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Developing a Data Strategy & Customer Analytics for Today - w/Vivian Tan (Kaiser Permanente) Ep#104

By Anthony Taylor - June 02, 2021

Vivian Tan is the Vice President of Strategic Information Management & Global Relationships at Kaiser Permanente. She's been with KP for over 15 years, now working closely with the CFO, Chairman and CEO to provide strategic leadership for an enterprise data and analytics team in order to support, enable and advance KP’s strategy. She's also KP's representative at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and is in charge of KP International, where she hosts guests from around the world who want to learn more about KP and their model.

On this episode of the Strategy & Leadership Podcast, Vivian joins us to discuss the most exciting part of her job, what's happening in the world of data and analytics, recommendations for leaders, Davos, and much more.


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Here's a breakdown of our conversation:

  • The most exciting & challenging part of her job

Vivian says the most exciting and challenging part of her job is the interesting data and analytics problems there are to solve. Some of those problems include figuring out how to segment patient data in order to provide the right care, how big to build a new hospital, or forecasting during COVID that impacts staffing and supply levels. At the end of the day, she says her work is very fulfilling, but comes with some pressure. She realizes the gravity and problems of the decisions being made and feels the weight, but is also humbled and compelled to do her best work.

  • A data storing & sharing trend

Traditionally, data was stored in discreet, siloed warehouses. Now, organizations are moving towards 'data lakes'. In the beginning, data was dumped into the lake, before eventually turning into a swamp. But now, people are thinking about data as a fabric, looking into how different pieces can be woven together to become actionable.

  • Trends in the world of analytics

Vivian explains how data is becoming much more real time - people want to know what is happening now, rather than in an annual report. People also want to know what's happening in the future. That means the analytics have to be much more predictive, and less descriptive than in the past. Furthermore, analytics is shifting to a more prescriptive and cognitive analysis style. That means providing recommendations for different scenarios, rather than just providing outcomes.

  • Recommendations for leaders new to data & analytics

Vivian says that you don't need to be a data scientist to master the the most important step of a data and analytics strategy - getting clear on the business problem you're trying to solve. From there, the challenge is to come up with viable analytics questions to ask that will help you solve your business problem. Once you have your outcomes from the analytics, the most important thing is to tie them to the correct measures and processes. When looking at patient satisfaction as an example, a great measure would be the number of hours it takes to get an appointment. 

  • How performance dashboards are shifting

Performance dashboards are being reimagined as something user driven and interactive in nature. Now, the best dashboards are portals where data is visualized in a clear way that makes it easy for people to interact with. Since workers on the front lines of your organization are the ones closes to the data, it makes sense to have flexible dashboards that those workers can interact with continuously in real time. Ultimately, the goal of the dashboards should be to empower people to make decisions. When they can understand the drivers for each metric, then they can drill down to actionability. 

  • The importance of Davos

Vivian explains that when we step back and look at healthcare internationally, you realize how much similarity there is regarding problems, and how many opportunities there are to learn, share, and advance together. When looking at a problem that is so big - like healthcare, it takes more than one company or organization to solve. Often, big problems require both the public sector and private sector. And lastly, Vivian says that forums like these are important because young people who are changing the world get to have their voice heard the world stage.



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To reach Vivian, connect with her on LinkedIn and on Twitter (@vivian_yh_tan).

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