Despite the acknowledged benefits of business intelligence (BI) systems, more than half of health care organizations have yet to implement them, according to a survey conducted on behalf of I.T. services company TEKsystems. The survey of more than 250 healthcare professionals, including senior-level health I.T. executives and medical staff, found that the main challenges to BI implementation are data complexity as well as lack of resources and skill sets.

Though approximately three-quarters of survey respondents indicated that they expected a BI system to be widely used in finance (76 percent), operations (75 percent) and clinical care (71 percent), 58 percent of those surveyed revealed that their health care organization has not implemented a BI system.

In addition, more than one-third of participants reported that data complexity was the biggest challenge to BI implementation, with lack of a standardized data structure (34 percent), analysis requirements (24 percent), and disparate systems and lack of interoperability (23 percent) as the most "painful" aspects of this challenge.

The other major challenge for health care organizations is finding and hiring people with the skill sets to properly implement BI systems. In the survey, 86 percent of respondents indicated that data architects will be the most difficult roles to fill followed by data analysts (84 percent), business analysts (81 percent) and software developers (80 percent).

“Though there’s consensus among health care organizations on the benefits to be derived from BI systems, the reality is that there is a long road ahead for implementation,” said Allen Kriete, TEKsystems Vice President of Healthcare Services, in a written statement. “For those without an implementation plan already in place, it will be critical that they identify the necessary skill sets and secure the necessary talent in order to ensure a smooth deployment that is custom-fit for their organization’s unique needs.”

This story first appeared on the Health Data Management website.