Millions of dollars spent on big data, but where are the results?

Many organizations--including those in the healthcare industry--have invested millions of dollars in big data analytics over the past few years. But where are the results?

A recent post in Harvard Business Review details some CIOs' frustrations with what they thought would be more impactful returns from big data analytics. The author, Michael Schrage--a research fellow at MIT--argues that a "data heuristic" has emerged--companies with mediocre outcomes use big data for decision support, while companies that have successful return on analytics (ROA) use it for effecting and supporting behavior change. 

One CIO told HBR, "We're doing analytics in real-time that I couldn't even have imagined five years ago but it's not having anywhere near the impact I'd have thought."

So what's the problem? "The real challenge is recognizing that using big data and analytics to better solve problems and/or make decisions obscures the organizational reality that new analytics often requires new behaviors," Schrage writes.

In talking with CIOs, Schrage ultimately concluded that the most productive conversations were about how big data analytics changed behaviors, rather than solved problems.

In November, the IBM Institute for Business Analytics released survey results showing that success in leveraging analytics starts at the top, including with the appointment of a chief analytics officer.

Health payers are more invested in the power of big data and analytics tools than providers, according to an October report.

At last summer's Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum in Washington, D.C., analytics experts said healthcare systems are challenged to better understand the data they collect and use it to improve care. 

To learn more:
- read the full post at Harvard Business Review

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