June 28, 2023

Dental Data Analytics: A How-To Guide

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How to Effectively Put Your Dental Service Organization’s Data to Use

One clear challenge for dental service organizations (DSO) is the availability of real-time, accurate metrics, reporting, and data analytics.  

Many rely on different practice management systems (PMS), use others for reminders, and employ additional systems for revenue cycle management (RCM). Some groups use their data warehouse with expensive in-house programmers and software licenses. Meanwhile, others outsource to third parties who pull data from their different PMSs. All of these issues can make data analysis far more complicated.

Given the importance of data-driven decisions, here are a few best practices you can use leverage your data easily and effectively.

Define Clear Business Objectives

Before starting any data analytics project, it’s important to define clear objectives that align with the company’s overall strategy. This will help ensure that your data analytics efforts focus on the most important areas of your organization. Clear objectives also streamline the decision-making process, allowing your teams to act quickly and confidently based on the data.

Monitor Your Dental KPIs

Next, you need to ensure that you are collecting the correct data. You can identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) most relevant to your business objectives. These metrics may include patient satisfaction, average production per patient, treatment acceptance, and patient retention rates.

Regularly assessing these KPIs allows you to gauge your progress and adjust your strategies as necessary. That way, you can ensure you’re always working towards achieving your objectives.

Use a Centralized Practice Management System

A centralized practice management system ensures your data is accurate, up-to-date, and accessible to the people who need it. It should be able to collect and manage different types of data analytics, like patient records, financial data, and operational data. Having all your offices on the same PMS also improves efficiencies across training, clinical, finance, and technology teams. 

Use Data Analytics Tools

Data analytics tools can help you analyze and present your data in an easy-to-understand and actionable way. They can include dashboards, charts, and graphs and translate complex datasets from various data sources into easy-to-understand, actionable information. In turn, this helps you comprehend and visualize your data more easily.

Ideally, your centralized PMS should have these data visualization tools integrated. This way, you have a convenient, all-in-one platform for your data analysis and visualization needs.

Always Analyze and Refine Processes

Data analytics should be an iterative process. Analyze your data regularly and use the insights you gain to refine your processes and improve performance over time. Regular data analysis allows you to identify trends, spot opportunities, and mitigate challenges, fostering continuous improvement. The insights gleaned should inform your strategies, driving the refinement of your processes for enhanced performance over time.

Ensure Data Privacy and Security

In an era of increasing cybersecurity threats, it’s important to ensure data security and patient privacy protection. These may include using encryption, implementing access controls, and complying with relevant regulations such as HIPAA.

Data Analysis and Reporting Should Reflect Your Organization

Your reporting should mirror the unique structure and needs of your organization. Whether you need insights at the level of the entire DSO, individual practices, or locations, your system should provide it. It should also be done by state, region, and market region, to name a few. Moreover, data by doctor with breakdowns by specialty, hygiene, and more allow you to fully understand all aspects of your operations. 

Discover the Value of Your DSO’s Data with Ora

Determining how to manage mission-critical data is one of the toughest challenges the dental industry faces. Ora offers a solution, with top-notch data analytics and reporting capabilities integrated into its state-of-the-art platform. It also provides seamless connection via enterprise APIs to your data warehouse, if needed.  

With Ora's robust Analytics & Reporting feature, you can enhance your decision-making with real-time access to pertinent information. Gain an immediate snapshot of your practice's financial health and swiftly take action with data-driven insights. Its centralized dashboard allows you to identify production holes for schedule adjustments and access patient billing information promptly.

Further, Ora empowers dental offices with goal-based production analysis, transforming raw data into clinical opportunities and revenue enhancements. With Ora's unique insights, your organization can excel in patient engagement, streamline operations, and reach new heights.  

Let Ora help you apply these best practices and transition to a more data-driven operation with our easy-to-use PMS. Schedule a demo today.


Garvin, J. (2022, March 1). ADA Advises Dentists to Be on Alert for Internet Security Risks. American Dental Association. https://adanews.ada.org/ada-news/2022/march/ada-advises-dentists-to-be-on-alert-for-internet-security-risks/

Measuring Success. (n.d.). American Dental Association. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://www.ada.org/en/resources/practice/practice-management/measuring-success20160428t155202

Schwendicke, F., & Krois, J. (2021). Data Dentistry: How Data Are Changing Clinical Care and Research. Journal of Dental Research, 101(1), 002203452110202. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220345211020265

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