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By Cory Thornton, MS

“Common sense is not common practice” – Ravi Ganesan, President & CEO, Core Solutions, Inc.

Ravi Ganesan, President & CEO, Core Solutions, Inc.

I think this quote from Mr. Ganesan at the recent OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute is a reality that many executive teams attempting to build a data driven culture need to face; but I would take it one step further. Common sense is not so common either.

In his presentation, Seven Habits Of Technology Driven Healthcare Organizations, Mr. Ganesan laid out a common sense approach for building a data-driven culture in health and human service organizations – his “seven habits.” Within that, he gave some advice to the audience about how to make data-driven decisions – his “five-step formula.”

Data‐oriented mindsets and infrastructure support metrics – Before you can transform your organization to one that focuses on data for making management decisions, you must first build the infrastructure necessary to gather and disseminate information (see Data-Driven Decision-Making: Moving To An Organizational Measurement Culture).

Data is centralized and organized – This means that the data is well curated and available to the people in the organization that need it to make decisions, and that managers receive the data to stay abreast of key issues and routine operations (see Managing In A Tech-Enabled World).

Policies govern data access – Many organizations are plagued with poor data policies surrounding key issues such as privacy, security, intellectual property, and liability. An organizational cultural that can change to embrace analytics and metrics-based management must know all the necessary policies, and put them into place (see Big Data To Survive, Sustain & Succeed).

Data access is layered – It is important to involve staff as much as possible in data-based decision making, but that doesn’t mean they should all have access to all the data (and for obvious privacy and legal reasons, this can’t be the case). An important policy to have up front – who has access to what?

Analytics are integrated into tools – Insightful measurement and analysis that can be used to make key decisions isn’t much use if it isn’t easily accessible and understood. This information is usually delivered via dashboards, which can take the power of analysis and deliver it in a useable format (see Performance Data, Dashboards & Metrics-Based Management: Meaningful Data For Meaningful Decisions).

Once you have assessed you organization’s current data culture and use of analytics, you can build a strategy that moves you closer to the desired level – for more on that and the concept of “data maturity” check out, Best Practice Leadership Is Leadership With Analytics.

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