A thought-leadership piece by Mark Lambert of FirstPerson Advisors

When it comes to managing health investments, data accessibility can be a game-changer for many organizations. Access to robust and timely data can be immensely valuable in not only delivering curated advice, but also maintaining a competitive advantage.

Yet, so many organizations have limited access to high-quality data. That’s because obtaining access to relevant data can be costly and oftentimes fragmented. But as the health and benefits industry migrates away from being reactive and cost-focused, it’s essential to understand and manage the investment you’ve made in your most valuable resource -- your people.

As you prepare to design next year’s plans and programs, take a look at how a solution, like Springbuk’s Health Intelligence, goes beyond data warehousing to surface your main opportunities for action. Now is the time to evaluate, purchase, and implement your solution to be set up for success in 2020.

To help give you a starting point when exploring your options, below are the top four questions you should ask:

1. What are the first steps when adopting an intelligent solution?

When considering an intelligent solution, like Health Intelligence, it’s important to think about the types of business problems you want to solve for your organization and your clients. More importantly, you should consider how they define your overall health strategy.

One of the first steps in switching to a Health Intelligence platform is to assess your current resources and structure. Historically, we’ve built analytics teams to mine the data and identify potential opportunities. With Health Intelligence, however, you can turn your focus to other important items such as Population Health. This allows you to dig deeper into identified issues so you can find the right partners that can help.

Think about it in terms of data accessibility. In traditional data warehousing, we bring disparate sets of data together and then visualize it in various ways. We have access to data, but not necessarily in a meaningful way. With Health Intelligence, the answers to your questions are automatically surfaced. Once you have this information, the next step is to think about how you’ll realign your resources to act upon those answers.

2. What major changes should we prepare for when adopting an intelligent solution?

Results. It all boils down to the results. Having a solution that combines data accessibility and Health Intelligence means you can focus your time on creating results for your clients. That’s the single most important thing employers are looking for. Consultants no longer have an excuse for not making things happen. If you can focus on creating results for your clients, this will give you proof points to win new business.

3. How can you use an intelligent analytics solution to position yourself as a data-driven expert?

The evolution of health analytics has been fascinating. Not long ago, brokerage/consulting firms were able to differentiate themselves simply by saying they have a “data warehouse” and were able to access the data in real-time. We then moved to differentiating ourselves by “how” we used the data to identify opportunities.

However, today's employers are more sophisticated than ever and want access to direction, rather than a report. Successful firms focus more of their time and resources on solving issues based on the insights the data gives them. This allows us to deliver more targeted results to employers.

Instead of looking for potential problems, we’re now able to dive deeper into issues and patterns to find the top opportunities for our clients. Springbuk’s Health Intelligence platform provides us insights that our analytics team was traditionally able to provide while also incorporating more advanced techniques such as Machine Learning and AI. As a result, we’re able to use our resources much more effectively by spending time-solving problems versus finding them.

Bottom line: It’s no longer about how we find opportunities but rather how we analyze, solve, and measure the results of those opportunities.

4. What should you ask clients who are considering purchasing a Health Intelligence platform?

When looking to adopt an intelligent analytics solution, it’s important to first think about how you’re currently leveraging data and how that’ll change with an intelligent solution. This will help create a framework for how data will drive your overall corporate philosophy for health initiatives. Here are a few questions to ask during exploration:

  • Would your clients benefit from diving deeper into your data to surface issues?
  • Is your client housing their information in a data warehouse? Do you lack insight into what action to take?
  • Is reporting on your client’s population health and healthcare spend a pain point?

Health Intelligence should ultimately drive your entire consulting process for clients. But all the data in the world won’t help you solve problems if it’s not readily accessible. That’s why it’s important to consider an intelligent analytics solution that not only provides transparent, accurate, and complete data - but is also accessible across the business.