5 reasons to switch to a career in Health Analytics/Informatics

I’ve been in the health analytics industry for nearly 15 years, working in health insurance, hospitals and consulting to a wide array of organizations. My experience has taught me lots, but I realize more now than ever, that a career in health analytics is a good rewarding option.

Here are 5 reasons why I think a career in health analytics is a good ideas more now, than ever:

1. Income – $50000+

A quick search on glassdoor, payscale found a range of $50k-$90k salary for health data analysts. WSJ reported a similar starting salary and also showed a mid career salary of $128,000. I personally know a good number of health data analysts making a lot more…

2. Education cost relatively low

Student loans are crippling the youth in US. While some professions require serious upfront financial investment, health data analysts jobs generally don’t required more than a bachelor degree. (I’ll describe in a future post the possible routes to a health data analyst career.)

There are a wide array of online options to learn techniques in health data analytics, that cost far less than traditional classroom alternatives.

3. Job Security

A quick search on indeed.com found over 26,000 health analyst/informaticist jobs in the US as the time of this post!

The barrier to entry for data analyst jobs vary. To become a surgeon requires over a decade of training, but entry level analyst jobs general only require a bachelors degree if you have sufficient analysts chops!

Tax and death are the proverbial inescapable facts of life, and so is getting sick. As long as people get sick and need treatment, there will be needs for people who can analyze the data to improve the medical services provided.

4. Timing – now better than ever

Healthcare costs almost 18% of GDP spend in the US, almost double the % among other OECD countries. Healthcare costs continue rise at a faster rate than does general inflation (medical inflation 3-4% vs general goods 1-2%). Private sector health insurance is expected to increase 6.5% in 2018. There is increasing pressure for health payors and providers to be more cost efficient.

Electronic healthcare data is now widely adopted compared to a decade ago. Health technology sector has also blossomed in recent years. As more data is gathered, more technology emerge to enable use of the data, more and more organizations are looking deeper in their data.

As younger, more computer native managers move up the ranks, health organizations are embracing newer ways to solve problems, almost always involving data analysis of some sort.

Health data analysts / informaticists are increasingly in demand.

5. Impact – more informed decisions

Being useful to people is good… Data analysts enable more better informed decision making. Most strategies involving financial impact will require some form of data analysis. The data analyst could steer decision making by highlighting, prioritizing problem areas through analyzing past data, and help formulate solutions by analyzing future outcomes from different tactics.

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. (I’ll lament the causes of these in future posts…) While this is a vastly complex topic to tackle, more use of data can identify more efficacious treatment options or better medical service providers.

Data analysts, as people who understand dynamics in the healthcare industry and know how to get answers out of health data have a material impact. This is very personal rewarding (and why I have not opted for a career in finance).

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