On Being Obsessively Data Driven
When I wrote my first "Our Space" column several weeks ago, I shared a draft with my confidant and former medical director, Dr. Louis Katz. His feedback was predictably direct: "I dislike passive voice and it seems quite fluffy." Although I agreed with his feedback, I approved the draft, believing my first piece should be a bit …well, fluffy. I hope he appreciates the more direct approach this week.
Susan Rossmann, MD, vice president of the ABC board of directors, recently shared a great book with me titled 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't. Inspired by noted leadership author, Jim Collins, the book identifies seven critical characteristics that differentiate the best associations, grouping them into three main areas: (1) commitment to purpose; (2) commitment to analysis and feedback; and (3) commitment to action. Inherent in all of these traits is the need to be "obsessively data driven."
In his last column, ABC Interim CEO Bill Coenen referenced ABC's refocusing on its strengths and, in particular, our need for data-driven decision making. I couldn't agree more and am heartened by the ABC staff's recent efforts to achieve this goal through the Data Warehouse; it is a long time coming and I look forward to the system being fully operational by the Interim Meeting in August.
ABC's legislative agenda relies heavily upon readily available and reliable data. Similarly, our influence in national blood-related policy discussions requires us to reinforce position statements with supporting data. Our ability to examine blended operations data can also inform the membership on how we should work together to enhance our blood centers' ability to thrive. Even in the case of delivering valuable services and programs to the membership, robust data are important for objectively measuring program effectiveness and communicating that value.
In order to deliver on these capabilities with a fully operational Data Warehouse, we need the following: (1) a system assuring the integrity and protection of data; (2) a defined process for how data will be accessed to inform decision making; and (3) agreement from members to report their data. ABC must incorporate the first two requirements into the Data Warehouse rollout, but it is obviously up to you, the members, to commit to the last element.
I am eager to see the insights we will gain from our data-driven focus and the resulting value we can deliver on behalf of the membership.