Data is not Information

by Larry Emmott on July 21, 2016

in e-Services,Management

225moneygraphI was on a bike tour with a large medical data processing group. Talking with them about what they did this phrase came out repeatedly: “Data is not information.”

As dentists using computers we generate a lot of data. However if we cannot assemble that data into a meaningful format it has little value. Beyond that what does it mean? Just knowing the numbers is not useful unless we can turn the number into significant action.

Here is an example. Your computer keeps track of the number of prophys you do and the total production of every service you provide. That is data. You can assemble that data to give you a ratio of the prophy income to total income. Numbers or ratios of this kind are called Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. Now what?

In order to act on that data you need to know how your prophy to income ratio or KPI compares with the norm and with the ideal. You also need to know what action you can take if the KPI indicates a problem.

Finally you need to monitor change after the actions are taken turning data once again into information.

Few dentists have the training or experience to use this kind of business information effectively. That is why we rely so heavily on business consultants. Dentrix users have another option.

Dentrix offers an online consulting service called Profitability Coaching. Profitability Coaching monitors the data generated by your Dentrix system generates KPIs and then creates a personalized action plan for your office. Finally they will monitor results and follow up with help as needed.

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