By: Stu Garrow, SVGP & GM APAC, Talend
The information revolution – which holds the promise of a supercharged economy through the use of advanced analytics, data management technologies, the cloud, and knowledge – is affecting every industry. Digital transformation requires major IT modernisation and the ability to shorten the time from data to insights to make the right business decisions. For companies, it means being able to transform and gain a competitive advantage by delivering trusted data at the speed of business, by efficiently process and analyse data from a variety of sources at scale – with the objective of streamlining operations, enhancing customer relationships, and providing new and improved products and services.
The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are the perfect embodiment of what is at stake with the data revolution. Opportunities await at every step in the healthcare value chain for those who succeed in their digital transformation:
- Prevention: Predicting patients at risk for disease or readmission.
- Diagnosis: Accurately diagnosing patient conditions, matching treatments with outcomes.
- Treatment: Providing optimal and personalised health care through the meaningful use of health information.
- Recovery and reimbursement: Reducing healthcare costs, fraud and avoidable healthcare system overuse. Providing support for cost-effective patient care, effective use of Electronic Health Records (EHR), and other patient information.
This ability to unlock the relevance of healthcare data is the key to having a 360-degree view of the patient and, ultimately, delivering better care.
Data challenges in the age of connected care
But that’s more easily said than done. The healthcare industry faces the same challenge as others, in that business insights are often missed due to the speed of change and the complexity of mounting data users and needs. Healthcare organisations have to deal with massive amounts of data housed in a variety of data silos. In Singapore, this includes information from CPF and private insurance companies and patient records from multiple physicians and hospitals. To access this data and quickly analyse healthcare information, it is critical to break down the data silos.
Singapore’s healthcare challenges are typical of developed economies – a rapidly ageing population and alarming increases in the rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Still, Singapore’s healthcare outcomes continue to be recognised as among the best in the world, and it is no surprise to learn that the authorities here see digital transformation as the key to addressing these critical issues.
At the Singapore Healthcare Management Congress in August 2017, Ministry of Health (MOH) Permanent Secretary Chan Heng Kee highlighted the huge value that data analytics can add to the provision of healthcare. He said, “we can now collect and combine rich healthcare, social and economic data and analyse them for insights.”
It is by no means only healthcare organisations that can benefit from this level of predictive insight into their businesses. Leading companies in many industries around the world are increasingly moving their data warehouse to a cloud-based solution and creating a single, unified platform for modern data integration and management across cloud and on-premise environments. Cloud-based integration solutions provide broad and robust connectivity, data quality, and governance tracking, simple pricing, data security and big data analysis capabilities.
Data analysis boosting multiple industries
Singapore’s most important economic sectors are manufacturing, followed by the financial services industry and tourism. Each of these industries is engaged in the process of digital transformation.
For manufacturing, the Economic Development Board is encouraging the adoption of Industry 4.0.
This smart factory revolution will help manufacturers understand the costs and efficiencies in their production lifecycle, through the ability to aggregate, clean and analyse vast quantities of data from multiple sources. Trusted data will facilitate predictive maintenance and improve machine utilisation. It improves product demand forecasts and warehouse management.
In financial services, banks have always held a massive amount of data on their customers, often in demarcated silos. But the power of data analytics enables them now to integrate this information and use it to improve customer service through a deeper, real-time understanding of their transaction behaviour. This will lead to enhanced customer segmentation, in turn permitting more accurately tailored marketing campaigns and personalised product offerings. In Singapore, the move towards a cashless society, as part of the Smart Nation initiative, is an example of financial data analysis at work. The benefits are not confined to the convenience afforded to the individual consumer. Trusted data gathered from aggregated financial transactions can help officials identify trends and predict patterns of commercial activity, leading to better provision of public services and more sustainable urban planning. Analytics also helps with fraud detection and prevention, improving security across the industry. Compliance is a major responsibility for the finance industry. Here again, cloud-based analytics programs work with big data to identify risks, manage internal controls and ensure regulatory requirements are met.
The tourism and hospitality industry is one that has always relied heavily for its success on personal relationships and service, and the availability of data analytics now promises to lift the sector to a new level of personalisation. When data from airlines, travel agencies, tour providers, hotels and restaurants is consolidated and analysed, travellers can expect their personal preferences to be anticipated and met to an unprecedented degree. The STB’s Singapore Tourism Analytics Network is available to local industry stakeholders seeking just this kind of insight into their customers’ desires. Behind the scenes, too, data analysis is helping the industry better target its marketing campaigns as well as financial controls, from dynamically managing room rates to forecasting revenues.
Healthcare, manufacturing, finance and tourism organisations are at the forefront of a major transformation across all industries requiring the use of advanced cloud data integration and big data technologies such as AI and machine learning to efficiently apply the full value of data to innovate and transform their enterprise. This digital transformation requires IT modernisation, using hybrid or multi-cloud environments and providing a way to easily combine and analyse data from various sources and formats.