Dimensional Insight Dives into the Data Governance Challenges Plaguing U.S. Hospitals

New survey reveals healthcare CIOs struggle with inconsistency and mistrust in data

BURLINGTON, MASS. – September 27, 2017 Dimensional Insight, a developer of business intelligence (BI) solutions for complex and highly regulated industries, today announced the findings of its new survey that explores the current state of data governance initiatives at hospitals across the United States. The company conducted the survey by polling members of a professional organization made up of CIOs and CMIOs. Dimensional Insight asked the organization’s members about their maturity level and challenges associated with data governance efforts.

As today’s hospitals try to make better use of the myriad of data available, issues arise around data integrity and access. To overcome these challenges, data governance practices have emerged as a way to help organizations ensure that their data assets can be managed properly. However, Dimensional Insight’s survey reveals that many hospitals are struggling to implement data governance processes or are facing hurdles that impede the initiatives’ effectiveness.

Data governance adoption rates vary across hospitals

While 44 percent of respondents said they had implemented an enterprise-wide data governance capability at their organization, the remaining 56 percent said they had incomplete or non-existent enterprise-wide governance processes in place, or they were unaware of what their organizations have implemented. Looking ahead, nearly half (49 percent) of respondents plan to adopt data governance in the next year, followed by 29 percent in the next three years.

Improving trust in data is a leading driver for data governance adoption

When it came to ranking the biggest drivers for enterprise-wide data governance adoption, just over two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) agreed that the most common reason was to improve trust in their organization’s data. Additional top drivers included:

  • Improving care quality (60 percent)
  • Improving regulatory compliance (45 percent)
  • Improving patient safety (41 percent)
  • Managing organizational care costs (31 percent)
  • Managing new payment models (21 percent)

Lack of resources is a major challenge for data governance initiatives

For hospitals that have implemented an enterprise-wide data governance capability, their challenges are similar to those challenges of organizations that have not yet begun the process. In fact, 70 percent of respondents noted that a lack of resources has stalled the adoption process at their organizations, where more than half (57 percent) of those who have adopted the capability noted limited resources as the biggest challenge they faced during the rollout.

Other challenges associated with implementing enterprise-wide data governance included:

  • Variance in leadership buy-in (50 percent)
  • Discrepancy in defining data measurements (49 percent)
  • Interdepartmental conflict (37 percent)
  • Lengthy implementation time (31 percent)
  • Additional costs associated (29 percent)

Alignment on data measures and definitions is still a work in progress

Governing measures in the data governance process can be difficult for hospitals, as there are often discrepancies that exist. For example, more than two-thirds of respondents (71 percent) said they have experienced discrepancies between measures across organizational departments (e.g. clinical vs. financial). About half of all respondents also noted they have discrepancies across clinical departments, discrepancies with organizational definitions vs. industry definitions, and discrepancies in understanding of previously existing business rules.

“As the amount of data continues to grow, and as healthcare organizations recognize the need to make better use of data, having an effective data governance strategy in place is more important than ever,” said Fred Powers, co-founder and CEO of Dimensional Insight. “However, as indicated in our survey, there is still a need to make the governance process easier for everyone involved so that data is consistent, well-documented and trustworthy. The time is now to make that a reality for healthcare.”

For more information on this survey, an executive summary can be viewed here:


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted by Dimensional Insight in August 2017. The company polled 104 members of a professional organization made up of CIOs and CMIOs.

About Dimensional Insight
Dimensional Insight is a leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions. The company offers a complete portfolio of BI capabilities ranging from data integration and modeling to sophisticated reporting, analytics, and dashboards. Founded in 1989, Dimensional Insight has thousands of customer organizations worldwide. Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform™ consistently ranks as a top performing business intelligence platform by customers and industry analysts in its core market segments including healthcare, manufacturing and beverage alcohol industries. For more information, please visit https://www.dimins.com.

Dimensional Insight and Diver Platform are trademarks or registered trademarks of Dimensional Insight or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Other company names, product names and company logos mentioned herein are the trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Press Release

September 27, 2017

Kathy Sucich at Dimensional Insight
[email protected]