Tag: Stanford Children’s Health

Fostering A Data Culture Within An Organization

Brendan Watkins

By Brendan Watkins, chief analytics officer, Stanford Children’s Health.

The purpose of analytics is to provide insights using data to enable people in an organization to make smarter decisions. It gives decision-makers a better understanding of what is going on, what has happened, why it happened, and what is likely to occur based on hard data. Done well, analytics will improve the overall performance of the organization.

It is important to ensure that insights are spread throughout a company in a strategic way to maximize the benefits. Just as an organization’s culture is a major factor in its performance, its data culture is crucial to spreading this wealth of knowledge and information.

What is data culture?

Data culture is a broad term encompassing various aspects. The most obvious aspect is how much value executives place on data and analytics, and how aligned leaders are on the organizational data strategy. How leaders view analytics has a huge impact on the motivation of analysts to improve their skills at reading, interpreting and analyzing standardized data (also known as data literacy.) Data culture requires connection among the cohort of analysts as well as the organization’s data strategies, and it is critical to establish a network that permeates the organization.

Establish networks

The formal way to establish this network is through the establishment of federated analytics and named analytics power users. This structure enables alignment while empowering analysts with tools, data and support they need. It is important that these analysts glean value from the collaboration and are incentivized to obtain valuable skills and relationships.

The informal network of relationships is key to developing a positive and impactful data culture. The data governance structures should support a strategic roadmap of analytics initiatives undertaken as partnerships between the central analytics team and analysts in business areas. Shared ownership in developing analytics solutions fosters a virtuous cycle whereby the team members have deeper buy-in.

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Advancing Population Health with Analytics and Data

Brendan Watkins

By Brendan Watkins, chief analytics officer, Stanford Children’s Health.

 Regardless of industry, the purpose of analytics is to better utilize data to improve organizational understanding, which leads to better decision-making. In health care, this is true for both individual clinicians making judgment calls based on patient needs and for the health system as a whole.

The health care industry has had (and continues) to navigate challenges in the way that we collect and analyze data. Now, health care faces an additional challenge: simplifying the vast amounts of information at our disposal so the most important insights are immediately clear and are translated into action.

In pediatrics, this is increasingly difficult. While children are generally a very healthy segment of the population, it is important to understand the unique social and environmental conditions of these patients – and how these manifest over time as they grow and mature at different stages. It’s also important to remember that while kids are generally healthy, many pediatric and adolescent patients have complex care needs.

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