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Big Data

What will you ask your information to do?

Big Data is an important concept—but it’s an even more important reality. Even at this early stage in its evolution, many organizations are beginning to reap its value. And eventually, many organizations will embrace what Big Data offers. Health plans that make that leap may be able to unlock a trove of new opportunities, such as improving clinical outcomes through increased treatment efficiency and lower cost and building stronger customer relationships using insights that drive greater sales, retention, engagement and compliance. The potential is clear. The challenge is to strike the right balance in your investments and to remain focused on priorities.

Health plans are intimately familiar with the huge data pools they own, such as claims and other member data. But when plans add their internal consumer and clinical data to the mix, they can gain the perspective of a longitudinal view and that can lead to even greater insights. When organizations take the next step and layer in the enormous lakes of external data they have access to—such as consumer preferences and patterns, including social media content—they can learn to relate to people based on information from their daily lives.

That information is valuable. But data by itself doesn’t know how to be “right.” It’s only as valuable as the questions you ask it. That’s why building a Big Data-driven organization is as much a cultural and architectural challenge as a technology one. First, consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Then, with these goals in mind, define questions that are broad enough to account for future business needs, but focused enough to address present-day realities. You should also evaluate the skill sets that can help your business unit leaders and IT specialists work cross-functionally to design useful solutions. For many plans, that means hiring ontologists and data scientists who can interact directly with the business.

If you’re just beginning your foray into Big Data, Deloitte can help start your organization on a learning curve that bears greater and more useful insights as your capabilities grow. If you’ve already made significant investments in Big Data, Deloitte can help you put these investments to effective use and reap high-quality insights from your data sources. In either case, we can help you realize the potential of Big Data to drive improved clinical outcomes, to enhance customer relationships and to keep you competitive over the long term.

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 Jason Wainstein, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP


As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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