In 2000, Matthew McGinnis began an early career role as a business finance analyst, which showed him how business works. There was another evolution happening as he evolved as a leader. Data consolidation and queries provided answers for companies looking to improve how they stored, accessed, and understood data. Amid that landscape, McGinnis recognized an opportunity to turn analytics into action.
“The analytics side was really just an extension of my role,” he recalls. “I was interested in how I could dive into the data and understand what’s driving results. Not just what happened and why but how to use data to help predict what would happen next and what we could do about it to improve the lives of our customers and those we served.”
Today, that’s what he does as the vice president of data and analytics at Evernorth Health Services, where he and his team use innovation to improve the health of their customers. With the use of data and analytics, the organization helps employers, health plans, providers, and patients solve some of healthcare’s biggest challenges.
“KPMG applauds the work that Matthew and the team have embarked on to transform the way healthcare is delivered around the globe derived from data insights,” says Ash Shehata, KPMG global lead partner for the Cigna Group and National Healthcare and Life Sciences leader.
“We want to help get to answers faster with actionable insights that help our clinical teams or provider partners understand when a customer is at risk for an event and how they can help them manage it,” McGinnis says.
The team does that through the use of machine learning, predictive analytics, and other methods that provide personalized recommendations to customers, often helping them manage various conditions like cancer, diabetes, or a hospital admission. Providing greater access to virtual care and personalized recommendations via digital interactions are other ways the team is improving access to care and helping it meet customers wherever they are.
“In the digital space,” he explains, “we’ve been thinking about how someone finds care, and it’s been centered on the power of personalized recommendations and taking in what our customers are telling us.”
McGinnis credits his previous career experiences for shaping him to be a strong leader. Prior to moving to Evernorth (part of the Cigna Group) two years ago, he worked at Cigna Healthcare for eleven years and Healthways Inc. for nine years. He remembers thinking he could make the most impact by doing things “faster, better, and alone” as a young professional. But as he became a leader, one of the biggest things he learned was the importance of relying on others.
“We have more power when we solve things as a team; none of us is as smart as all of us, and the power of doing things together and bringing diverse experiences to the table is critical,” he says. “When I started to go from an individual contributor to a leader, I realized that it wasn’t all on me to solve the problem in front of us. We needed to take advantage of what everyone brought to the table to have the ability to solve really big problems, change healthcare, and do great things.”
Armed with that revelation, he moved to Evernorth understanding his role: to bring context, clarity, and optimism.
“Context is providing the team the ‘why’ and what the opportunity is to solve a problem or get to answers faster. When people understand that they’re better able to understand the problem. Clarity is helping people see the problem,” he explains. “Then, leading with optimism is about the power of coming together as team, looking toward the future. When we do that, we can do tremendous things as a group.”
“Matthew is always willing to try new approaches to solve problems faster. As an innovative leader, he provides targeted instruction, creates a team with the right mix of skills, and empowers the supporting team to drive the results required,” says Tom Haslam, KPMG advisory principal. “With the right level of oversight and regular check ins, he obtains top quality results and is highly effective.”
Joseph Fiorentino, managing director of data and AI at Accenture, feels similarly to Haslam. “Matthew’s leadership in delivering innovative analytics solutions to support Evernorth’s mission in care is evident in all the interactions we have with him” he says. “He continuously strives to learn innovative approaches to support care and patient centric initiatives. As a leader in data and AI, it is a privilege to support Matthew, knowing how he aims to leverage data driven approaches to innovative care models.”
Young professionals who want to have successful careers should start with being a student of the businesses they work for, McGinnis says.
“Understand your organization, the goals, the mission statements, and internalize them,” he says. “Having context around what we’re doing and the ‘why’ of the business is critical. From there, if you’re a data science professional, you have a better chance to use analytics and data in ways that better serve the company.”
Next, McGinnis says to be a student of your field. “Learn and do what you can to get better,” he advises. “The world changes quickly and there’s so many things on the horizon. That’s why the combination of studying your business and your field is so important.”
Matthew McGinnis and his team are tapping into artificial intelligence (AI) to see what doors it can open for them. “We’re looking at how we can responsibly use large language models to solve new problems and create greater personalization and support for our customers. That being said, a human must always be in the loop, meaning AI solutions must be used to augment, never replace, the human experience,” the vice president of data and analytics says.
His team has a set of guardrails and guiding principles—transparency, accountability, and safety—to help ensure it’s using AI responsibly and in a way that upholds Evernorth’s mission to improve the health and vitality of all it serves.
KPMG helps organizations across the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem work together in new ways to transform and innovate the industry. We offer a market-leading portfolio of services focused on helping clients digitally transform; improve healthcare outcomes through analytics and precision medicine; embrace technology; transact to gain market entry; manage risk; and comply with regulations.
Our client teams draw from more than 3,500 US partners and professionals across a global network of 154 countries. Our mission is to assist organizations to transform and innovate in order to effectively compete in tomorrow’s fast changing and dynamic healthcare industry.
Together with the world’s leading healthcare payers, providers, pharmacies, and public health entities, Accenture puts humans at the center of care to improve healthcare experiences for all. We are the partner of choice for improving access, experience, and outcomes in healthcare by harnessing the power of technology and human ingenuity. Accenture helps clients address these critical imperatives through intelligent, cloud-based solutions that increase resource capacity, improve workforce productivity, connect data for personalized services across channels, and improve the quality of care and therapeutics. Visit us at accenture.com/health.