Behind the Scenes
Q&A with BioIQ’s SVP of Client Analytics
She’s a data science rockstar, healthcare IT leader and raises chickens in Kansas City. Say hello to Carrie Cowdin, BioIQ’s senior vice president of client analytics, and an inspiration to women interested in data science careers.
How did you first hear about BioIQ and what lured you to become the company’s SVP, Client Analytics?
I learned of BioIQ as a prospective client for analytics. BioIQ acquired the analytics company soon after the sales pitch, and I joined the company in August of 2017.
When and why did you become interested in data analytics in healthcare?
I have worked in healthcare for my entire career. I started as a staff accountant and always seemed to need data for my reconciliations. I spent a lot of time with the technical team, requesting extracts of data that I could analyze in spreadsheets and databases. I became very efficient in getting answers from the many extracts and soon other business areas came to me with their questions. I became the liaison between business and IT.
What are some of the most exciting changes you’ve seen since you first got involved with data analytics?
First, I would have to say that the maturity in self-serve analytics has been incredible to watch. Second, the use of data science in healthcare.
Name some of the projects you’re currently working on at BioIQ and what you hope they will accomplish.
BioIQ’s analytics team has been building models that will help us identify and stratify the population into segments. These models will tell us who is most likely to return a home test kit.
The analytics team has also been working on how to index the population based on social determinants of health to understand the most vulnerable segments.
What I hope this enables BioIQ to do is build data-driven programs where we are able to align member needs to our products for the most optimal outcomes. I hope that by adding this sophisticated level to our offerings we are able to further differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.
What future trends in data analytics should health plans be aware of?
Healthcare is trending to meet members where they are. Health plans need to provide a diverse range of offerings and analytics to help direct members to the most appropriate solutions.
How can health plans humanize analytics and why should they?
If we want to reach people and increase engagement we need to understand how people think, what their preferences are, and what communications they are most likely to respond to. When we understand individuals, we can segment the population into groupings of those that have the most similar characteristics and build programs that are most likely to meet their needs and get the greatest response.
Of all of your data science accomplishments, which one are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of the accomplishments we have had at BioIQ. The more successful we are with screenings, the more we contribute to preventing death and progression of chronic conditions.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not analyzing data?
I enjoy spending time with family, gardening and sports.
You raise chickens – what do you enjoy about it?
I truly enjoy my feathered pets. I have seven full grown hens and five new chicks that are growing fast. My favorite hens are Ameraucana. I love collecting their teal-colored eggs. Someone once referenced them as nature’s Easter eggs. I also grow herbs that are most advantageous to my hens. I also have a dog named Sheba, who provides much needed comic relief with all of her energy.
Do you have any advice for women who want to explore a career in data analytics?
This is a very rewarding career for anyone that is curious and would like to explore new ways of doing things based on studying history. Analytics, consumerism and data science are emerging quickly in the healthcare industry.
To learn more about Carrie and her career in data science, read her profile in HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights.