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The Importance of Data in the Health Sector

The health sector is one of the most rapidly growing career fields. Even if being a medical provider isn’t for you, there are still plenty of options when it comes to finding a career in the current healthcare sector. Data is an area within healthcare that is still fast expanding, especially as more healthcare providers continue to move their practices, and data management to online platforms or portals. By utilizing data in the health sector, medical providers and administrators can identify areas of risk or improvement within current pathways. With this information, they can work to correct areas where patient care is lacking, and increase the quality of the overall experience of patients. This can help improve patient care, improve strategic planning, and utilize resources in a more efficient manner. Here’s a look at the importance of data in the health sector, and how you can jump on board.

Apr 5, 2022
  • Education
The Importance of Data in the Health Sector

What is patient data?

First things first, let’s talk about what patient data actually is. Patient data is information collected from the patient during treatment, or observed and recorded by the providing medical professional. This data is collected and stored, then utilized to make a diagnosis, informing long term care, and tracking trends following the patient’s health.

Additionally, gathering health data is important to help the advance of medical knowledge. There are many things gathering data can do, such as helping diagnose rare illnesses, studying the effects of immunizations, “making connections between diseases and lifestyle choices,” among many others.

What happens once the data is collected?

After the data is collected, it must be analyzed so healthcare professionals and administrators know how to best apply it to make necessary decisions and changes. With the rise of global health crises such as COVID, understanding the information gathered is more important than ever. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on healthcare data analytics. “Big data tools have played an increasingly significant role in health care decision-making” says HealthITAnalytics. It is not just providers, but lawmakers and researchers who are turning to big data analytics and predictive models to help allocate resources, predict surges, improve patient care and outcomes and employ preventive measures.”

Why study it? The growing demand for digital health care managers

Healthcare management, including data analysis, is one of the most up and coming career fields. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for Medical and Health Services Managers are expected to grow at least 32 percent in the next decade.” This means that managers’ need to understand the data being collected from patients and in the healthcare industry is going to be more important than ever, with a rise in the need to not only gather but understand what that data all means.

So what exactly does someone managing healthcare data do? According to the Journal of Ahima, “Healthcare data analysts gather and interpret data from a variety of sources (e.g., the EHR, insurance claims, cost reports, and patient satisfaction surveys) to help organizations improve the quality of care, lower the cost of care, and enhance the patient experience. Their role has become increasingly important as organizations look for ways to capitalize on big data and its various applications, including how it can be used to drive healthcare quality improvement.” There is a lot of room for growth in the field, as well as job security. Most importantly, you can make a difference in the lives of many, and help shape the future of the healthcare industry.

Getting started

When you’re ready to take the next step in studying and working in this dynamic field, figuring out which business school is right for you can be the starting point. emlyon business school is at the forefront of this rapidly changing field, offering degrees that will help you find success in data management and the health sector.

Its MSc in Health Management & Data Intelligence can help you understand a global perspective when managing and analyzing healthcare data, and work collaboratively to solve problems within the industry. This 18-month program combines teaching on digital, artificial intelligence, data science, and the health industry, in a comprehensive degree that prepares students for the workforce. Alumna Karina says, “With this very multidisciplinary environment, you really maximize your opportunity to learn, and this is what helped me to find my internship, as I could show I was able to show a broader set of skills. I became a very unique candidate for internships”.

While it might not seem as though it goes hand-in-hand with data and the health sector, understanding management can actually be a leg up for students. As the healthcare industry needs leaders with a firm understanding of the challenges being faced, as well as how to understand data and put it into practice, a degree that includes management can make a candidate that much more valuable to potential employers. A degree in management can help you explore aspects of the career you might not have imagined. It also confers credibility with employers and investors (and boosts salary) and helps you develop a valuable network of peers and professionals, including professors, classmates, guest speakers, industry figures, and mentors.

The student perspective

You don’t need to come right out of a bachelor’s program in order to study at emlyon business school. Student Melanie Araneda got her start in dentistry, before moving to France to pursue her MSc in Health Management & Data Intelligence at emlyon and take her career to the next level.

Araneda told Study International, “I knew I was lacking this knowledge. I started getting curious and looking for courses on the side but finally decided I wanted to do a Masters in Business but linked to health.” The curriculum was engaging, covered all the topics she was looking for, and she was able to experience French culture. emlyon is located in France’s second city, Lyon – an “extremely pleasant place to live in.” It’s home to a wide array of industries, and is a major hub for education.

emlyon business school

Students who attend emlyon business school receive a top tier education at a school part of the 1% business schools with the triple international accreditations by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA, and ranked amongst the best business schools in France and worldwide. There are five campuses to study at, with courses taught fully in English. If you would like to fully immerse yourself in the French language, there are also cultural and French language courses to choose from. Students will be supported through their application and visa process, with health insurance provided for those who attend.

For those thinking about bringing their career in the healthcare data and management field to the next level, emlyon business school provides what you’re looking for. With its global perspective, attention to industry detail, and motivation to provide students with a cutting-edge education, it makes a fantastic choice for those from France, or those looking to study abroad. Don’t hesitate to create your account in order to reach out to one of their friendly program advisors to help get the process started!

Article written in association with emlyon business school.

Chelsea Castonguay


Chelsea is a Student Affairs expatriate, who now works as a freelance writer and editor. She homesteads in a small town in rural Maine, USA. She enjoys hiking, fishing, cooking, reading, all things Laura Ingalls Wilder, spending time with her family, and chasing her black lab puppy, Cash.