What is a healthcare data analyst, and how do they differ from other types of data analysts?

We’ve talked a fair bit about careers in the data analytics sector on this blog - but not every role is the same. There are many different routes to go down in the analytics world, and no two positions are identical. In this blog post, we’ll explore the specifics of working as a healthcare data analyst, how this position differs from “traditional” data analysts, and how you can start your career in this field.

First things first: what is a healthcare data analyst? Essentially, a healthcare data analyst – also sometimes referred to as health information analysts – is an individual whose job is to gather, analyze, and interpret healthcare-related data. Depending on the employer, this information could be anything from electronic health records to patient care statistics to prescription data - it’s a very broad spectrum. That being said, within the context of healthcare, the task of a data analyst is generally to spot patterns and, on occasion, harness the power of artificial intelligence to improve existing systems, be that clinical care or the drug development process. Based on the employer, the day-to-day role of a healthcare data analyst can vary broadly, and no two positions are the same.

On the other hand, a “standard” data analyst working outside of the sector is not exclusively tied to certain healthcare-related aspects of information processing. That being said, many data analysts may come into contact with some areas of this field depending on their employer, although they may not be too heavily involved in the medical side of things. For example, a “regular” data analyst might deal with certain aspects of business development within a healthcare organization and leave more scientific parts of the process to one side, whereas a healthcare data analyst would do the opposite.

As with every subfield within data analytics, a growing demand for healthcare data analysts is emerging. Salaries are competitive and, as a result, appropriate qualifications will be necessary for certain positions. Healthcare analysts rely on many of the same skills as data analysts in other fields, so it’s not necessary to tailor your education to fit a particular route within the data sector. Data analytics is a fast-changing field, and potential employers will want to be sure that you’ve mastered the basics – regardless of your experience – before they envision a future with you at their company.

Hospitals or businesses within the pharmaceutical industry are obvious possibilities for employment, but many state and local governments need healthcare data analysts for a variety of different purposes. Monitoring public health data alongside the performance of different hospitals or healthcare providers might be one option, as well and general statistics collection in a certain population. Expect salaries to vary somewhat depending on the budget of your potential employer: certain areas will have a lot more funding depending on the nature of their organization, so it’s wise to do your research before submitting your application so you know what to expect.

Finding your niche in such an exciting and evolving field might seem a little intimidating at first, but there’s a world of opportunity within the data analytics field. From helping to developing game-changing new medications and therapies to improving currents standards of patient care, there’s a smorgasbord of potential in this area – take a look at our current job vacancies to see if there’s something for you.

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