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How about a career in healthcare analytics?

Apollo Hospital leverages Big data to curb Hospital Acquired Infections by collecting diagnostics results, patient conditions, other relevant clinical information and creating analytics models out of it.

Wockhardt Hospitals, selected Qlik’s data discovery solution, to gain better data insights and improve business performance while reducing operational costs.

Healthcare analytics is quite an established phenomenon in the west. According to statistics, the global healthcare analytics market is expected to reach $ 29.84 billion by 2022 from $8.92 Billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 27.3%. Now it has emerged in India too in a big way. The nation is gradually warming up to the idea of using analytics to improve healthcare offerings. Deloitte says, “Indian healthcare market that is worth $100 billion and is expected to grow at a 23% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to reach $280 billion by 2020, backed by Big data and availability of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) on the cloud.”

So what does this signify?

The opportunity is huge!

Let us understand this better…

What is healthcare analytics?

Healthcare analytics is harnessing the power of Big Data and Data Science to provide solutions in the healthcare segment. The healthcare segment in India is an all-encompassing term which includes Diagnostics, Medicine, Doctors, Hospitals, Medical Insurance.

Broadly, we can classify healthcare analytics into Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive.

Because of the growing momentum surrounding healthcare analytics, there is a huge demand for skilled professionals in this field. Today, many of you have already recognized this and are contemplating to groom yourself as a specialized healthcare analytics professionals. However, before taking the plunge, it is wise to know what is in store for you and how you can go about achieving that.

What would be your role as a healthcare analyst?

  1. Understanding healthcare operation and systems and work towards enhancing healthcare quality, streamlining the process and reducing the cost of treatment.
  2. Gathering and interpreting data from a variety of sources such as the electronic health record (EHR), billing claims, cost reports, and patient satisfaction surveys) using big data and various applications.
  3. Maintenance of database from end to end. A collection, storage, retrieving and protecting the data.
  4. Creating reports and dashboards to convey the findings to various stakeholders in the healthcare value chain.
  5. Providing data insights that drive clinical process improvement and guides decision-making.

Where could you be employed?

What are the skills required to be a healthcare analyst?

 1. Good understanding of the healthcare sector

Though not mandatory, an analyst with a background in the healthcare sector is always preferred. The reason for this is complexity and heterogeneous nature of medical data sets. These days many pharmaceutical industry graduates and paramedical students are opting for a career in healthcare analytics. Apart from this, analysts with previous experience in the administrative department of big hospitals or familiarity with the clinical environment are also given preference in this profile.

 2. Building a good data model

To build a good data model, the analyst must identify the kind of data that needs to be gathered. For example, if it is a hospital admission, apart from general demographic information such as name, gender address, an analyst would need insurance information such as plan, exact coverage, some clinical information such as details of the disease, previous hospital admission etc. All the relevant data elements need to be collated and related in a coherent way to form an effective model.

  3. Knowledge of SQL

Needless to say, an analyst has to wade through a humungous amount of data for deriving insights. Hence expert level knowledge of SQL to write complex and highly-optimized queries is a must-have skill.

  4. Proficiency in data analysis

This is the most important part of being a healthcare analyst. Your role may be limited to the collection and maintenance of data when you are a junior analyst, but as you progress in your career path, you will be required to derive deep insights from complex medical data sets like a pro. Apart from deriving insights, you need to possess other qualities such as agility, flexibility, decision making and timeliness to have an edge over other analysts.

 5. Knowledge of Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has many applications in healthcare analytics. Reading and interpreting data from various text documents in the Electronic Health records can help to identify patients with chronic ailments and minimize risk around them significantly. Hence, professionals with proficiency in NLP are in great demand in the healthcare analytics landscape.


With statistics like doctor-patient ratio and bed-patient ratio lagging behind the standard WHO norms, India has a long way to go inefficient healthcare management. Rising household expenditure on healthcare is also a matter of grave concern. Technology has huge potential in easing these issues. The emergence of Big Data and Data analytics have made the difference. However, since this is at a nascent stage in India, there is a shortage of skilled professional. The sector is poised for growth in future and stepping into at this juncture could be a smart move.