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Data-Driven Healthcare: How Analytics and BI are Transforming the Industry by Laura B. Madsen

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CHAPTER 4 Adopting Your Data Warehouse for the Next Step in BI Maturity

I get a lot of questions about data in the healthcare world. Some of the questions come from my dad on our weekly Sunday-morning phone calls, some of them from news outlets that interview me, and some from the people who hire me. Most of the questions revolve around one specific one: “How is it possible that we still don't know basic information about our patients, and their costs, and how can we fill the gap as fast as the industry needs us to?” The question is captivating. Healthcare has never been through this type of transformation in such a short amount of time.

As captivating as the question is, it's not easy to answer. I've thought about it a lot, I've lost sleep over it, and I've asked my friends and peers. The hard truth is we have to catapult our overburdened industry much farther than where we are today. The truth is that most of the organizations I work with are just starting to figure out that data is useful, let alone have a consolidated plan and data warehouse to move forward. This is a problem.

How can we catapult, or leapfrog, forward to a place where all data is prepared for usage? The logical data warehouse consultant in me says that there is no way to do that. It is a required part of the process that each data source and data point be managed and governed. It's critical that the extract, transform, and load (ETL) process be held in the highest regard, and there are no “easy” buttons ...

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