As healthcare organizations settle into their Epic implementations, they often realize that mountains of data exist within their systems. Many organizations struggle with how to best use and interpret it. Nordic’s cutting-edge Data & Analytics team uses a holistic approach to provide solutions to these organizations. In a rapidly growing and innovative field, Nordic is always looking for talented consultants to help healthcare organizations discover insights from their data. We recently sat down with Vice President of Data & Analytics Sriram Devarakonda to discuss the types of consultants he’s looking for and tips for those looking to level up their career with a job at Nordic.
With over a decade of healthcare IT experience crossing the realms of EHR implementations, data integration and analytics, and population health, Sriram joined Team Nordic in March 2017.
What are the different solutions that Nordic’s Data & Analytics team works on?
Sriram: Our solutions break down into three areas.
The first one that is a big area of growth is implementing Epic’s diverse Cogito tools. With Epic’s innovation in new tools and features over the last few releases, we have seen an uptick of customers adopting an ‘Epic-first’ approach for their reporting and BI strategy.
Our second area of focus is analytical solutions, where our team provides healthcare organizations with insight into their KPIs and helps identify problem areas. This also includes predictive analytics, an exciting area of the field in which we use disparate data to help predict the future needs of healthcare organizations.
The third area of focus where we see a lot of growth is data management which includes data governance, data warehousing, and integration.
These solutions are all tied together by our advisory services, where we help customers strategically assess and plan their data and analytics needs based on their unique business requirements.
What types of roles exist on the Data & Analytics team?
Sriram: At a high level, we always have a need for consultants who work with clients onsite. In terms of technical skills, we’re looking for candidates who are experts in the Epic Cogito tools, so those who have implemented Radar, Reporting Workbench, Cogito, Caboodle, SlicerDicer, etc. Consultants that have experience with multiple tools are highly sought after both by Nordic and our partners.
There’s another area of folks who have expertise with a variety of data integration and warehousing technologies such as Caboodle, Microsoft SSIS tools, and Teradata. We’re also looking for solutions architects who are able to come in and understand the scope and nature of the data and establish an overall enterprise data architecture.
Lastly, we’re looking for people who have led analytical projects from a project management standpoint who can define project scopes, develop project plans, create resource charts and dependencies, and understand the risks and mitigations.
Do you have any advice for those who are looking to grow their career in data and analytics?
Sriram: Data and analytics is a burgeoning field, and with that there are a number of different skill sets and certifications that will help set you apart from the rest of the pack.
From an Epic Cogito standpoint, keeping up to date with the latest and greatest training and certifications would be valuable, as there is an ever-growing list of powerful tools.
Secondly, I would suggest picking a certification in a visualization technology like Tableau, Qlik, or Power BI, as these tools are key to most of the analytical projects we see at Nordic. Having an understanding in cutting-edge technologies, such as AI and machine learning, is a very valuable skill to have. LinkedIn Learning and Coursera can be great resources to pick up one of those certifications.
If managing analytical projects aligns with your aspirations, then following the project management path may be your best bet. In this case, a PMP certification and Scrum and Agile methodologies trainings would be useful as well. If you do decide to pursue additional trainings or acquire certifications, make sure to call them out specifically on your resume.
What type of projects does Nordic’s Data & Analytics team work on?
Sriram: A lot of cutting-edge work is happening across the team. We recently finished up a predictive analytics project where we modeled customers’ clinical data to help them predict, within a small margin of error, the number of patients they could expect on any given day in the emergency department. The client was able to use this data to make time- and money-saving decisions for staffing and supply management.
We’re also assisting healthcare organizations with their implementation of Constellation, an Epic product helping them to create a longitudinal record for patients so they’re able to see a 360-degree view of the patient.
There are a slew of new Epic tools being released, and everyone wants to get on board with them, so there are many instances where we’re turning on those tools for our customers.
We’re fortunate in that every customer we work with is very different and has unique needs, so there are always opportunities for our consultants to learn and grow as they work on projects across the spectrum.
There are a number of fields that data scientists could work in. Why work at Nordic and in healthcare?
Sriram: One big reason why working in healthcare and at Nordic is so exciting is that healthcare in and of itself is very complex. There are data complexities and challenges that simply wouldn’t exist in other industries. The risks are higher, as patients’ lives or the cost of care are at stake, so there’s an inherent need to be extra diligent with how you handle data and make decisions.
Ultimately, having the ability to indirectly impact patients’ lives or the care of providers is a meaningful benefit that simply doesn’t exist in any other industry. It’s an exciting time to become a part of the data and analytics team at Nordic, and we’re looking forward to continuing our growth.