However, think about analytics tech the way you would a car purchase. The shiny new BMW is going nowhere fast until you or your friendly dealer give it fuel. OK, if it's a shiny new Tesla maybe you're looking for a charger. That analytics tech will gather dust if you don't have access to the data you need.
Maybe access to data/fuel will be a key trend as analytics move into the next stage of maturity. We talk a lot about protecting our own personal data. But, what about the mass of anonymous data already being collected over the years or decades? Consider what the availability of such data can do for the corporate and public initiatives that are hungry for fuel.
For many years organizations like non-profits and government agencies "owned" data. The irony was that it was data that actually was provided by others. I'm sure you've seen the same mindset in the corporate world, where two departments in the same company refuse to share data. You get the impression of some whacked out movie character greedily hoarding gold, "It's mine, all mine!"
Gradually, we're taking the chains off our data. We've seen it with the Obama Administration's Open Data initiative. It may be a work in progress, but it's a start.
As Stu Davis, CIO for the State of Ohio discussed in today's All Analytics Radio Show How Analytics Can Transform State Government, the items at the top of his wish list center on the ability to better share best practices and data -- in responsible and secure ways -- across different agencies.
Now we are seeing more efforts to chip away at the concrete foundations of data silos, allowing data to flow among departments, and, here and there, move among trusted partner organizations.
It's great if that type of sharing helps two organizations to better serve their customers. However, it's really cool if such data sharing helps to reduce the pain suffering caused by America's leading killer, heart disease.
A new collaboration between SAS (sponsor of this site) and the Duke Clinical Research Institute is one example of how data sharing among organizations can work for the good of all of us. A SAS press release said.
The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and analytics leader SAS will provide researchers worldwide with data management and analytics tools to explore 45 years of cardiovascular patient data collected by the Duke University Health System.
The DCRI and SAS share the goal of greater transparency and openness in research to improve patient care to find new ways to treat heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. For the DCRI, the collaboration represents a significant milestone for its broader data access initiative, Supporting Open Access for Researchers (SOAR).
DCRI Executive Director Eric Peterson, MD, MPH, said, “The question at the center of the open-science discussion is not whether data should be shared, but how we can usher in responsible methods for doing so. Our collaboration with SAS will allow data to be shared for the advancement of public health worldwide.”
Michael Pencina, PhD, Director of Biostatistics at the DCRI commented, “While many support open science in theory, to date, few academics have been willing to actually share their own data. This is among the first examples where academic leaders are actually opening their clinical research data to others."
The cardiovascular data is in the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, and includes de-identified records for patients treated at Duke between 1969 and 2013, and data from more than 100,000 procedures on more than 50,000 patients. That data includes patient demographics, cardiac medical history, other conditions occurring simultaneously (comorbidity), and treatments.
The DCRI and SAS are constructing a data governance plan for the data sets and a means to process requests. Researchers can apply for access to the data sets at soar.dcri.org.