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Fundamental: We Don’t Argue With The Data

Thompson Charlotte NC Executive Team Hannah Dunham

Fundamental: We Don’t Argue With The Data

I’ve been with Thompson a little over 4 years now working in the PQI department and there have been many changes to our data reporting. For example, we used to use Excel spreadsheets that one person would take weeks to compile, including program quality metrics, employee data, and finance data. Manually crunching numbers, it was a nightmare! After multiple reviews to ensure its accuracy, leaders would wait on this data report and then critique it. Some would even argue the integrity of it.

One thing we’ve worked hard to do at Thompson is to make data more accessible, more real time, and easier to analyze. Data Integrity is always a focus. No one wants bad data! We purchased a Business Intelligence tool, Tableau, to build dashboards for leaders to use which had the ability to drill down data to the individual level in the dashboard. We transitioned to a new EHR (EchoVantage) that Tableau could directly connect to – that also had better reporting capabilities. In addition, we began partnering with Aimpoint Digital (a data science firm) to make our dashboards even more sophisticated for the end user.

These enhancements to our data reporting systems have improved our data integrity. But good data going out is only as good as the data coming in. Over the years and even with past companies, I’ve had conversations with leaders arguing their data. They would say things like their data isn’t right or the data doesn’t look good so I think we should change our tool or frequency to make the data look better. Some leaders have even become defensive when presenting their data because they do not believe it. This mindset is neither helpful nor solution oriented. At Thompson, we strive to be a data-informed culture which means we need to see our data as a helpful tool in achieving our goals. If the reports and dashboards are not helpful to you and your program, let us know. We will help you build a report that is helpful. Let’s not dismiss it or de-value it.

What do Thompson leaders do with their data instead of arguing about it? These things…

  1. Understand it.

Know what data you and your team are collecting. Know where to find reports that are useful to you in EchoVantage and Tableau. Ask yourself – do we need to build new ones? What data are you using to achieve results?

  1. Dig into It.

Be curious. If something looks off or interesting, try to find out why. Does something need to be fixed? Ensure data quality is there. 

  1. Embrace it, own it, and be sure to look at it often.

Value your data. It’s YOUR data to use. Allocate time to look at it and review with your team.

  1. Use it to inform decisions.

This is your objective tool. Use it to identify trends. Use it to inform treatment or services. Use it to celebrate successes. Use it identify areas to improve.


We don’t argue with the data; instead, we value it and use it to promote quality amongst ourselves and the children and families we serve.