Published 11/06/14

Mark Wolff, SAS Institute

In his keynote presentation, Mark Wolff, Ph.D., consultant in the SAS Health and Life Sciences Global Practice team, examined the nature of analytics and its role in advancing and improving healthcare with a focus on delivering value now and into the future.

Healthcare analytics take center stage at AAAC conference

The factors behind Bryant’s growing name recognition in the field of advanced analytics include the University’s Advanced Applied Analytics Center (AAAC), being one of the few universities to offer a concentration in applied analytics at the undergraduate level, and the launch of a new graduate certificate in business analytics.

Such awareness helped draw some of the leading figures in analytics to Bryant on Nov. 5 for a day-long event co-hosted by AAAC and SAS Institute, the leader in business analytics software and services.

The event's speakers included:

  • Mark Wolff, Ph.D., principal industry consultant, Health and Life Sciences Global Practice, SAS Institute
  • Alan Olinsky, Ph.D., and Richard Glass, Ph.D., co-directors of Bryant’s AAAC
  • Ryan McGovern ’10, program analyst, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • John E. Young, Sr. vice president and managing director, Analytical Consulting, Epsilon Corporation
  • Mike Speed, Ph.D., principal analytical training consultant, SAS Institute

“Analytics is playing a huge role in understanding patient behavior."

A theme throughout the day’s presentations was the role of “big data” in the health sciences.

Keynote speaker Wolff examined the role of analytics in advancing and improving health care.

“Analytics is playing a huge role in understanding patient behavior,” he said. “Just like Netflix offers new suggestions on what movie to rent based on what you’ve already seen, or the grocery store gives you coupons based on the behavior you have exhibited with your loyalty card — those techniques are now being used to predict patient behavior, particularly in chronic disease management.”

McGovern, whose work at the VA has given him a great deal of experience with healthcare data, noted that the field of analytics offers many job opportunities for young graduates. “I am pleased that my alma mater is taking the initiative to educate students in this field where there is a world of opportunity.”