Big Data Healthcare Analytics – A Look at the NHS

Monday 11 May 2015
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Big data analytics in 2015 has been repeatedly stated to be central to the direction of healthcare. However, trusts and heads of procurement see risk in trusting large amounts of money to be invested in an NHS big data solution, making the process of acquiring an analytics solution arduous and difficult. Risk Stratification (in assessing the size of the risk relevant to the cost) will be the main identifier in the success of big data analytic solutions.

Ask any entrepreneur about the key to their success and taking risks will often be one of the main reasons. From the fairy-tale stories of the likes of Sir Alan Sugar going from the bottom to the top or more traditional success from people building on previous fortune, for each millionaire or billionaire there will be thousands of people who didn’t quite make it as large. Where these career-focused individuals have risen and fallen is around the risks taken.

Some haven’t taken enough risks and playing it safe has left them in their competitors dust.

Some have taken one step too far and ended up blowing large budgets on ideas that don’t take off the ground. Some can play everything by the book from start to finish and still end up without anything purely down to bad luck.

Opportunity Cost or Opportunity Lost?

So what risks are positive, and which are mistakes from the off? Jumping on bandwagons is one risk that doesn’t always pay off. Just because industry analysts today are suggesting that x is the new y or that investing in this new industry will make you a 300% return in a year doesn’t mean it always works – in fact it fails more often than not. The key idea behind this is the opportunity cost, and it’s easy to overestimate the opportunity whilst underestimating the cost, especially around new ideas that could take the world by storm or collapse disappointingly into the nether.

Risks need to be calculated, and objectively taken. And here lies the issue with the NHS and the modernisation of its computer and software infrastructure. When the opportunity cost is people’s lives and the entire nation’s health system, it’s easy to forgo the opportunity to preserve the status quo. It’s easier still to ignore new themes like ‘big data’ and ‘self-service analytics’ because they might be just another bandwagon.

With the media hype and constant buzz around big data and the wonderful benefits analytics can have on your organisation a cynical view on the whole thing becomes impossible to ignore.

Unfortunately I’m going to have to increase the cynicism, because big data isn’t just hype. The term itself has become a parody of itself, a constant self-perpetuating idea that’s very basic in nature – more data equals more insight equals saving money. And in reality there’s not much more to it than that. It is no ultimate solution, or a new ground-breaking technology, or easy way to save billions of pounds with minimal effort.

Big data is just that – data.

The need is turning said data into information, filtering out the irrelevant stuff, and then deriving knowledge from that information.

That process is the thing that saves money – not just being aware of big data, but having the analytic solution that lets you turn that data into knowledge, without spending weeks on report creation and finalisation.

Across the country NHS trusts are adopting analytic solutions to upgrade their legacy systems, slowly and surely. But to reach the targets set by both the government and independent analysts more trusts need to take the risk and upgrade their analytics sector. You have to spend money to make money, the old phrase goes, and in the NHS you have to spend money to save money. What seems an opportunity cost easily becomes opportunity lost as each day goes by, and each penny spent on data analysts and system administrators is a penny taken away from the core reason the NHS exists – patient care and treatment. There needs to be a risk free solution, competitively priced to save the NHS money whilst being built from the bottom-up to solve your big data big problems…

A key issue thus far in our strategy at Connexica has been convincing the larger trusts to take the risk of going with us rather than your traditional big corporation solution in Qlikview or Tableau. Does innovation equal risk? We at Connexica try to turn innovation into opportunity and progress – without innovators, it’s impossible to improve on what we already have. Thus, we put our heads together and found a deal that revolutionises our personal approach to solving the current health data crisis at the NHS.

CXAIR for Healthcare SaaS – Now Available on G-Cloud

CXAIR has been named as an approved solution for procurement on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) G-Cloud Framework.

The CCS works with both departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and to improve the quality of service delivery by forgoing the arduous tender procurement process.

The CXAIR Software as a Service (SaaS) agreement supports the Government’s policy to centrally manage the procurement of common goods and services through an integrated commercial function at the heart of government. CXAIR is now available on the G-Cloud online CloudStore format.

Managing Director of Connexica Richard Lewis said:

“We are delighted to have made it onto G-Cloud. We anticipate this framework and the Digital Marketplace making the process of procuring Connexica’s offerings much simpler, more efficient and cost effective for our public sector customers. This is part of our broader strategy to focus on business within the UK public sector and in particular with the NHS where Connexica has strong links, significant domain expertise and a track record of delivering real value and savings, as evidence by our health and care success story in which the organisation saved almost £500,000 in the first six months of implementation”


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