Analysis is nothing new in the science and data-heavy health care field, but what used to be a couple guys crunching numbers for Excel sheets and calling it "analytics" has become a high-profile, risky and expensive adventure aimed at the heart of the business of health care organizations. If you don't know your data in this stupendously complex market, you don't know your business. And enormous changes in payments and clinical quality standards mean organizations that don't know their business are at real of risk of not having one.

Intense, enterprise analytics has come about suddenly; most providers that have assembled analytics teams have done so recently, and in that quick ramp-up have learned some hard lessons about how to put together the structure and staff they need to provide actionable intelligence to financial and clinical business owners.

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