New Horizons in Data Analytics with Shahidul Mannan

Apex chats with Shahidul Mannan, the Head of Data Engineering and Innovation at Partners Healthcare DAO. He is leading the next generation data analytics architecture and platforms for Partner’s Healthcare digitization and Analytics Innovation. Here, Shahidul shares with us how he plans to shift to a digital business model and the advantageous trends in DevOps AI, ML, Automation and more!


Q: How have you seen the role of CDO change? How do you partner with the CIO? Have you encountered any challenges facing the CDO function?

A: I have seen the role changing towards a more transformative leader. With all the leading companies racing for digitization, and becoming more data driven, a CDO is not only focused on traditional data management and analytics leadership anymore. Today’s CDO needs to focus more on how data can help transform the company to be successful in digital transformation and innovation.


Q: What are the current data trends and how will it impact your organization?

A: Having been in the financial, retail, high tech and now Healthcare industries in my decades of career in analytics, I think this is an exciting time in healthcare for data driven transformation and innovation. However, it is also obvious that healthcare had a pretty late start in this journey and is catching up on some of the core capabilities. Some of the key trends I am seeing are moving to Cloud analytics and driving data democratization for innovation, especially in AI and Data Science.

Cloud adoption is growing fast, especially in analytics for the flexibility, scalability and speed of innovation it provides. Mass General Brigham is also moving fast with cloud adoption. Our new cloud-based data lake driven analytics ecosystem will enable the latest technologies, batch and real time data capabilities, AI/ML and cognitive services which will enable enterprise reporting to AI/ML based innovative products and services. We are entering new horizons in data analytics to become a more data driven digital health company.

Similarly, self-service analytics is another trend that’s coming fast, and we are also empowering our various analytics users. We have moved a long way from building your own report to now having your own innovation space and being able to operationalize the innovation lifecycle. Our data scientist, innovators are excited to embrace it.

I believe that a combination of cloud data transformation and democratization with self-service will fuel our enterprise digitization efforts and help continue towards the next level of innovation with data at MGB.


Q: What are your top data priorities: business growth, data security/privacy, legal/regulatory concerns, expense reduction…?

A: Our overall goal is to improve patient care and quality of our services with data. So, I would say all of the above as they are all tied together. Our immediate focus points are improving operational efficiency, innovating in diagnostic and treatment with AI, and extending newer and better insights to improve quality and services. Obviously, we have to do all these ensuring compliance with regulatory obligations HIPAA and others, and meeting our patients privacy and security expectations.


Q: How do you balance the need to ensure that non-revenue generating data-driven transformation efforts receive the commitment and funding that are required to sustain these efforts?

A: First off, I think the overall value proposition for data driven transformation needs to be connected, and having non-revenue generating efforts are the cost of doing business, and most cases foundational, so the story needs to be told in a way that provides a complete and comprehensive strategic perspective. However, I am also a firm believer of providing incremental value that directly adds business value and hits the bottom line along the way. We need to execute with an agile and value-added mindset.


Q: How would you define “Enterprise AI” in a non-digital native enterprise like your organization?

A: What operating model and cultural changes have you considered as you shift to a digital business? What parts of your business would benefit the most from a greater digital foundation?

Overall, we have adopted Agility and Innovation, at the core of our culture. This helps drive the operating model to be curious, and to experiment, learn and adjust. A big part of our operating model would be driven by automation through DevOps, which would certainly benefit data customers across the system driving efficiency, speed and overall operationalization of any digital asset and service across the board.


Q: How has DevOps and cloud services changed the way you design, build, deploy, and operate online systems and secure infrastructure?

A: It certainly is a paradigm shift from traditional development and production release. Our strategy was to take full advantage of DevOps and re-engineer our process matching with best of breed technologies for DevOps. We opted for full lifecycle management through DevOps automation and cloud services, resulting in greater speed to market, agility with greater standardization, collaboration and efficiency. Our next phase is to incorporate similar practices with ML operationalization for greater collaboration and speed for innovation.


Q: What is the current state of Big Data and AI investment and do you sense the pace of Big Data and AI investment changing?

A: I think the current state of Big Data and AI investment is healthy and many may consider it aggressive. I sense that it will not only continue on its own path, but also accelerate in embedded form in other areas of business. Also, for many, the shift will be from core and foundational capabilities to more matured applications and commercialization. Overall, Big Data and AI will become a more integrated part of business strategy and how we operate, if not already, hence related investments will grow further.




Shahidul Mannan – Head of Data Engineering and Innovation at Partners Healthcare DAO

Shahidul Mannan is the Head of Data Engineering and Innovation at Partners Healthcare DAO. He is leading the next generation data analytics architecture and platforms for Partner’s Healthcare digitization and Analytics Innovation. Most recently he commercialized data and AI products at TTEC Digital as Vice President and GM and at Dell EMC as Global Head of Big data and Analytics. A lifelong data and AI evangelist, Shahidul was Chief Data Officer and Vice President of Technology at Altisource and Chief Analytics Officer at Human Health Project – responsible for all data management, enterprise and advanced analytics, developing Fintech products and services, and had been in Sr. Technology Leadership roles at Bank of America, Freddie Mac.