Understanding analytical capability in health care: do we have more data than insight?

Document type
Bardsley, Martin
Health Foundation
Date of publication
1 December 2016
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This report notes that data analysis is critical to a range of issues facing the health service in the UK, and that a skilled workforce that is able to manipulate, analyse and interpret data is essential for a modern health care system. The author examines problems relating to the recruitment of adequate numbers of specialists in this field, and proposes measures to address these, including:

  • supporting training and development opportunities that are linked to the needs of the service; 
  • helping analysts to work in larger teams extending across organisations; 
  • providing room for innovation, development and testing of new analytical applications;
  • creating new relationships with experts to improve the quality of support and evidence, and 
  • stimulating the demand for good quality analysis among NHS leaders.