Data warehousing is no longer a tool for a handful of industries; no, sir — today, it has become a necessity for the broad spectrum of industries, including healthcare. A healthcare data warehouse helps manage an organization’s data from disparate sources via a centralized repository. This comprises the company’s business data, including information about its customers. It is processed and structured for analytical querying & reporting. Further, this data warehouse integrates with a data lake, ML & BI software seamlessly.

However, this pursuit is hindered by a critical question: Should you buy a healthcare data warehouse or build one? Both of them are inherently distinctive approaches and a choice between them demands careful deliberation. Here is a quick guide to help you do just that.

1. Build a healthcare data warehouse: Some organizations believe internal software is a terrific means to make up for the missing functionalities one is bound to find in off-the-shelf solutions.

Pros:
The biggest and the most obvious benefit is the chance to gain a solution that is completely tailored to suit every single requirement of the business.

When you build your data warehouse, you get to decide precisely what security-related provisions are integrated into the solution. This is an excellent opportunity to go all out to safeguard the business’ highly sensitive data.

Cons:
Internal IT teams may struggle to adapt to evolving healthcare analytics use cases, different standards, etc.

The healthcare sector suffers from a severe lack of talent when it comes to data and software engineering

Healthcare companies typically lack the IT-related agility to seamlessly pull off building their data warehouses.

2. Buy a healthcare data warehouse: Now that the market offers the option to simply buy a data warehouse, this option is rapidly gaining popularity, especially amongst companies that do not possess a big enough internal development team.

Pros:
Provided the company makes the right choice of vendor, it will gain access to advanced design strategies as well as the vendor’s expertise about the efficacy of different implementation approaches and such.

When you choose to buy, you stand to significantly accelerate the implementation process as long as you ensure choosing the right technology.

Cons:
There is always some compromise when one buys off-the-shelf software and that assertion holds in this context as well. So when you are looking for a healthcare data warehouse, there is a good chance you will be making such trade-offs as well and adapt your processes to ensure the EDW is in better sync with the organization’s needs.

Once a data warehouse implementation is completed, companies run the risk of the vendor executing the hand-off without transferring all the requisite knowledge to the companies’ operational support teams.

When it comes to data warehousing, the build vs buy question can be especially challenging to get through. Some may go for a market-bought EMR, while others may be inclined to opt for internal software. Building an enterprise data warehouse in healthcare, when done with the right development partner, can bring forth a slew of benefits, such as a tailored dashboard, ease of access to data, advanced BI reporting, etc.

Either way, the build vs buy is a question that will need the top brass as well as other stakeholders involved in the process to be on the same page. With that being said, no matter what the company chooses, it is imperative to, first, carefully consider the business's unique requirements, budget, expectations, and other such factors. Second, be sure to find yourself a trusted service provider with experience that would be relevant to your organization.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software.