The amount of healthcare data worldwide is expected to expand by more than 15 times just during the seven-year period from 2013 to 2020, according to research from Stanford Medicine and IDC, observes technology sector specialist Rob DeFrancesco, editor of Tech-Stock Prospector.

In the future, more healthcare devices will get connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), while consumers will increasingly utilize their smartphones and watches for continuous health monitoring, leading to an even greater onslaught of medical data.

Healthcare organizations of all types first need to be able to manage and integrate all of that Big Data — both structured and unstructured. Then, they can apply analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the data to unlock insights used to boost performance, enhance quality control, improve the patient experience and reduce costs.

Tableau Software (DATA), a holding in our Small-Cap Portfolio, is one vendor working to improve healthcare IT. The firm's data visualization solutions reduce the time it takes to gain general business intelligence from raw medical information, as well as find specific answers.

For healthcare providers formerly using Excel for analytical purposes, Tableau is a real game changer. The company’s software efficiently automates the entire analytics process.

After struggling a bit earlier this year, Tableau shares have regained their upside momentum. Improving fundamentals, including two quarters in a row of accelerated license revenue growth and strong big-deal flow, are behind the share price rebound.

Deutsche Bank recently raised its Tableau price target to $125 from $120, saying it didn’t pick up any “downtick in tone” on the Q2 earnings call.

UBS lifted its target to $130 from $114, noting that the Q2 ratable license mix beat the high end of guidance. The firm thinks the model transition to subscriptions is becoming better understood, while competitive fears have eased.

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