Big Data and Analytics: Shining Light on Data Issues to Uncover New Opportunities | Prodigo Solutions
October 17, 2022

Big Data and Analytics: Shining Light on Data Issues to Uncover New Opportunities

By Eric Swaney - Data & Analytics Manager
By Eric Swaney - Data & Analytics Manager

With the erosion of operating margins across healthcare, decision makers need real-time access to actionable analytics that inform strategic decisions and shape behaviors across their health system.   

There are some areas that supply chains must understand and enhance to make significant improvements: data collection, data literacy, data transparency, and data visualization.  

Data Collection 

Better data organization and aggregation is the key to finding new pathways to savings and insights.  Visualizations can only highlight the data we already have. For instance, special-request spending has bloated healthcare budgets because the purchases do not flow through standardized formularies tied to active contracts that allow better financial controls and management. 

"Big data helps draw attention to patterns that can help health systems make changes in their decision-making and buying behavior,” said Marlin Doner, Prodigo’s VP of Data Analytics. “Greater data quality leads to better results.” 

Data Literacy 

According to Gartner research, strong supply chain data literacy yields performance improvements in the areas of customer fulfillment, cost management, and demand planning. Unfortunately, eight in 10 supply chain leaders investing in analytics aren't realizing these benefits, which could be due to a lack of data literacy.  

Gartner also points out that 83% of supply chain organizations?train their employees in data literacy but only 7%?provide a comprehensive data literacy curriculum. * 

To better interpret and analyze big data, organizations must do a better job of educating key data stakeholders to improve their data literacy. By doing this, data collection, transparency, and visualization will all benefit.  

Data Transparency 

The healthcare industry must come together to share the data we have for the benefit of both manufacturers and providers. 

In Prodigo’s 2021 Outlook, we noted: “Data sharing is the heart of supply chain transparency. For healthcare, this continues to be a significant obstacle given the number of stakeholders, trading partners, and items under management. From value analysis to demand signals and consumption tracking, data is at the core of business continuity and performance improvement. Business intelligence is not a closed-loop framework that simply describes what happened; it needs to be prescriptive and embedded in the ecosystem, so the appropriate corrective action is executed accurately and quickly.”   

Instead of siloed data stored in a departmental access database or spreadsheet, successful organizations move toward making data accessible to leaders at all levels. Context-driven analytics and AI models also help to provide insights needed to rapidly respond in a constantly evolving global ecosystem. 

Data Visualization 

Data visualization describes the significance of data and presents the information by using schematic forms such as correlations, charts, maps, trends, plots, and real-time dashboards. The latest evolution in presenting this data is the move from static to dynamic visualization tools that allow the user to navigate large data sets and drill into specific aspects of the data story. 

In an article titled “Communicating Through Data Visualization,” Gartner quotes a vice president of customer research and competitive intelligence at a Fortune 500 company: “Data visualization has become a necessary component to engage stakeholders. It allows insight to be more of a conversation than a monologue.”* 

When attempting to influence key business decisions using data visualizations, data analytics leaders must do three things to improve their impact: identify and understand their target audience, including their data savviness, subject matter expertise, and communication style; choose the correct visuals while keeping them simple; and follow a logical and persuasive narrative on interpreting and utilizing the data. 

Prodigo’s Data Insights solution enables healthcare systems to interpret the data they receive to help them make important spend-related decisions. 

Prodigo Streamlines and Shapes Demand 

Prodigo manages more than $23 billion through its Marketplace and helps its clients maximize their ERP investments, address healthcare gaps to improve operational efficiencies, and enhance user purchasing experiences. As a result, Prodigo has become one of the largest supply chain data aggregators in healthcare. 

By utilizing the power of interactive visualization reporting tools that allow customers to make informed strategic decisions, previously unseen gaps in special-request spending will now be more visible and allow supply chain leaders to take action quickly to control unmanaged expenditures. 

Prodigo’s applications give customers insights to help them streamline their supply chains and shape demand by improving their data quality, contract utilization, and compliance. These tools allow company leaders to view and interpret trends to help them make better decisions on where to point the organization and how to be successful in support of the company mission.  

As Prodigo organizes, categorizes, and ultimately visualizes data trends and patterns, it can provide insights that ultimately improve supply chain performance by reducing costs and streamlining operations and increasing patient satisfaction. 


*Gartner, “12 Data & Analytics Trends to Keep on Your Radar,” Rita Sallam, Laurence Goasduff, April 5, 2022. 

* Gartner, “Does Your Supply Chain Organization ‘Speak’ Data?” 

*Gartner, “Communicating Through Data Visualization,” Analyst(s): Chief Data and Analytics Officer Research Team, Dec. 2, 2019,

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. 

About Prodigo Solutions 

Prodigo Solutions is a healthcare technology company that improves providers’ financial control and reduces supply chain cost. Prodigo Solutions’ technology was purpose-built for healthcare by supply chain experts to deliver tangible results across a continuum of care. Customers who use our systems purchase more than $23 billion annually for the more than 700 hospitals they operate. 

For additional information please contact:

Prodigo Solutions’ Marketing Department

Eric Swaney
Data & Analytics Manager