Big Data and the Future of Healthcare

Big DataBig data has gradually become part of everyday life. From wearable devices and smart phones to vehicles and more, data is collected from just about everywhere and everything. The healthcare industry is slowly coming on board, beginning to use big data in a myriad of ways.

Fraud Prevention

One of the biggest problems in healthcare is fraud. Identity theft, misuse of benefits, and provider payment scams are rapidly increasing, which results in billions of dollars in losses each year. Programs such as Medicare are often the target of such crimes and have taken action by investing in computer systems designed to reduce this hemorrhage of funds. Analytics derived from big data are instrumental in these efforts, able to detect savvy criminals and collusion between patients and providers.

Predicting the Future

Predictive analytics uses big data to foresee the health issues of patients. Information acquired from social media, business networking sites, medical provider visits, family health history, and more are gathered and analyzed. Intricate algorithms assess this data and signal the physician that a medical issue could be oncoming. This advanced notice allows earlier treatment and a much more positive outcome for the patient. In addition, this could help reduce the cost of healthcare by treating patients before they develop a chronic, expensive condition or emergency.

Privacy Concerns

The internet holds a wealth of information that is both public and private. When using predictive analytics to forecast healthcare needs, it is easy to see how privacy is compromised. Private information must be shared with insurers and healthcare providers to truly reap the benefits of the technology. Eventually it may be necessary to create specific privacy laws to help protect patients in this new world.

Other Notes

These programs are still in their infancy, so it’s difficult to know if big data and predictive analytics will ever affect the price of life and health insurance coverage. Current social programs spread expensive claims over a large group of insured patients to attempt to cap premiums. As the political arena changes these programs may as well, making future insurance and healthcare costs difficult to predict.

Big data in healthcare is just beginning to show its power. As technology advances, it’s very likely that this information will be used to save patients and money across the industry. For more information about the future of healthcare IT, contact ROI Networks.

Why Every Call Center Needs Workforce Optimization

ROI June blog 4Workforce optimization (WFO) is a phrase used to describe a powerful set of tools designed for call center support. For some companies, the call center provides the majority of their sales and support efforts so managing this segment effectively is a critical task. WFO suites assist managers with everything from collecting call recordings to data analytics that report on agent performance. Here’s why companies are increasingly turning to WFO packages to improve results.

Serve Customers Better

When it comes to customer service, bad news travels far more quickly than good. It’s nearly a guarantee that a less-than-optimal interaction will result in the company gaining negative publicity via social media. Many people have hundreds to thousands of readers on a single social media platform and usually participate in multiple platforms, so a single status update about a customer service problem could attain viral status very quickly. News of a poor service experience reaching that many people may have a serious impact on customer loyalty or acquisition.

Companies using WFO in the call center have greater visibility into service problems and are able to use that information to coach representatives, streamline processes, and otherwise manage issues. Through improved customer handling, the chance of bad publicity is minimized and customers will be more likely to share stories of efficient and effective customer service that the company has delivered.

Get to Know Customers

WFO packages allow companies to gain understanding about customers. It helps answer questions like:

  • What is the most common reason for calls?
  • What factors are most important to the customer base?
  • Are certain marketing campaigns more effective than others?

Knowing the answers to these questions and acting on the insights provided by WFO analytics will improve customer retention and satisfaction.

Improving Agent Satisfaction

An important part of operating a call center is keeping agents engaged and happy at their jobs. WFO solutions must embed training opportunities for reps and ensure that the right reps are assigned to the right areas of the company. When agents feel valued, motivated, and knowledgeable, the trickle-down effect is better customer service. Using the WFO package to gain and share insights and address agent satisfaction numbers with relevant leaders goes a long way toward employee and customer retention.

WFO packages for the call center provide a number of crucial advantages. Implementing this type of system results in rewards from improved customer service to enhanced productivity and decreased employee churn.

WFO is the key to discovering important trends and performing better as an organization. For more information about WFO solutions, contact ROI Networks today.

How Big Data Offers Value to Businesses

shutterstock_134175617The Internet has created a massive ongoing flow of information which can be collected, analyzed, and used to gain competitive advantages and increase business intelligence. Known as “big data,” this informational flow can have a major impact on essential business functions related to customers and products, and on companies themselves.

Big Data and Customers

Big data can be used as a tool for better serving customers and expanding the reach of a business. It helps companies improve their relevance in their respective marketplaces, allowing them to more carefully and precisely target market segments and customer bases with highly evolved strategies. Big data also generates extensive insights into the effectiveness of service delivery models, allowing businesses to make changes to better serve their existing client bases.

Perhaps most importantly, big data also helps companies understand customer purchasing behaviors. Collecting and harvesting information from big data sources provides real-time insights into issues that impact customer behavior and the factors that make it more or less likely that they will choose a particular company, product, or service provider.

Finally, big data can reveal opportunities to move into new markets, or expand a company’s reach in its current markets. Data analysis can help companies identify patterns that suggest new potential sources of revenue — and that’s something every business can benefit from.

Big Data and Products

Big data presents incredible opportunities for companies to personalize their products. Using the data collected during the purchase life cycle can shed light on trends, information, and opportunities that allow businesses to provide a more intimate, customized customer experience, which can lead to improved brand loyalty.

The collection and analysis of data also allows enterprises to improve their service delivery models. Data analytics has created new ways of understanding and adapting to customer needs. For example, airlines like Emirates, Qantas, Delta, British Airways, and others use big data to help passengers with allergies and medical conditions have a more comfortable in-flight experience. Data analytics is also being used to customize loyalty program platforms, using important occasions like customer birthdays to offer incentives and special rates on services.

The launch of a new product is a major event for a business, and big data helps companies track consumer response. This strategy is frequently used in the automotive industry, where car manufacturers use the insights generated by data to make improvements to future models.

Big Data and Businesses

Data analytics can also help companies improve and streamline important decision making processes, including human resource management and the reduction of risks. More and more companies are also using data to better understand employee behavior in the workplace, boosting the efficiency of the internal work flow and helping improve communications between disparate departments and teams.

Big data also helps companies monitor the performance initiatives of their competitors and formulate timely responses to hedge against the possibility of losing ground in market share. It allows companies to counteract advantages gained by competitors, providing a big boost to the bottom line.

Big Data and the Cloud Go Well Together

shutterstock_121471804As data moves to the cloud, in order to gather that data and interpret it in a timely manner, it’s important to plan how to integrate cloud-based data feeds. Here are some common cloud-based data sources, and ideas for utilization.

Web Data

The web is a maelstrom of data that is ripe for analysis. Consider the number of user clicks that occur throughout the web in a single minute, RFID sensors on products or packaging, social media feeds, web logs, and more. The list of possible data sources on the web feels infinite and may be intimidating to approach. However, cloud-based analytics tools, available as open source or as subscription services, make collecting data and arriving at insights a painless experience.

Social Trends

Potentially one of the most powerful sources of data today is social media. Consider Twitter and Facebook alone, and the billions of daily users who access those services. Fortunately, these two social networks have extensive analytics services available for a fee.

Internet of Things

Technological advances have allowed the most interesting (and sometimes odd) objects and services to report data. Smart traffic signals, garbage collection services, infant monitors, medical devices, refrigerators, and more, all report information to the cloud. The massive amounts of data from Internet of Things devices can be analyzed as it streams in, or stored and analyzed using frameworks such as Hadoop.


A trend in mobile development is to have the non-UI processing of a mobile application performed in the cloud. This allows greater flexibility and better performance. Since the back end activities are handled in the cloud, the resulting data can be analyzed there as well.

The cloud is home to many stores of data. With planning, savvy companies can capture this information and gain valuable insights to help increase revenue, create more engaged and satisfied customers, and decrease expenses.