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How Analytics Is Evolving Like the Medical Field

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It used to be that a doctor was a doctor for the most part. Even a century ago, unless you lived in a large city, people likely had a town doctor who handled most every type of ailment and guided most any type of treatment. Given the limited medical knowledge and lack of sophisticated treatment options during this time, these generalists could often provide a level of care that was comparable to the best available. Today, that is no longer true in medicine and a similar trend is playing out in analytics.

The Proliferation of Specialists

Today, the medical profession still has general practitioners who are usually our first line of defense. However, there are also specialists focused on a wide range of specialties within medicine. Radiologists, surgeons, orthopedists, and more are among those we interact with on a regular basis. Even within these specialties, there are sub-specialties. For example, brain surgeons and heart surgeons. While all medical professionals go through the same basic training, many then focus on training in a specific area.

When I started in analytics just a few decades ago, most of us were similar to the town doctor. For the most part, we were generalists who would apply …

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