The Missing V in Big Data for Healthcare

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By now, it’s almost impossible to not have come across the term “Big Data.” A simple Google search will show how this term has exploded over the last few years and has become inevitably pervasive in the public consciousness. Big Data is here to stay and has brought some painstaking changes and unparalleled opportunity for healthcare organizations. Big Data is an integral part of the discussion in Health Information technology (HIT) as HCOs need to regulate how Big Data figures into their operations.


The phrase “transforming healthcare” looms as large as “Big Data” in the healthcare industry. The industry has identified the four V’s of Big Data: volume, veracity, velocity and variety. The four V’s are the basis of defining Big Data. But when it comes to Big Data, how many V’s are enough? Let’s define what we feel the missing V really is: Value!

Big data is a lot more interesting when you bring in value. But the question is how does Big Data enable an organization to get more value, and are we doing enough to get to that value quickly? The true value of healthcare data is the insights delivered from that data and the evidence-based decisions that are derived from the data That is what will transform healthcare.

Unfortunately, most organizations only focus on the buzzwords and glitz and not the true building blocks. With the advent of a fifth V, the healthcare industry can realize significant gains in the quality of patient care, minimizing costs and enhancing population health. Big Data insights will also offer the greatest impact and value by improving care outcomes and driving patient engagement.

The potential value of Big Data is immense. According to a recent Harvard Business Review report, “if new Big Data initiatives were rolled out in US healthcare system-wide, they could account for $300 billion to $450 billion in reduced healthcare spending or 13 to 18% of the 2.7 trillion baseline in US healthcare costs.” In essence, data on its own is virtually worthless. The true value lies in the rigorous analysis of accurate data and the insights and information this provides. Big Data is massive, loud, constantly changing without visualization and analysis. Big Data and data analytics are totally interdependent – one without the other is nearly worthless but the value of them combined is limitless.

Healthcare organizations are under immense pressure to minimize costs and improve the quality of care by applying Big Data to both externally and internally generated data. Large volumes of structured and unstructured data can now be managed and analyzed more efficiently, faster and cheaper through predictive analysis. Predictive analysis helps to identify behavior patterns and provides new insights for solutions ranging from patient diagnosis to readmission predictions to quality of care analysis.

The Five V’s of Big Data can be used to revolutionize the way that hospitals, health networks, and clinics run their businesses and – most importantly – provide superior patient care. Healthcare will transform and outcomes will improve, but the industry requires solutions that accurately deliver the value and not just buzzwords!


IntelliPatient combines clinical, claims, care management, and socio-demographic data into a single view to offer insight into healthcare quality, cost, and outcomes. It helps healthcare provider to track diseases and help care team to determine what treatments are most effective. IntelliPatient brings together advanced analytics and care management capabilities to maximize the value of patient information acquired from care providers.

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