There are perceptions of how well a health care organization is operating and then there is the reality of data presented in a manner that is easy to find and understand. Presentation is the beauty of dashboard technology for executives, according to Andrew Proctor, senior director of business intelligence in the medical operations division of Cleveland Clinic.

And while Proctor noted that "people say the clinic has lots of money," business intelligence is a journey that is doable even for small organizations over time, he said during Health Data Management’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium in Chicago. The clinic started its journey toward better understanding operational indicators in 1993, but it wasn’t until getting dashboards in 2006 that the indicators became really useful.

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