Do you make decisions based on feelings or information? Typically our instinct is to follow our emotions, but the question is whether this is the best thing to do. After all, you always want to avoid the feeling of “what if” afterwards.

As a Veterinary professional, you’re likely to be more inclined than most to research thoroughly before committing to a decision. You likely seek opinions from colleagues, customers, or perhaps run reports and compare models before you conclude, wanting to have as much information as possible.

Consider the following questions you might run into at your practice:

“Can I justify the purchase of a new x-ray machine?”

“Who are the practices best clients?”

“Should our practice specialise in a species?”

“Which products earn the most revenue?”

“Which staff member sells the most products and services?”

Data and analysis make matters clear.

Without doing a ‘deep dive’, it is difficult to get answers to the above questions. You can ask colleagues for their advice, but does this provide you with the right findings, or are they just opinions based on feelings?

Sometimes matters are also not what they seem. Take a look at the graph below as an example. 

Graph showing causes of death in the US - Actual vs. searches vs. media

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/does-the-news-reflect-what-we-die-from

 

The graph above compares the causes of death in the United States, Google search terms, and media exposure. The actual data shows that the number of people who die as a result of terrorism or murder is negligible compared to the number of people who die of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Yet, the media focus nearly 50% of their coverage on terrorism and murder, giving us a very distorted – and inaccurate view of the US.

“Without data, you’re just a person with an opinion.”

– W. Edwards Deming

Everyone has prejudices and opinions which we use to create a story or make a decision. These also can affect how we look at data – even if the data tells us one thing, we might see something completely different.

Reporting and visualisation

It is sometimes difficult to interpret data. It is difficult and time-consuming to create and study reports, stare at Excel tables and convert them into a meaningful story. Fortunately for your practice, IDEXX Animana has Animana Pulse. This data visualisation tool turns practice data into a compelling visual dashboard, allowing you to quickly and easily make the right decisions for your clinic.


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