5 Shades of Analytics
As presented at the Global Events North American CIO Event, San Francisco, February, 2015
Like all flavors of automation, the principal reason for developing analytical capabilities is to reduce the amount of human labor required to increase efficiency, achieve understanding, make better decisions and achieve specific outcomes. There are many shades of big data analysis for which outcomes can range from simply capturing what has happened (descriptive analytics) to diagnosing what has happened (interpretive analytics) to forecasting what will happen (predictive analytics) to increasing the likelihood that some specific outcome will happen (prescriptive analytics). And while it takes different levels of investment to achieve these increasingly impactful shades of analytical sophistication and utility, in the end they all typically require a human to act on the results.
What all of these tiers of analytical sophistication have in common in a business environment is the delivery channel—that is, analytical results prepared for subsequent human action. On the other hand, there are a range of other delivery vehicles for prescriptive analytical results where the results can be consumed directly by applications, which then perform the needed adaptations. This includes areas such as navigation for planes and automobiles, and adaptive medical applications such as glucose monitoring systems. However, we see these consumable analytics much less frequently implemented in core business platforms.
At StrataCare, A Xerox Company, we provide a complete and secure private-cloud based SaaS platform for ensuring the regulatory compliance of payments for medical services associated with claims in the workers’ compensation domain. Our objective is to deliver decision support capabilities that reflect the entire analytical spectrum to our customers and partners. We are presently in the product planning and implementation stages of two key analytical integration projects.
SCORE™ is a workflow management decision support capability that projects claim progression and significantly impacts claim outcomes. It is being integrated with our medical bill review platform and client nurse case management solutions for more dynamic workflows and medical review.
In addition to SCORE, we will be incorporating our Network Optimizer prescriptive modeling tool (US Patent 8,700,426 B2) with the medical bill review platform to allow our subscribing clients to more automatically adapt their PPO network mosaics and increase medical savings.
Contributing to the accelerated use of consumable analytics in business-related systems and environments is the maturation and availability of key supporting technologies. These supporting technologies range from exciting new capabilities such as GE Global Software and Analytics Research’s predictive maintenance solutions, which leverage a “digital twin” methodology to model when assets will require maintenance, to platforms that facilitate standard delivery and software-based consumption of analytical results such as Composable Analytics.
Technologies that permit the consistent and standard availability of analytical results will enable solution providers to leverage their analytical investments at ever higher levels while further reducing the need for human intervention in the adaptation of business systems. As we continue to invest in new avenues of analytical value, it will be done with an eye on how our investments can move our capabilities up the analytical value chain toward greater automation.