Use Data to Inform Your Dental Leadership

Nov 16, 2021

A compass is a useful device. It’s most effective when you establish your “true-north” direction. How to use data to position yourself as a leader in dentistry fits the analogy.

It’s similar to the provocative idea: “If you don’t know where you are how will you get to where you want to go…?”

That’s a good question to ask and answer as you lead your dental practice or DSO.

It’s time for “dialled-in” leadership

Think of “dialled-in” as synonymous with being “informed.” Leadership is often “gut” or “instinct” driven. But assuring accuracy in the decisions that impact your practice, organization, or industry influence requires information.

Informed leadership has to do with your relationship with available and sourced data. As your practice’s founder/leader or one holding a leadership position, it’s important to respect and use data to your advantage.

”By 2022, 90% of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset and analytics as an essential competency.”

Douglas Laney, VP analyst at Gartner, builds on this prediction,

”A company’s ability to compete in the emerging digital economy will require faster-paced, forward-looking decisions,…Data and analytics leaders need to assert themselves into corporate strategic planning to ensure that data and analytics competencies are incorporated within the highest-level public-facing enterprise plans.”

The application to dentistry could include using data to:

It comes down to proficient use of data to lead your dental practice and/or dental organization.

How data-driven dental leadership works to position you and your practice for growth

Listen to your “gut” but let data educate your decisions

Keep in mind that your intuition can be biased. The psychology of leadership would refer to this as “cognitive bias.”

Consider how it affects your relationship with data.

”…when the human brain operates irrationally in certain consistent ways, time after time – prevents data-driven insight from properly taking hold.”

For example, you might be reviewing a financial report. The metrics in a certain context can skew your perspective on other metrics you see within that context.

The “anchoring effect” creates a bias that could prevent you from seeing future related data differently or more accurately.

Data-driven leadership stays aware of biases and lets the data educate (rather than isolate) your decision-making process.

Evaluate data according to its “true-north” bearing

Again, the compass analogy is useful. In this context “true-north” has to do with the quality of the data you view and use.

Like your biases, data sources can fall into a “rut.” It’s important to your leadership that you know as much as possible about the data you trust.

  • Where did the data originate?
  • How was the data discovered?
  • Who mined the data (and do they have biases)?

It’s a good idea as data-driven leader to vet the information you use. Context and trend analysis are core to your data discovery and its usage in your dental practice and/or organization.

Give data permission to create and answer the right questions

Data has the capability to push you to new discoveries. Most innovations are the result of asking questions that push you to seek new answers and solutions.

Curious leaders rely on data to inform their next steps. It’s helpful to frame your questions with data that forces your curiosity.

  • Be an aggressive “questioner” of your current systems – ask your data to reveal gaps and inefficiencies.
  • Be strategic with your data – let it illuminate your path into new practice and/or organizational initiatives.
  • Be unafraid of the answers your data delivers – allow it to help make necessary course corrections.

Leadership involves equipping yourself with the best tools to guide your practice or organization. Data is a compass that keeps you on-course.

Check out the following resources to gain insight into how you can effectively perform data analysis on a dedicated platform:

5 Ways to Transform Your Results With Dental Analytics

Using Data to Drive Big Decisions for the Growth of Your Dental Business

Become an informed leader by using data analytic tools

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on-track with your goals as your dental practice and/or DSO grows and expands.

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


Contact us for more information about data tracking that leads to profitability


Join thousands of other people, subscribe to our newsletter, and get valuable business tips delivered right to your inbox.