Analytics & Insights, Augmented Analytics, Business Intelligence

Is the Opioid Crisis real? Let’s investigate at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit BI Bakeoff 2018

Discovering hidden patterns and insights to make impactful decisions is one of the key benefits that we receive by leveraging next-generation augmented analytics platforms. This article talks about one such example – the opioid crisis.

Introduction

Automated discovery of insights gives business users a faster and easier way to get answers to advanced questions by leveraging machine learning to automatically discover patterns, trends, and anomalies in their data, cutting down analysis from days and weeks down to minutes.

This is quite a paradigm shift from time-consuming manual discovery of insights which is subject to human bias.

For advanced questions involving multiple variables as in the Opioid dataset used for analysis, there are millions of combinations which need to be analyzed to come up with factors driving certain questions and outcomes. Coming up with such analysis will typically need help of data scientist and writing some Python or R code.

With Tellius, it took seconds to generate these discoveries to uncover patterns, trends and drivers with push of a button. Not only the analysis uncovered the underlying trends automatically, but provided detailed analysis with ranked insights explaining why some of these metrics changed over time. The analysis also provided top predictive factors which had significant impact on the key metrics being investigated.

Interesting discoveries, patterns and trends

  • Overdoses in MD due to Opioid and Synthetic Opioids are growing at the fastest rate
  • In MCOU records, drugs from Actavis Elizabeth LLC are prescribed the most.
  • Internal Medicine and Family Practice specialties prescribe the most Opioids.
  • Physicians, Dentists, Orthopedic Surgeons, General Surgeons, Emergency Medicine, and Nurses have the highest prescription rate of Opioids.

 

 

Let’s dive a little deeper…

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a diverse class of moderately strong painkillers, including oxycodone (commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression, and may cause respiratory failure and death.


Is there an epidemic?

Emergency visits for suspected opioid overdoses shot up 30 percent from the third quarter of 2016 to third quarter 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.


How can data help?

Analytics on any kind of data can help discover trends, patterns, outliers, and unbiased insights that are not otherwise obvious. Such deep insights can help everyone make informed decisions. Analyzing data for good causes can make a huge social impact.

Today, we will analyze data for such a cause – drug overdose and opioid epidemic.


Why at the Gartner Summit?

Gartner Data and Analytics Summit #GartnerDA is the predominant Analytics/BI industry event. This year, the summit was led by Rita Sallam Research VP at Gartner covering Business Analytics and Data Science. The conference enables you by providing the tools to build on the fundamentals of business intelligence, and analytics; harness innovative technologies such as AI, blockchain and IoT; and accelerate the shift toward a data-driven culture to lead the way to better business outcomes.

One of the centerpieces of this summit is the annual BI Bake-off event led by Cindi Howson, Research VP at Gartner covering Business Analytics and Data Science. A quick refresher on the bake-off before diving into further details:

  • The goal of BI bake-off is to make customers think about requirements as they evaluate various vendors in this highly crowded market.
  • The bake-off does help reveal strengths and weaknesses of each product.
  • This is more important than ever as the analytics industry is on the verge of another disruption – Augmented Analytics or AI-driven Analytics.
  • Vendors exhibiting at the conference are provided with datasets around a well-defined use case/problem area.
  • Four vendors are chosen to do a live demo/ presentation articulating how their technology can be applied to address the use case. Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Qlik, and Tableau were the ones for this year’s event.
  • The remaining vendors are encouraged to participate offline as well.

Some of the bake-off datasets analyzed in the past years include Traffic fatalities (2017), College tuition, value, and salaries (2016), and Homelessness (2015).

This year Gartner wanted to provide momentum to forces in the industry that are driving the use of data for good. #Data4Good

Tellius took up the Gartner’s BI bake-off challenge. Below, you will see a quick video that highlights what we discovered in the opioid-related datasets using our platform.


Analysis


Hidden Insights using Augmented Analytics

A few of the automatically discovered hidden insights in the given datasets:

  • Opioids are the largest cause of death.
  • Overdoses in Maryland due to Opioid and Synthetic Opioids are growing at the fastest rate.
  • In MCOU records, drugs from Actavis Elizabeth LLC are prescribed the most.
  • Internal Medicine and Family Practice specialties prescribe the most Opioids.
  • Physicians, Dentists, Orthopedic Surgeons, General Surgeons, Emergency Medicine, and Nurses have the highest prescription rate of Opioids.


Why now?

As seen, the problem is real. It needs to be dealt with urgency. Accepting that the problem exists is the 1st step towards solving it.

CDC director Thomas Frieden said that “America is awash in opioids; urgent action is critical.” The crisis has changed moral, social, and cultural resistance to street drug alternatives such as heroin.

In March 2017, Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland, declared a state of emergency to combat the opioid epidemic, and in July 2017 opioid addiction was cited as the “FDA’s biggest crisis.”

On October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump concurred with his Commission’s report and declared the country’s opioid crisis a “public health emergency.”


References

https://blogs.gartner.com/cindi-howson/2018/01/05/newyear2018/

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About Tellius

Tellius is leading the era of augmented analytics & intelligent analytics with a business analytics platform powered by machine learning so anyone can search and discover hidden insights with just one click. Connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, or website.

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  1. Mark Cross

    11 Mar 2018

    Interesting analysis! Would love to dive deeper and evaluate if it can help us with similar analysis around campaigns.

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