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Past Issue • Jan-Mar 2016

Big Data in Health Care: Analytics to Action

In this paper, the author discusses how big data and analytics in health care are now available at different organisational levels like providers, hospitals and pharmaceuticals and how these data can deliver insights that can be translated into actions for improving delivery, reducing cost of care and enhancing transparency.

Big data is changing the way business decisions are being made around the world. This is also true of industries such as the retail and banking sectors since big data reflects consumer preferences. Amazon and Netflix, both online distributors and creators of content, use big data and analytics in every aspect of their business. Amazon’s Holy Grail has been to predict and suggest what other products a consumer will want to purchase. They also recommend movies based on historical content, which includes a number of elements such as what users have bought in the past, which items they have in their virtual shopping carts, items they’ve rated and liked, and what other customers have viewed and purchased. Big data analytics fuels these “recommendation engines”. Big data refers to the high volume, variety and rapid accumulation of data and to analytics, which is the mining and pattern recognition within the different sources of data.


  • ravi-chawla

    Ravi Chawla

    Visiting Faculty, Health Care Analytics at the Indian School of Business (ISB), and Vice President, Advanced Analytics and Client Solutions, Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia, US. Ravi leads Independence’s cutting edge initiatives, advanced and predictive analytics and partnerships to improve the quality of patient care.
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