Dashboard Analytics 101

What is a dashboard? By definition, a data dashboard is a management tool that visually tracks, analyzes and displays key performance indicator (KPI) metrics and displays vital information about a business, department or other entity. Dashboards collate data from behind the scenes by connecting to a database and then display data analytics in the form of graphs, tables and charts. The dashboard users should have some control of customization of the data generated.

A data dashboard can be a very effective way to monitor these key performance indicators, even in real time.  Dashboards should have the ability to track and display data from multiple sources. Utilizing dashboard analytics can save valuable time having “at a glance” reports versus spending hours manually collating data and preparing the graphics.

Dashboards provide users with a visualization tool in the form of charts and graphs, to better understand numbers and percentages and show trends in certain areas. The visualization of this information can provide insight in certain areas for improvement and informed business decisions. 

In the cancer registry, managers have certain KPI reports that they routinely run. These could be productivity reports, incidence reports, projected cases from casefinding lists, follow up calculations, Quality Measure compliance, etc. These reports can be customized to look at various dates and show comparisons between several facilities in a multi-hospital enterprise solution. For example, a registry manager may analyze productivity on a weekly basis, but look at incidence by site on a quarterly or yearly basis. So a certain level of customization is a must.

In addition to registry managers, oncology administrators and other cancer center leaders can benefit from a different type of KPI, while still utilizing the cancer registry data. Examples of dashboards of interest to an oncology administrator may include in and out migration patterns, referral patterns by site, incidence and market shares. These types of dashboards would require the same level of customization. This level of data can assist administrators in making key business decisions in areas such as marketing initiaves, financial growth decisions and community outreach.

So why should a cancer center utilize cancer registry dashboard analytics? Most centers use multiple departments to compile information that resides in the cancer registry database. Utilizing dashboards can greatly decrease valuable time spent on creating manual reports. Data on multiple KPIs would be available in one location and in real time.

CRStar’s true cloud-based software application contains 15 customizable KPI dashboards for both registry managers and oncology administrators. The cloud accessibility allows registries to share the dashboards in real time across the enterprise. The cloud architecture also allows busy managers and administrators access to these dashboards via tablet and phone, making these key metrics accessible at a glance with one easy click!