Written by: SA Kushinka

Two years ago CCI launched its Safety Net Analytics Program (SNAP), and ever since then I’ve been wrestling with tough concepts like analytics capability. SNAP wrapped up last December, and now we are in the process of creating a resource center to share some of the insights and curriculum that came out of that program.

I wanted to tease that effort a bit by sharing one such resource we created, the Analytics Capability Assessment.

This tool was developed to address what we saw as a gap in the safety net for defining and assessing analytics capability in health centers, and to educate them on some of the complexity and nuance of working with data and building a data-driven culture.

The assessment covers three domains: People, Process and Technology. This is a pretty standard framework for understanding how to build capability, or generally what to consider when making a significant change or improvement within an organization.

Within each domain there are a number of factors. This assessment offers up indicators that show how these factors manifest within organizations at different levels. To align these metrics to give users a sense of their overall analytic capability, we’ve broken down these examples into four stages: reactive, responsive, proactive and predictive.

We arrived at this tool after looking at a lot of different models that were out there in the field. Some of them were extremely academic and not healthcare specific, and the ones that were healthcare-oriented used language more appropriate for large hospital systems. We wanted to make something that would be relatable for someone working in a smaller clinic or a community health center.

Since this is a discipline that is new to healthcare generally—and really new to many health centers—we knew that SNAP was introducing some of these concepts to many people for the first time. So this tool was not only about assessing where they are at, but also about educating them on these concepts.

Ideally this assessment is used in a multi-disciplinary team setting. Get together a core group of people to discuss each example and question, and try to give your organization a score. Some of the best conversations will come out of disconnects or disagreements about where your organization currently is. These different perspectives help to emphasize that good data management is a team sport and not just something that falls to IT.

Then you can use these indicators as a road map to help you get to a higher level of capability. In SNAP we had participants pick four factors they wanted to improve upon. Then we sat down with them to figure out concrete actions they can take to move them along the path on each of these factors. We’d check in with them once a quarter to see how that went and plan the next actions.

I want to give a shout-out to Jerry Lassa, one of our program consultants, who was a primary author on this tool. We built this assessment off a template given to us by Point B Consulting, which helped jumpstart this whole process.

We hope you find this tool useful, and we’d love to hear from you if you try it out. And check back with us in early September when we launch our video learning series on these topics!

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