If you\u2019re not thinking about how you use data to inform your decision making, you are going to be left behind. Dr Lloyd McCann, MercyAscot \n\u201cAs an organisation, we were data rich, but information poor,\u201d says Dr Lloyd McCann, director of medical services at MercyAscot.\nMercyAscot is one of New Zealand\u2019s largest private hospital providers, with more than 600 staff supporting thousands of surgical procedures each year.\n\u201cWe collect a lot of data, but we do not necessarily use the data to inform our decision making and planning,\u201d he says. \u201cWe knew this had to change.\u201d\n\u201cWe have always done reporting inside of MercyAscot, so it is not a new idea,\u201d explains McCann.\nBut he says, \u201cWe needed a more modern platform to allow people to interact with the data and use it in a timely manner.\u201d\n\u201cWe recognise that if you look at other industries, we needed to essentially up our game in this area.\u201d\nHe says what followed was a discussion on their data requirements as an organisation. After a competitive process, the organisation elected Qlik to provide this service.\nMercyAscot launched a project to replace its single-view legacy reporting system, with a visual analytics platform that provides self-service access. \nMercyAscot worked with Qlik partner Acumen BI to set up and customise the analytics applications.\n\u201cThere were lots of hours put in by our ITS team and by the project team that essentially worked with Qlik to get this up and running,\u201d he says.\nHe says the team also did due diligence on integrating the systems and in the design.\n\u201cThe focus was on how are we going to change the way people think about using data, to do strategic making decisions?\u201d\nMcCann explains this cross-functional collaboration was important.\n\u201cOften, we get hung up on technology rather than focusing on managing change and the people.\u201d\n\u201cIt is one thing to put a cool solution and if people will use it,\u201d he adds. \n\u201cWork through, \u2018how is this going to impact people's decision-making.How is this going to impact their role at work?\u2019\n\u201cClinicians are always interested in \u2018show me the evidence\u2019, so inherently, people are always looking to use data to inform decision making.\u201d\n\u201cThe key thing is information is reliable, accurate and more important, it is there on time to inform that decision making,\u201d he states.\nHe says today, the MercyAscot hospitals can see a whole picture when it comes to data.\n\u201cThis has truly changed the perception of the value of data within our organisation,\u201d he states.\n\u201cOur people are now interested in the data; openly discussing the numbers and improvements that can be made.\n\u201cAs a result, we have become more pragmatic; using our data to validate our objectives, which enables us to make business decisions that reflect both the demands of our patients and needs of our staff. \u201d\n\u201cGiven the way the world is moving and advances in technology, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, data capture systems like this isn\u2019t a nice to have,\u201d says McCann, on key advice he would give to other organisations on deploying analytics.\n\u201cIt is a must for all organisations. If you\u2019re not thinking about how you use data to inform your decision making, you are going to be left behind.\n\u201cIf you can come up with compelling answers to those questions, that will help you demonstrate ROI (return on investment),\u201d he says.\n\u201cDon\u2019t be afraid to admit what you don\u2019t know,\u201d he further advises. \u201cThere are other surprises along a journey like this. Be prepared to adapt and learn.\u201d\n\u201cWe are learning everyday as we use this platform...We are changing things as we go. It is a process that never ends.\u201d\nNo caption\nSend news tips and comments to email@example.com\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter:@divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nJoin us on Facebook.