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Data analyst, BI expert, data warehouse expert – new welfare counties offer meaningful work for many data processing professionals

Hospital staff watching a tablet

The reform of the organization of social and health care services, adopted in the summer of 2021, will entail a wide range of changes not only for organizations and staff in the social and welfare sector, but also for professionals in many other fields who work directly or indirectly in the sector. For example, for many data processing experts, the health and social services reform and other information system developments in the sector will provide important and impactful work for a long time to come. A data analyst, BI expert or data warehouse specialist can contribute to the right allocation and efficiency of resources in the healthcare sector – and ultimately to the speed of patient access to care.

Social and health services and welfare as a whole form a sector with a very high economic value. For many reasons, service providers have a strong financial interest in organizing their services as smoothly and in a customer-friendly way as possible with the resources they have.

However, there is another, strongly value-based and societal dimension to the flow of care and speed of access to care. Many things need to work reliably and efficiently to ensure that everyone gets the care they need. Among other things, resourcing, work arrangements and access to services must be in place to meet the shared goals of quality and timely care. Among other things, data professionals have their own, significant influence on these issues.

The whole service chain, right up to the patient, benefits from high-quality data management

Those working on information production in welfare counties can influence social and welfare services, often in very concrete ways, benefiting the whole chain from individual service-providing units and employees to welfare counties and decision-makers. Most importantly, the work also benefits the end-customers, the patients.

For example, data analysts, BI experts and data warehouse experts play a key role in improving the accuracy and quality, completeness, grouping, visualization, clarity and timeliness of data in health and welfare information systems. In addition, their input helps clinical professionals to focus on their core competencies, rather than on manual data collection and organization, for example. In traditional models, the worst that happens is that a nurse or other professional copies and processes data manually, which is time-consuming and prone to errors.

A good recent example of the central role and effective information management is the pandemic reporting system, which was built on the basis of urgent need, and which played an important role in monitoring the progress of the pandemic and in decision-making on how to combat its spread.

Indeed, data processing experts can contribute to the efficiency of care by, for example, helping clinicians to minimize unnecessary, unproductive tasks, and focus on what matters most – patient care. At the same time, the aim is also to improve the well-being and motivation of care staff.

A good recent example of the central role and effective information management is the pandemic reporting system, which was built on the basis of urgent need, and which played an important role in monitoring the progress of the pandemic and in decision-making on how to combat its spread. Efficient data warehousing and reporting enabled the results to be transformed into logical, comprehensive and reliable sets of data that are easy to use by decision-makers and care professionals based on their self-reported information needs.

Other important areas for development include work planning and work organization in social welfare organizations. For example, measuring, monitoring and reporting on the use of staff time, facilities and equipment helps visualize the current situation and make informed decisions. As resources in the sector are limited, targeting them correctly makes a significant difference to the quality and adequacy of care.

Important and rewarding work

The social welfare reform is one of the most significant administrative reforms in Finland’s history, and it aims, above all, to bring a new level of efficiency and to streamline the organization of social welfare and healthcare services. There was a long wait for information on the final shape and impact of the reform of social services, which has contributed to delays in the development and deployment of new solutions.

From the beginning of 2023, responsibility for organizing social welfare, health care and rescue services will be transferred from municipalities and joint municipal authorities to 21 welfare counties, with the exception of Helsinki. As municipalities have previously been able to decide independently which information systems they wanted to use, the new situation requires a shift from many fragmented systems to the unification and modernization of information systems. The health and social services reform has also brought a whole new set of data management needs.

The new era will also mean interesting and meaningful times for data professionals.

A data analyst working with a data warehouse collects data from patient information systems into data pools, and organizes, explores and extracts meaning from the mass of data. A data warehouse specialist, on the other hand, organizes data into more structured need, compiles ready-made data packages, and prepares data for reporting. A BI specialist will work with the data to create clear, visual reports that are easy to use and understand for doctors, for example.

For example, Pinja has developed reports for operating room activities for the Helsinki University Hospital that now influence decision-making within the organization at many levels, including resourcing, work arrangements and skills development. In addition, the data can be used to monitor the profiling of different hospitals into specific specialties at a national level, and whether the distribution ratio related to different functions is correct.

Working in support of the social and welfare sector offers a meaningful and rewarding role for an information management professional, a role that they can be genuinely proud of, and where their expertise is also reflected. As the information production in welfare counties is significant, it offers stable and long-term jobs. Alongside meaningful and stable work, you can develop your professional skills in the company of world-renowned top doctors and social care professionals.

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Read more:

Pinja is developing one of Europe’s largest healthcare data warehousing solutions for the Helsinki University Hospital
The BI and reporting partnership with Pinja provided an overview of the Helsinki University Hospital’s operating room activities
Health and well-being technology a specialty of Pinja
Business Intelligence a specialty of Pinja

Pasi Era

Pasi Era

I work as a Business Intelligence consultant at Pinja, performing report solution definitions and implementations. As a long-standing IT professional, I have designed, implemented, and delivered solutions for clients for over 20 years. In my free time, I enjoy sports, food tourism, podcasting, and reading books.

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