The Surgeon, the Survey and Survival

March 9, 2010
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Statistical analysis is a venerable approach in medical research. It is one way to find causes of conditions that are not fully understood, for example triggers of incurable diseases like cancer. It can also give you a good idea what determines child mortality rates in a given society at a certain point-in-time. The key determinants may not even be of a medical nature, as Hans Rosling, professor for international health, will point out at the Teradata Universe in Berlin.

Rosling is both a scientist in the medical sphere (he has discovered an unknown disease in Africa and its cure) and a pioneer of data visualization in the health sector. He has worked to turn “static” statistics into dynamic developments that make sense immediately. It is quite amazing what his tool can do – it gives a degree of flexibility that makes it easy to quickly check an idea (provided that you have the data available). The benefit goes beyond application in the health sector – you simply get a better understanding faster. Rosling’s favourite example is how visualized insights can dispel myths about

Statistical analysis is a venerable approach in medical research. It is one way to find causes of conditions that are not fully understood, for example triggers of incurable diseases like cancer. It can also give you a good idea what determines child mortality rates in a given society at a certain point-in-time. The key determinants may not even be of a medical nature, as Hans Rosling, professor for international health, will point out at the Teradata Universe in Berlin.

Rosling is both a scientist in the medical sphere (he has discovered an unknown disease in Africa and its cure) and a pioneer of data visualization in the health sector. He has worked to turn “static” statistics into dynamic developments that make sense immediately. It is quite amazing what his tool can do – it gives a degree of flexibility that makes it easy to quickly check an idea (provided that you have the data available). The benefit goes beyond application in the health sector – you simply get a better understanding faster. Rosling’s favourite example is how visualized insights can dispel myths about the developing world. But let’s stop here. Rosling is a brilliant presenter so let’s not spoil the show in advance. Please come to Berlin to see for yourself.

Once you’ve seen Rosling, you will start wondering what else data analyses could do for the health sector. At the conference, there will be a whole workshop dedicated to this. Joint customers of Teradata and SAS will explain how they have increased quality and reduced costs (at the same time) employing advanced analytical capabilities. To me, it’s one of the most interesting fields at the moment – it has reached some level of maturity but its potentials are far from being fully explored. I think we will see some real progress in Berlin.

 

Simon Doherty