How to course-correct shortcomings in data strategies at VA

“Strong data strategies can enable business decision-making — but what happens when a data strategy overlooks necessary collection and analysis?”

“As data and analytics become a core business function, building a data strategy adaptable to disruption requires planning for innovations with a focus on the end user. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency had to revamp its data collection efforts after noticing its shortcomings in collecting data on gender and orientation…”

“Ultimately, the VA had to correct the stigma around providing information about gender identity and sexual orientation, and deal with a backlog of missing healthcare information professionals needed to provide the best care possible.”

“To start gathering the information, the department now aims to include sexual orientation and gender identity data fields as requirements on its electronic health records system, according to Kauth. The Government Accountability Office recommended the change in a report and the VA set up a working group to create those fields.”

“No matter the context, data strategies at most organizations will have to adapt to changing circumstances or the need for additional data.”

“When thinking about data strategy, Alan Henson, principal at Pariveda Solutions, recommends starting with considerations for the end users, such as VA did with the new data fields. Once the team is familiar with the consumers of the data project, it can design a strategy around serving those needs to avoid ending up ‘with a bunch of data that doesn’t serve a real clear and concise purpose.'”

“For organizations that may have deployed a data strategy, but now realize gaps or flaws, the first step toward course correction is to ‘take the time to stop and look,’ Henson said. Assess the gaps based on the outcome desired with the business use cases in mind…” Read the full article here.

Source: How to course-correct shortcomings in data strategies – By Katie Malone, July 7, 2021. CIO Dive.



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