Health Data Analytics: Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19

How health data analytics helping in the fight against COVID-19Analysts are using health data analytics and predictive models to learn about the coronavirus – and it’s working.

Applying health data analytics to the coronavirus pandemic

Analysts are using digital technology to develop real-time forecasts in order to arm healthcare professionals and government decision-makers with the intel they can use to predict the impact of the coronavirus, measure and optimize treatment protocols, and most importantly, develop both a cure and vaccine for future cases.

Analysis tools, predictive models, and data dashboards are all vital tools used to analyze and monitor the COVID-19 pandemic – and the people who create these tools are in high demand. In a recent survey conducted by KPMG, over 330 investment experts estimate healthcare spending – overall – will reach $6 trillion by 2027. Health data & technology segments are growing faster than any other healthcare space at a pace of 5% per year, reaching an expected worldwide revenue of $800 billion by 2030.

These attractive predictions have caught the interest of each healthcare sector, notably insurance, hospital systems, and biotech and pharmaceutical research companies. Many of these sectors are challenged to transition from the traditional care model measured by volume to one now measured by value.

This ongoing shift requires data analysts who are capable of collecting routinely unstructured data, assess the key markers, and translate the data into a meaningful impact.

Being qualified at communicating this data story remains a top requirement for those interested in these roles, with top candidates having a foundational understanding of data visualization, modeling, and analysis tools. To respond to employer demands and workforce needs, we’ve integrated instruction on a combination of data visualization and analysis tools into three of the four courses that make up this certificate, so students can confidently step into advanced health data roles.

One of the advantages we have today in the fight against coronavirus is big data and the high level of technology available.

In many ways, COVID-19 is our most meaningful big data and analytics challenge so far. With skill and innovation, analysts are able to rapidly forecast the spread of the virus at a population level and are beginning to be able to give more detail at the regional and local levels as well.

Earn a Health Data Certificate from UNE Online and be a part of the solution

In just 12 credit hours, the following four courses combine to give you a foundation in data visualization and health data management:

Semester One

Semester Two

8-week term

8-week term

8-week term

8-week term

HIN 620


Database Design



3 credits

HIN 715


Information Analysis and Visualization


3 credits

HIN 770


Foundations of Data Analytics


3 credits

HIN 775


Advanced Concepts in Data Analytics


3 credits

Prerequisites for this certificate have been eliminated, allowing students to get into advanced material and absorb much-needed skills more quickly.

Learn more about the Health Data Analytics Graduate Certificate

What you will learn

You will learn the top programming languages software that health systems use across the country, including Tableau, MySQL, and SAS, to transform descriptive data statistics using visualizations. You will also apply advanced modeling and statistics using healthcare data to predict patient population trends.

This certificate is designed to teach data visualization, data translation, and the translation of data information into insights and potential impact. You will learn by doing.

You will gain key data manipulation, data management, and data translation skills by performing statistical analyses to drive analytical results. You will also import, analyze, and visualize select data using R-, which is a key open-source language for large data sets.

Additionally, you will gain the skills to become a liaison between clinicians, IT departments, and those conducting research within four eight-week master’s-level courses.

Marketable skills for career advancement

You will learn the critical technology and programming language skills necessary to translate large sets of data, and you will be able to use these skills right away.

You will also learn to use data visualization tools to build valuable data visualizations such as pandemic data models and outbreak dashboards. Many data and analytics vendors are providing dashboards that display current data about the spread of COVID-19, and you will gain the skills to be an asset in that area.

Official dashboards track the COVID-19 virus and outbreak analytics

Data dashboards have been helpful for private citizens, government policy-makers, and healthcare professionals by showing data at a glance, including the progression of contagion which informs models of how invasive this virus may become.

Entities such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been leaders in providing real-time stats using massive amounts of data.

Earning your Graduate Certificate in Health Data Analytics will allow you to build valuable – and potentially lifesaving – data models such as these.

Using data to inform policy

These dashboards pull in data from around the world to show confirmed cases and deaths from coronavirus. This comprehensive data set can then be used to create models and predict hotspots for the disease so that decisions can be made about stay-at-home orders and to help healthcare systems prepare for a surge of cases.

Using data models to predict infection rates

Outbreak analytics take all available data, including the number of confirmed cases, deaths, tracing contacts of infected people, population densities, maps, traveler flow, and more, and then processes it through machine learning to create models of the disease. These models represent the best predictions regarding peak infection rates and outcomes.

Technology is vital in the fight against coronavirus and future pandemics

In addition to being able to support modeling efforts and predicting the flow of a pandemic, big data, machine learning, and other technology can quickly and effectively analyze data to help humans on the front lines figure out the best preparation and response to this and future pandemics.

Designed to benefit both clinical and administrative roles

Apply your coursework to fit your career goals. If you are on the clinical side and you want to continue to be patient-facing, you will gain the skills to enhance your career in that area.

Conversely, if you work on the tech side of healthcare that doesn’t require patient interaction, you will gain skills in that area as well.

A solid understanding of the top software used in healthcare today

The top three EHR vendors and data managers used by most healthcare systems are Epic, Cerner, and Meditech. You will walk away with a solid understanding of these top software systems as well as other software systems and the top programming languages.

HIMSS-approved education partner

Whether you have proven job experience or you’re brand new to the health informatics field, this Health Data Analytics Certificate is one way to demonstrate your skill to current and potential employers. Given the highly competitive market for health sectors to recruit data experts, the top-ranked required skills in health data job descriptions are experience and knowledge centered on common programming language, data communication, and proven problem-solving skills. This allows room for candidates with and, more importantly, without healthcare work experience.

Stackable courses – making the next step easier for you

Earn the certificate first, and decide later whether you would like to apply the credits toward a Master of Science in Health Informatics. If you want to stack your skills and course credits into something greater, the Health Data Analytics Certificate gives you a foundation of technical skills that you can bring to whatever the next step is for you.

Learn more about the Health Data Analytics Graduate Certificate

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