2019 Will Require Smarter Data Goals

2018 may be the year that data integration and governance went mainstream. The public is beginning to realize that their personal data are captured and used all over the place — and bought and sold. Recent headlines illustrate how companies and governments are scrambling to manage and protect data through new policies and regulations. Some are even establishing data management goals to reassure customers.

Even if the public conversation isn’t using the words “integration” or “governance,” it’s been fascinating to see how issues we’ve discussed for decades are playing out on a much larger stage.

Change is afoot not just on a global level, but on a state/provincial level, as well as in our local communities. California passed legislation similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Brexit remains an unknown but will certainly spark conversations about whether or not the UK will participate in GDPR or develop its own data protection guidelines.

2019 will require smarter data management

In 2019, data integration and governance practices will need to gain significant traction to comply with fast-changing regulations and consumer expectations. That means organizations need to set smart goals, and then execute relentlessly.

As a global company, IMT has been helping our customers in their respective communities develop and implement their own data management practices. Working so closely with customers keeps us focused on their goals and frames our software deployment.

Our customers’ goals often tightly tie to corporate strategies like consumer engagement and empowerment or improving community health and wellness. Achieving these goals requires having — and using — data to make decisions and demonstrate progress. Whether it’s healthcare, law enforcement, or government, or the private sector, the overarching mission is the same: using data to make smarter, more cost-effective decisions that benefit a community or stakeholders.

That’s why we focus our resources and talent to help clients make better use of their data to improve efficiency and solve lingering challenges. Clients come to us knowing their business problem and their goals. We can help them leverage their data to solve those business problems.

The real cost of poor data integration

Healthcare has always been a huge data producer, but sadly as the case of Cabell-Huntington Hospital shows, data does not always integrate and become available to caregivers. That lack of integration and governance frustrates patients and compromises their ability to be more engaged in their health. At Cabell-Huntington and throughout the US, this lack of data integration can require thousands of hours of manual data re-entry and resolution that may significantly impact out of pocket expenses.

The recent Pew white paper noted that a Black Book study showed healthcare organizations lose $1.5M per year due to claims denials tied to incorrect patient record matching. We at IMT suspect that number may be conservative, given anecdotal comments from our clients and partners. But the problem isn’t limited to healthcare.

Law enforcement is another example of a data-centric organization where life, death, and public safety may depend on wise, quick use of data. Identifying a suspect and his data relationships — despite potentially vast variability among several disjointed databases — may help apprehend criminals and allay public concerns. But they have to get it right.

These situations are playing out every day in headlines as consumers try to understand who owns their data and how it is used. As 2019 unfolds, make sure your organization is setting goals to better manage your data in a quickly-changing landscape.

IMT looks forward to seeing our customers and friends at HIMSS 2019 in Orlando February 11-15 or at IBM THINK February 12-15 in San Francisco. We’re ready to discuss your goals and help you develop strategies to better use your customer data. We hope to see you in early 2019 at one of the events, or in a meeting at your organization!