The emergence of data as a key component in healthcare continues to drive growth in the field, as well as the need for skilled people to oversee analytics operations.
And that need is expected to continue growing in the coming years.
A 2016 report from Research and Markets projected that the market for healthcare analytics will reach $33.5 million by 2022. The Ireland-based company, which does market research for hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, found a number of drivers behind the growth.
Those include mandates from the federal government for utilizing electronic healthcare records, as well as the continued need to reduce healthcare costs. Advances in analytics and methodologies for using Big Data also are spurring the growth.
Getting to a position as director of a healthcare analytics department or team requires expert-level skills and knowledge.
Job Duties for Healthcare Analytics Directors
Healthcare analytics are designed to make patient information available to all medical personal, allow it to be shared across different digital platforms, improve services and ultimately help create better health outcomes for patients.
In addition to healthcare providers, analytics directors also are needed at health insurance companies, analytics consulting firms and government agencies that deal with population health.
In all these cases, analytics directors work with executives to set objectives and map out a strategy to reach the organization’s goals. This requires great communication skills, especially when putting together reports that clearly explain findings from data for those who don’t typically work with data.
Job Growth and Salary
As noted above, growth in the analytics field is expected to explode in the coming years.
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer numbers specifically for healthcare analytics directors, they do include medical and health services managers.
Employees in these positions earned an average salary of $109,370 in May 2016, according to the BLS. The top 10% earned more than $172,000. The BLS projects 17% growth in the medical and health services manager category by 2024.
Education and Skills
Healthcare analytics directors need expert skills in data collection, interpretation and storage, as well as great organizational and communication skills.
They also require business and leadership skills. Acquiring a job in the field typically takes a bachelor’s degree in analytics or data science. To earn a higher level position, many employers want directors to also have a master’s degree in health informatics or healthcare analytics.
The future in this area is wide open. As more healthcare-related businesses incorporate Big Data into their everyday operations and decision-making process, the demand for those with health informatics degrees is expected to grow.