In This Era of Big Data, Avoid Being Data Rich and Information Poor

We live in the era of “big data.” It’s a term we come across on a nearly daily basis. The biggest problem with big data—pardon the play on words—is that data alone without insight can leave you information poor.

Recently, at Becker’s Hospital Review 5th Annual Meeting, one of the keynote speakers, Toby Cosgrove, MD, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, touched on how his organization was dealing with big data through its spin-off Explorys, which ties together disparate healthcare data from providers, payers, care settings and EMRs. The goal of Explorys is to help the Cleveland Clinic and other healthcare organizations manage and make sense of big data: because data is only data, unless you know how to utilize it to make improvements.

The same is true of data within other areas in healthcare. One example is data related to physical integration, or healthcare transportation – a topic near my heart. Many times when we begin working with customers, they either don’t have access to any data or they have data but don’t have the means to make meaningful decisions based upon that data. In other words, they can be data rich and information poor.

Through our technology platform, we not only help to provide data about such things as what is moving throughout their organization, when stuff is moving, at what cost it is moving and who it is impacting but we also interpret that data to help turn it into decisions that make their operations more effective and efficient.

This is just one example of how with the continued exponential growth and availability of data, it’s extremely important that we are not “information poor.” And we won’t be, if we properly deploy that rich data and put it to work.

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