What most healthcare organizations get wrong about their data catalog


The truth is that everyone working in healthcare would like to have a self-serve data culture—whether or not they would ever use those words. Clinical leaders want to be able to find the information they need when they need it, without having to wait for the data team to find it for them. Data teams want to be freed up from having to continually create slight variations of reports that already exist, for teams that could do it themselves. And the C-suite wants to be able to improve patient care based on accurate, consistent, transparent metrics.

Eventually, most healthcare organizations realize a healthcare data catalog—and a healthcare metric hub—is the key to achieving those goals, but many fall short of actually achieving a self-serve data culture.

Why? Because they make one of these two crucial mistakes:

1. They implement a data catalog but don’t let the organization know it’s there.

Data and analytics teams are great with data, but they aren’t always equipped to build communication campaigns or lead culture initiatives throughout an entire organization. As a result, they might implement an incredibly powerful healthcare data catalog, but the people who would benefit from it might not even realize it’s there, might not know how (or when) to use it, and might just continue to lean on the data team for work they easily could do themselves.

So what’s the solution?

The answer to this common challenge is to choose a healthcare data catalog that includes consultation and support for building a self-serve data culture.

The Compendium Data Catalog comes with free ongoing support—not just for the technology, but also for driving usage of the data catalog throughout an entire healthcare enterprise. Many healthcare organizations are benefiting from the expertise of the Compendium team.

2. They implement a data catalog and try to build a self-serve data culture all at once. 

The other mistake many healthcare organizations make with their data catalog is they implement the technology and then expect immediate, enterprise-wide results. They identify an army of data stewards and task all of them at once with implementing a self-serve data culture.

This almost never goes well, and here’s why:

  • Any change in behavior will face resistance.

It’s human nature. People would rather stick with what they know than invest energy in learning a new way of working. Until, that is, they clearly see why it’s worth making a change. They need to understand what’s in it for me.

Because of that, you must be strategic in how you roll out a data catalog. A well-crafted communication and training campaign is crucial to driving adoption of a healthcare data catalog. This process doesn’t have to be difficult, but knowing how to drive behavior is critical.

The team at Compendium understands this well—and their support for driving enterprise-wide engagement is included free of charge with their healthcare data catalog.

  • You can’t build a whole new culture overnight.

Building a self-serve data culture requires more than just assigning hundreds of data stewards and telling them to start using the data catalog.

If a new data steward doesn’t have anyone to mentor them, answer questions, and model the payoff of the data catalog, they’ll quickly lose steam. Any chance of building a self-serve data culture will get drowned out by a pile of other pressing demands and enterprise-wide initiatives.

So what’s the solution?

The way to create a self-serve data culture is to be laser-focused and highly strategic in the launch of your healthcare data catalog. Here are three guidelines the team from Compendium brings to every one of their healthcare data catalog implementations:

1. Focus on your metric hub first.

Before anything else, set up your healthcare metric hub. This creates the opportunity for your organization to see what information transparency looks like. As people start to have experiences with the metric hub—and they can suddenly dig deeper into the metrics and data they’re reviewing than they ever could before—they’ll start to build new expectations for how easy it should be to access and review your organization’s healthcare data. This will create a hunger for more.

2. Start small.

Choose just one department or team to pilot your data catalog first. Train a few data stewards, mentor them regularly, support them well, and help them experience small wins right away. The more they see the value of the data catalog, the more energized they’ll be to use it—and the more they’ll start to share the data catalog with others. The goal is to create a culture where the recurring response to almost any question is, “Have you checked Compendium?”

3. Build from there.

Once that first department is operating with a self-serve data culture, move on to another team within your organization. A slow build like this is far more sustainable and is more likely to grow organically with lasting results.

If your healthcare organization is ready for a self-serve data culture that actually sticks, the Compendium Healthcare Data Catalog is a good place to start. You’ll not only get the latest in data governance technology; you’ll also get free support from a team of healthcare experts who know how to help you build a self-serve data culture.

Learn more about Compendium, the data catalog for healthcare that delivers maximum results with minimal effort.

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