During the 2015 fall semester, UIC Business undergrads and Liautaud MIS students participated in student-business partnerships as part of the UIC Business Center for Research in Information Management (CRIM). Under the guidance of Professors Matt Liotine and John Fyfe, students formed project teams through a process of resumé review and grouping by skills and interests. Once formed, the teams were paired with participating organizations. The organizations for the fall semester were Complyse, Health Fitness and bestpracticestograduate.org.
Our team was made of Binita Shah, Nilkamal Shah and myself. Nilkamal brought a virtuosic command of data to the table, and Binita is really good with big-picture thinking and coming up with fresh ideas and approaches. My own background is in healthcare IT, mainly from my time at Accenture, where I worked with insurance clients, but also from more recent work with Express Scripts of St. Louis.
Our team was paired with Health Fitness out of Minneapolis. A perfect match. Health Fitness specializes in tailoring health management programs for organizations of different sizes. We worked with the population health management division on data governance strategy. With any healthcare organization, data governance is going to involve HIPAA standards and statutes as well as any other standards pertaining to the organization's practices. So HIPAA formed the hard and fast parameters of our data challenges, and Health Fitness programs such as BioVia® determined what kind of data was being utilized for what purposes.
As with any client in the IT field, Health Fitness brought challenges to the table that were specific to their organization, and I know it was edifying for the three of us to see how their business practices demanded fresh data strategies. After weeks of regular meetings with Health Fitness, and with the steady support of Professor Fyfe, we were able to offer Health Fitness viable data governance strategies as well as a gap analysis tool tailored to their data needs.
Our work went public last month, along with the work of the other CRIM teams, at the Fall 2015 CRIM Expo. Photos from the Expo can be found on the UIC Business Facebook page.
Text by Sinjini Chakraborty