“In God we trust. All others, bring data”
Data analytics is a vital process businesses rely on for making smart, conclusive decisions, supported by the analysis of raw sets of data. In the landscape of information being exchanged in hyperspeed, the trail of data that’s left behind is no longer being abandoned in cyberspace and hard drives; the forward-thinkers are studying and learning from it. We fancy ourselves as a smart, forward-thinking bunch at Net Health and we continuously strive to stay on top of the current technological and business trends. Data analytics is no different.
Net Health has been capturing patient and wound data since 2001. Valuable insight into the behavior of the wound care market and critical information for clinical research is provided from data collected on millions of wounds from Net Health’s WoundExpert® Research Database. With over two million patient encounters documented annually, WoundExpert is the largest independent source of comprehensive chronic wound data available in the U.S. healthcare market.
With all this data analytics talk, we couldn’t help but have a chat with David Crosby, Business Development Executive (Sales). We talked about data analytics (of course!), his Tepper School of Business Capstone project, and Net Health’s relationship with data collection.
What intrigues you the most about data analytics?
If business is about removing the uncertainty from our decision-making processes, then data analytics is what drives intelligent decision making. Data analytics allows us to answer the question of “Why are we doing ____?” It used to be experience or gut-feel that won the day, but not any longer. There’s a famous quote by W. Edwards Deming that goes “In God we trust. All others, bring data.” I love that. Incorporating data into the conversations we have levels the playing field and should bring teams to places of mutual understanding. The analytics piece is knowing how to wisely utilize the data we have.
What’s Net Health doing in data collection? What’s our data’s reputation?
There is a lot going on with data at Net Health, and those activities tend to be broken down into 2 categories: internal data & product data. In both cases, people like Kyle Smith, Debby Dale, Tim Young, Brian Lancaster, Chris Hayes, and others have done a tremendous amount of work to stand up excellent ETL processes and a Data Warehouse. We have some big plans to utilize internal data to improve our operations!
On the product side, WoundExpert & FOTO both have fantastic reputations as being very large and very unique datasets. This is incredibly valuable in the marketplace. As we explore more with Agility, learn more about the Optima products, and continue to bring customers onto ReDoc powered by xfit, we will have more data that can bring value in advancing healthcare and enhancing knowledge about the markets we serve.
In regards to your capstone project, did you know immediately you wanted to do something associated with Net Health?
I definitely thought that it would be cool early on. I learned about the Capstone project about 1 year prior to my actual involvement. As I demoed and sold some of our products and talked to different people at Net Health, it became apparent that there was potential to do some cool things with Net Health data. Perhaps the Capstone project was a good, low-risk laboratory in which we could test that. Fortunately, Net Health was very open to partnering with CMU, so connecting the two institutions was a fairly smooth process. We met with faculty and stakeholders at Net Health to define the scope of the project and expected outcomes. It took only a handful of meetings to get all of the pieces in place.
Have your experiences working on this project benefitted any aspects of your role at Net Health? And vice versa?
Definitely. My current role is to sell our data to interested parties. Since I worked with our WoundExpert data to build a basic predictive model, it enables me to have more intelligent conversations with the analytic teams for whom our data is purchased. Those interactions are great because all parties learn more about the data itself – what transformations must be made in order to achieve certain objectives. It’s iron sharpening iron. Hopefully, that has led to additional sales revenue for Net Health.
One last thing on the topic of why data analytics is awesome. There’s a fun acronym sometimes used in these circles – HiPPO. It stands for “Highest Paid Person’s Opinion”. My comment earlier about leveling the playing field comes back to that. When we rely on the HiPPO to drive our decisions, it can be detrimental in the long term – not just to the organization but to the growth of individuals. Data empowers us to agree on the problems at hand and think creatively about how to solve them, whether those solutions come from the mind of the highest-ranking person in the room or not, it doesn’t matter.
Want to learn more about Net Health’s Data Analytics, or our order form time-saver Connections Program? Click the button below to get in touch with David!