How to attract the best healthcare data analytics talent to your organization

Data analytics resources are being spread thin at many healthcare organizations, adding importance to hiring the right team.

Now more than ever healthcare organizations require analytics talent. Analytics professionals are needed to develop

the tools and perform the analyses that healthcare organizations use to generate the information and insight required to find solutions for mounting quality, safety and regulatory issues. Analytics professionals are in high demand as increasing numbers of healthcare and organizations in other industries are recognizing the value analytics provides.

The high demand for analytics professionals means increased competition for these sought-after people. Here are a few things that your healthcare organization can do to help recruit and retain top healthcare data analytics talent.

The competition for analytics resources is definitely heating up -- even between departments within the same organization.

Innovate: Analytics professionals like to experiment with new tools and techniques. A successful organization should foster creativity and problem solving by encouraging analytics teams to innovate. Analytics professionals should be allowed to try new ways to present data or to embed new layers of intelligence and analysis within performance dashboards, rather than demanding the same old graphs, tables and other performance gauges.

Integrate: Analytics professionals don't like to work in isolated environments. Healthcare data analytics teams should be embedded directly on the problem-solving teams of the organization, such as quality improvement or other task forces. Interaction between different departments allows professionals to learn from each other and improves the problem-solving capabilities of the entire organization.

Invigorate: Analytics professionals need to be challenged. They also must know their work is meaningful. Your organization should strive to be known for applying analytics solutions to all important issues, and not just using the analytics team as the go-to people for data.

Educate: Analytics is a constantly evolving field. Your organization should provide your analytics team with opportunities for education, networking and learning by sponsoring attendance at conferences and other networking events, as well as more formalized classroom training.

Enable: Not having the proper tools for a job is the worst thing that can happen to an analytics professional. Ensure the analytics team has what it needs for any given project. For example, some business intelligence software requires the purchase of additional modules such as a statistics package for in-depth analysis. Lacking the right tools will lead to dissatisfied analysts, workarounds and, perhaps, misleading results.

These are a few key ways to help attract and retain top analytics talent. Items not mentioned, including salary and benefits, must be comparable or superior to competitors to attract the people you need.

The competition for analytics resources is definitely heating up -- even between departments within the same organization. Analytics are an absolute necessity for organizations to be able to compete effectively, but the competition really starts with hiring the best talent.

About the author:
Trevor Strome, MSc, PMP, is an informatics/process improvement lead for the Emergency Program at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Manitoba and Seven Oaks General Hospital. Strome is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Let us know what you think about the story; email
editor@searchhealthit.com or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.

This was first published in May 2013

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