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Associate Highlight | Data Action

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March 25, 2019 by The Resource Group

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Q: How did the Data Action community begin? 

When I first started at The Resource Group, I was in the Analyst community supporting the Cardiology category. This category required a lot of data tool creation and maintenance; so over time, I began to learn a new set of skills—specifically with data software and automation. By December of 2015, the need for these tools had spread across different Analytic categories, so the Data Action community was created. 

Q: What differentiates the Data Action community from the Analytics and Master Data Management (MDM) Communities? 

First, I will say, these three communities do work together often, and there are times where our work supports one another. However, there are a couple of differentiating factors. Compared to the Analyst community, our work is more focused on predictive analytics, automation and general computational analytics more generally, whereas the Analytics community provides very specific resources to guide direction for our Strategic Sourcing Solution. When comparing our role to the MDM community, I would say a lot of our work revolves around data projects requiring computational problem solving that are also quick-turn around, for a very focused, almost niche-like, business need. MDM builds tools that are focused on broader organizational needs, such as backorder and recall management.   

Q: How do you see the Data Action Community evolving in the future? 

Data is a huge asset to any organization and in the future, I see data collaboration to be a growing effort. This type of collaboration will most likely expand our role as we will have access to a wider variety of information that can add value to our associates and in turn our Participants. For instance, we’ve been working more and more with other Ascension analytic groups to tie quality outcomes into our reporting as well as identifying patient populations receiving specific drugs and devices. I think the next step in this will be tying in revenue so that cost, reimbursement, and patient outcomes can all be considered when negotiating contracts. With this being said, I also think it will be a part of our responsibility to be subject matter experts, not only in the results that our data will show, but also on what we can learn from the data so opportunities similar to the one I just mentioned can be developed. Lastly, we will need to make ‘demystifying’ our work a top priority. I believe that once people understand the data we work with and the types of tools we can create, more associates will understand how using tools can be effective for their roles. 

Q: What are some of the projects you all have created that associates use on a day-to-day basis? 

As I mentioned previously, a lot of our tools are made for a very specific business need, but we do have some tools that are created for a wider associate base. For example, the Reprocessing dashboard is something almost every Participant site uses to monitor reprocessed supplies. We also have the Pharmacy Shortage Report which assists the Pharmacy category in monitoring the status of our contracted pharmacy supplies. Additionally, we’ve built numerous tools that focus on contract lifecycle management. Projects such as the 18 Month Savings dashboard and the Contract Turnaround Time reporting represent tools used throughout the organization to monitor and manage workload and the overall contracting process. There are a lot more! My goal is to make sure associates are not afraid to ask us for assistance. Although we are a community of three and do not always have a lot of extra bandwidth, we have the skills to automate a lot of processes and in turn, take on more work than your standard three-person group. In the end, The Resource Group associates are working to serve our end-users. If there is a way the Data Action community can create more time for our associates to focus on our end-users through the automation of processes, then we want to do that.