How your organization manages data — and how data manages your organization — is more important than ever these days. Ravi Ganesan, president and founder of Core Solutions, gave two reasons why that’s the case in his session An Operational Guide To Creating A Data Driven Organization at The 2016 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute in Washington, D.C.:
- There’s more data than ever before. And it’s increasing faster than ever: As Mr. Ganesan pointed out, 90% of all human-generated data that exists was created in the past two years.
- Data management is inextricably tied to health care’s move from a fee-for-service system to a value-based one. That’s true in both regulatory and organizational performance terms.
Below are four characteristics Mr. Ganesan identified as necessary for establishing a data culture within your organization:
A data culture is not merely about collecting information about existing offerings. It also involves coming up with different ways to present those offerings, and carefully tracking new programs, services, and campaigns. You shouldn’t be passively accepting the numbers, but using them to steer your organization forward and give your consumers what they want, how they want it.
Another key quality for a data culture is that everything important is measured and then discussed transparently. And that doesn’t include organizations that only measure and promote so-called “vanity metrics,” or numbers that make it look good but ultimately don’t connect to anything valuable. In fact, certain measurements should make you uncomfortable because they show you the things you’re doing wrong, or could be doing a lot better.
A big part of facilitating sharing and openness when it comes to data is making sure everyone knows what the numbers are and where they can find them. That means either giving employees at all levels access to dashboards or regularly sending them reports with all metrics laid out for their own review.
Interpretation of the data is not the sole province of the “HiPPO” (the highest-paid person’s opinion), but rather the result of an ongoing discussion among all staff about the metrics. Their input can help you understand why the numbers are where they are, and what could be changed to improve them. To get your employees involved in these conversations, start cultivating data literacy in your organization. That means going beyond collection of information, and into interpreting it. If you and your staff understand the numbers, that information will begin to tell you a story about what your organization is accomplishing, and where it could be headed.
It’s only natural for organizational leaders to feel like all of this is a daunting task. Systematically tracking these and many other metrics, instilling a data culture, and having transparent, defensible numbers for the entire workforce to discuss is definitely a challenge. But no one said it would be easy. And, as Mr. Ganesan pointed out, plenty of other organizations are struggling with this, and not just in health care.
“We always think we’re so far behind on data,” he said. “But Fortune 50 companies are also trying to figure out how to be more data-driven right now.”
Want more content on building a data management strategy in a value-based system? Take a look at these resources from The OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- Can Data Fix It?
- What Do You Need To Demonstrate & Manage Your Value?
- Transitioning Your Current Reporting & Performance-Management System From Fee-For-Service, To Pay-For-Value
- The Business Model Transition To Value-Based Care
For more on the importance of data, join Matt Chamberlain, Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS on Monday, December 5th at 1:00pm ET for a free webinar on leveraging information to improve operational success throughout any organization – Maintaining Your Organization Through Quality Information.