What Is Health Care Business Intelligence?

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Learn how health care business intelligence can help your hospital or health care organization run more efficiently and provide better quality patient care, as well as options for a career in this field.

[Featured image] A health care business intelligence analyst works on her laptop from home, analyzing data for actionable insights.

Health care business intelligence is a set of tools you can use with health care data to look for trends and draw insights. Hospitals, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and other health care companies gather large amounts of data to help them make smarter business decisions. Worldwide, Grand View Research projects that the total market for health care business intelligence will grow at a compounded annual rate of 13.5 percent annually until 2030 [1]. 

Explore what business intelligence tools are relevant to the health care industry and some examples of how potential careers in the field use health care business analytics in practice. 

Read more: What Is Business Intelligence? Benefits, Examples, and More

What is health care business intelligence?

Business intelligence refers to the tools used to gain insights from data. When you apply those resources to the unique needs of the health care industry, you can gain insight that leads to better patient outcomes and a more efficient hospital system. These tools often include resources for gathering data, such as data mining, with tools to store, secure, and analyze the data. 

Health care business intelligence is important because health care organizations collect a large amount of data from many different sources. In addition, health care systems need to manage their data according to privacy and other regulations. This can make working with health care business analytics difficult unless you have a robust set of business intelligence tools. 

Types of business intelligence relevant to health care 

Health care business intelligence tools help health care organizations collect, store, secure, and analyze data. Before you learn about these functions of business intelligence, it may be helpful to understand where health care business intelligence data comes from. In any given health care office or system, data comes in from a lot of different places, including: 

  • Health records: Information from previous visits or that you give the doctor when filling out paperwork before your appointment. 

  • Insurance claims: Medical offices track data on the claims they submit to insurance. 

  • Billing: Health care facilities need to keep track of sending out bills and processing payments. 

  • Administrative information: Governments and other regulatory bodies may require the hospital to collect and keep track of certain data. 

  • Patient surveys: Patients can answer questions about their experience using the health care services, and the facility can gather feedback as data. 

Health care business intelligence tools help gather a wide net of data and turn it into data you can use to draw business analytics insights. This process starts with data collection and includes data storage. You will also need tools to help you interact with the data, such as data visualization and data mining. In your analysis, you will likely need to predict what could happen in the future or currently or if a key element of your analysis changed. Lastly, your healthcare business intelligence tools can help you create reports to communicate your findings to senior leadership. 

Read more: 5 Business Intelligence Tools You Need to Know

Examples of how business intelligence improves health care 

Business intelligence tools can be used in many ways to develop data-driven business decisions. In practice, health care business intelligence tools are used in the following areas:

  • Lower costs and increase revenue: You can use health care analytics to understand what processes work and where your organization can improve. You can also better understand the competitive landscape you’re operating within and what you can do to build patient loyalty and offer something more than your competition. 

  • Improve patient outcomes and safety: Health care data analytics give doctors and other care providers more tools to provide better care, such as identifying which patients are at risk for illness, analyzing the best treatment options, or identifying other factors in the patient’s environment that can contribute to negative outcomes. 

  • Enhance research: Using data and machine learning, scientists can make faster progress on research by forecasting how certain drugs will interact or what effects they will have on patients. 

  • Detect disease earlier: Scientists can use data and machine learning to predict diseases like heart disease or kidney disease. By pairing this enhanced research ability, you can also use health care data to predict the correct treatments for disease. 

  • Improve preventative and follow-up care: Using health care analytics, hospitals and other health care organizations can predict who’s at risk for missing follow-up care so they can plan interventions accordingly. 

  • Adjust staff levels: Hospitals can use business analytics to understand when and where they need higher levels of staff and when they could get by with fewer employees working. This insight helps keep the hospital appropriately staffed during busier times while saving labor costs on times that are usually less busy. 

  • Prevent insurance fraud: Insurance companies and health care organizations can use data to look for patterns that resemble fraud, such as irregularities in billing. 

Who uses business intelligence in the health care industry? 

You can choose from many careers that use business intelligence in the health care industry. Below are three roles that use business intellegience. Each of these roles can work for large hospital systems, smaller health care organizations, or with other companies that support hospital systems, like pharmaceutical companies. 

1. Clinical data analyst

Average annual salary (US): $84,666 [2]

Job outlook (projected growth from 2022 to 2023): 35 percent [3]

Education requirements: To become a clinical data analyst, you will likely need to earn a bachelor’s degree in health management or data science. 

As a clinical data analyst, you will help collect and analyze data specific to clinical trials. You will work with a research team to gather data. Then, you will store the data, look for trends, and report your findings to management. In this role, you may design the systems your team uses to store, collect, or report on data. 

2. Health information management analyst

Average annual salary (US): $77,604 [4]

Job outlook (projected growth from 2022 to 2023): 10 percent [5]

Education requirements: A bachelor’s degree in health information systems or a related field

As a health information management analyst, you will use business intelligence to help health care management make effective decisions about running the hospital system. You will work with data such as financial data, patient surveys, and health records to improve day-to-day operations, troubleshoot problems, and look for ways to save money while improving patient outcomes. 

Read more: Guide to Health Information Management: Jobs, Skills, Salaries

3. Health care business intelligence analyst

Average annual salary (US): $84,974 [6]

Job outlook (projected growth from 2022 to 2023): 10 percent [5]

Education requirements: A bachelor’s degree, although a master’s degree is also common

As a health care business intelligence analyst, you will work with data to help senior health system leadership make business operations decisions. In this role, you will create data visualizations and report on trends. You may report to a director of business intelligence and focus on helping organize the data to present it to others, who will ultimately use your analysis to drive business decisions. 

Other careers

Many careers are available that use health care business intelligence. In addition to the three examples above, you can explore careers as a:

  • Population health analyst

  • Data scientist

  • Health care business intelligence developer

  • Analytics consultant

  • Health care economist

How to get started with health care business intelligence 

To begin a career in health care business intelligence, consider earning a degree in health information systems, data science, or a related field. In addition to working for large hospital systems and doctors’ offices, health care business intelligence analysts also work in pharmaceutical companies, insurance offices, and other organizations supporting health care companies. 

Depending on your exact role, you may need to earn additional certifications, such as Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) or Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP). American Health Information Management offers both certifications as options. Obtaining a certification is a great way to enhance your resume and show employers you're dedicated to your career.

Learn more with Coursera. 

When you’re ready to take the next step and learn how health care business intelligence can impact your organization or career, consider AI in Healthcare Specialization offered by Stanford on Coursera. This program provides an introduction to clinical data, machine learning in health care, AI applications, and more. Upon completion, gain a shareable Professional Certificate to include in your resume, CV, or LinkedIn profile.

Article sources


Grand View Research. “Healthcare Business Intelligence Market Report, 2030, https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/healthcare-business-intelligence-market#:~:text=The%20global%20healthcare,BI%20tools.%20The.” Accessed March 15, 2024. 

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