An interview with Kelly Powers, Director – Application Engineering at Louisville-based Waystar
Waystar which provides market-leading technology that simplifies and unifies healthcare payments. Their cloud-based platform helps healthcare providers across all care settings streamline key administrative workflows, improve financial performance, and bring more transparency to the patient’s financial experience.
As the Director of Application Engineering, Powers leads the Analytics Engineering team and Data Science App Dev Engineering team.
Waystar’s Analytics Engineering team is responsible for the scale and performance of their data warehouse, mapping and modeling data, intelligence report creation, and visualization of our analytics data across the Waystar platform.
Waystar’s Data Science App Dev Engineering team is responsible for creating and training our machine learning models. This team develops service flows to deliver innovative concepts within the Waystar platform.
"In my role, I get to lead, mentor, and advocate for both of these highly talented engineering teams," said Powers. "I work closely with our business stakeholders to plan project roadmaps, drive commitment timelines, and ensure the delivery of high-quality solutions to our clients. It is enjoyable to interact and build relationships with a wide variety of team members, clients, vendors, and others. When you’re a part of an organization that is focused on market-changing innovations, there is always something new to learn, which is empowering to my professional and personal growth."
Waystar currently has nearly 20 team members focused in this area and they are continuing to grow.
"At Waystar we rely on data to drive our strategies and inform our business decisions," said Powers. "We need team members who understand the various dependencies, use cases, and implications of the data interactions. Our engineering teams are made up of data architects, full-stack application developers, intelligence developers, and QA analysts who rely on our operational and product-specific data analysts."
Waystar is looking for people who have skills that include:
Extensive background in mathematics or statistics where quantitative logic is used, preferably within the healthcare industry.
Familiarity with data extraction and manipulation of large data sets.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills and a high level of comfort in presenting data findings in a consumable format for all audiences.
Powers shared a few of her thoughts on the future as well:
What future skills will be needed?
"Data science has evolved dramatically over the last 10 years, and we will continue to see it change. While it is impossible to predict the future, a skill that we value at Waystar is the ability and desire to continue to learn and to stay abreast of trends and the evolving landscape.
Do you think Data will be more or less important moving forward and why?
"Data has been and will continue to be important. Businesses are looking for new ways to analyze and interpret digital data to draw immediate insights to help drive important business decisions."
Do you think the role of data analysts will change over time? If so, how?
"While we cannot predict the future, we watch the trends. And, according to a McKinsey report focused on the healthcare industry, “data analytics and information services will have the fastest growth rate at 16% to 18% over the next five years.”