It is better to have a solid BI&A program and a so-so technology than the other way around. Still, the correct technology platform and infrastructure goes a long way toward maximizing a BI&A program’s impact and effectiveness.
The evaluation and selection of new technology is a highly customized activity. The right technology depends upon an organization’s direction on each of the foundational dimensions described above. Beyond fundamental and essential input, helpful hints from organizations making a technology switch include:
- Go software as a service or cloud-based—for many organizations, the initial cost, care, and feeding of a local BI&A technology platform are unacceptable and unnecessary.
- Define specifications before buying—take the time to document what is needed in terms of functionality, not features, and create an objective scoring method to evaluate technology options against the prioritized functionality.
- Avoid being “feature happy”—don’t let the BI&A technology be hijacked by the few, while leaving the needs of the many unmet; focus on the user profiles and needs beyond analysts and researchers.
- Deliver controlled self-service—the appetite for BI&A is insatiable, and skyrocketing to the point where “builder” resources become bottlenecks; therefore, empowering users to define, build, and interact with their own solutions is inevitable and desirable.
- Have a mobile first mindset—everything about the inevitable transformation to value-based healthcare and accountable delivery says that BI&A solutions will be needed most out in the community and in patient homes, and mobile-capable is not the same as mobile-optimized.
Of course, the challenge for most BI&A programs is determining how best to leverage existing investments in technology platform and infrastructure, not make new ones. The crucial concept in this common situation is to maximize the value and usage of the investments, and to reflect the realities (capabilities and limitations) of the investments in the BI&A roadmap.
About the Author
Bill Leander has more than 25 years’ successful, results-driven leadership experience in healthcare consulting services and information technology in diverse managerial, cultural, and competitive environments ranging from entrepreneurial start-up ventures to mid-sized and global publicly-held companies. His expertise is combining strategic, operational, clinical and technical capabilities into the comprehensive solutions needed to overcome complex challenges. His breadth of view is forged through a diverse background in healthcare that includes serving as CEO of a business intelligence and analytics software company, senior roles at global consultancies, and founder of several entrepreneurial HCIT ventures. He is an author and frequent speaker at healthcare events across the country.