform the desired analysis and produce the required outputs for decision makers. Additionally, these analysts understand various types of data sets – like claims, provider enrollment, and/or beneficiary data sets – and understand how to use them collectively.
- Knowledgeable. New tools and methods emerge every day, however some analysts are more comfortable using their preferred tools and methods and resist trying new approaches. Effective healthcare data analysts stay abreast of such new approaches that work well within the industry and seek new analytic methods and tools to add to their data analyst skill set. They attend various trainings, participate in work groups and forums, and seek ways to leverage cross-industry standards and best practices that have practical implications within their industry.
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- Methodical. It’s tempting to dive right into the numbers, but some of the most important steps often take place before the analysis begins. Effective healthcare data analysts understand that research and a solid hypothesis are vital to the end result. Cleaning, reviewing, and understanding data takes time and effort. The best analysts understand that focusing on this process pays off with more accurate analysis and better results.
- Thorough. Effective healthcare data analysts understand the importance of inference in analysis. While a hypothesis might yield a desired outcome, an effective analyst mines and evaluates the data set identifying and revealing answers and information that may not be readily apparent. These analysts dig into data to explore aberrancies. This kind of thorough analysis adds value, provides context to decision makers, and gives them a comprehensive view of an issue.
- Storyteller. The most accurate analysis is nothing without the ability to present the findings, or, in other words, tell the story. Effective healthcare data analysts that tell the story of the data in both technical and layman’s terms are extremely valuable because their work can reach multiple audiences. Good analysts, like good storytellers, leave out irrelevant details. Effective healthcare data analysts understand what is or is not relevant in the results, making it easier for their audience to draw conclusions based on the story presented.
Skilled healthcare data analysts that possess these five traits, can help find patterns, problems, and insights in your data improving decision-making ability, giving your organization a competitive advantage, and keeping it on the forefront of healthcare analytics.
IntegrityM’s Strategic Staffing Solutions
As the demand for healthcare staffing rises, a reliable partner is needed to deliver the most qualified staff. Integrity Management Services’ Strategic Staffing Solutions is a quality-focused model with a wide variety of disciplines, including healthcare data analysts, statisticians, fraud investigators, auditors, and clinicians. We deliver the expertise you need to thrive in today’s dynamic industry.
For additional information on how we can enhance your team, call us at (703) 535-1400 or contact us online.