A Data Scientist walked up to me at a party and…

Ok, well,it wasn’t exactly a party, but I did meet a Data Scientist, a new profession that didn’t exist even a couple of years ago, who worked for one of my favorite companies; Linkedin. I asked him what he did and he said he basically “made complicated data seem simple to understand”. The concept of Big Data has been used a lot in healthcare to make sense of the huge volumes of information that comes in and out of EMR and other clinical systems these days.

A data scientist represents a natural paradigm shift in thinking from the traditional role of a data or business analyst in that both their backgrounds are similar and need a good foundation typically in math and computer science, data modeling, statistics and analytics. A true data scientist has strong business analysis skills and the ability to communicate findings to both operational and information technology teams in a way that can direct healthcare organizations on ways the most pressing business and clinical challenges can be solved. Understanding what the underlying data really means and how healthcare provider organizations can leverage that data for lower cost and higher quality outcomes gives an opportunity for a Data Scientist in our industry to achieve great things.

New jobs and new opportunities do exist in healthcare. Analytics to understand the impact of ICD 10 codes and terms, reviewing why patients get re-admitted and reducing those rates, understanding the relationship between certain seemingly variables. Labor Day gives us something to think about indeed.


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