Home COVID-19 Three Data-Related Trends in Healthcare for 2021

Three Data-Related Trends in Healthcare for 2021

by Heidi Bullman

If there’s one thing that the healthcare industry has learned in 2020 it’s that data is the one of the most important parts of providing quality healthcare and with all the data that’s been produced this year, there will be myriad lessons learned and anticipated data-related trends for 2021. For the healthcare industry, three of these trends include the prominence of shared data and visualizations consumed by the masses, the need for business-ready data, and increased data collaboration and innovation.

“This year’s public health crisis reminded us that we need to do more than just react, we need to pre-act,” explained Heather Gittings, Principal Strategic Advisor, Global Public Sector and Healthcare, Qlik. “With pre-acting, you’re able to react faster so we’re better prepared the for next crisis. Coincidentally, data is central to both reacting and pre-acting and because of this, we’re seeing pivots in data and analytics for the new year.”

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The first data-related trend to watch for in 2021 is the rise to prominence of shared data and visualizations, consumed by the masses. According to a recent eBook, “in 2020, data and data visualizations exploded in mainstream news. General audiences pored over data in sources. Now more than ever, we’ve seen the importance of delivering the last mile in data storytelling and infographics.” In the future, healthcare organizations will accommodate this by instilling data literacy improvement initiatives to drive insights at scale and counter misinformation.

The second major trend will be an increase in demand for business-ready data. Healthcare organizations have seen that since the pandemic there’s been an increase in demand for real-time data. Moving forward, data forecasts and refreshes will need to happen more often. “On a macro level, we’ve seen disruptions to supply chains, with hospitals scrambling to procure PPE and consumers stockpiling toilet paper. In the case of PPE, we reacted to an actual shortage too slowly; with toilet paper, consumers broke the supply chain by assuming a shortage where none existed. Surges like these are accentuated in a crisis, and we have to build preparedness for them.” Preparedness means compiling data that has timely business logic and context applied to it.

Finally, in 2021, healthcare organizations will want to focus on data collaboration and innovation. “Tasks for moving data from raw to analytics-ready will become more engaging, fast and iterative. The separate, siloed worlds of data curators and consumers will begin coming together, and business logic will persist, enabling analytics-ready data to become business-ready much faster.” According to Gartner, by 2023, augmented data management will reduce the need for repetitive and low-impact data management tasks by IT specialists; this will allow them more time and the bandwidth for collaboration and other high-value data management tasks.

There’s much to be learned from how data helped us navigate the challenges that healthcare organizations faced in 2020. The three big data-related trends for 2021 will enable healthcare organizations to ultimately keep positive patient outcomes a priority in the new year. In adopting and prioritizing data-driven projects and workflows, healthcare organizations will not only be better prepared to treat and serve patients, but better prepared for the next crisis, too.

To explore other trends for 2021, click here.

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