As behavioral health advances to better help clients, data is quickly becoming a cornerstone of every agency's strategy.
Not there yet? Don't worry. Deploying a data strategy can be a confusing and difficult process.
In working with our clients, we've identified some key starting points to consider when getting started with data. While these starting points aren't meant to occur in particular order, it's often best to determine a broad strategy before focusing on your team's buy-in.
Outlining Business Needs:
First things first. Your agency is specific. You serve a particular population with a specific set of needs. Determining why data matters to your organization is the foundation for your data strategy.
Not sure why data matters? Check out our resource on the Top 5 Reasons Data Matters, or schedule a free consultation with Recovery Data Solutions today to dive into why data matters for your organization.
Now that you understand what data is important to your agency, it's important to identify what you'll be using the data gathered for. Develop goals for your the collection of data and its analysis. Where are you now? How will you determine your baselines? What challenges are present and how can you get past them? Are your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART)?
Outlining your agency's needs will be a part of both your overall data strategy and a component of securing buy-in from your team. We'll talk more about that below.
Building a Data Strategy:
Once you've outlined your business needs, you can begin identifying resources and constructing/deploying your plan.
Remember, every organization and agency is different. Your data strategy may be as unique as your agency. Identifying the resources available within your organization to assist in the development, launch and maintenance of your strategy. The questions you should be asking yourself:
- What's our budget?
- How much staff capacity do we have (man hours)?
- How much expertise does our team possess (tech-savviness)?
Getting Your Team's Buy-In:
Most of us have sat in those meetings where it seems impossible to get to clarity or a decision because team members have specific needs and priorities for their scope of work. Getting started with data usually hits its first barrier when trying to get the organization's team on board.
How do we get past it?
In our experience, providing the space for your team to provide insight on the strategy and discuss what's important to them and their clients is a surefire way to get people excited about data. Give everyone the opportunity to outline their needs as it relates to your data strategy. You'll walk away knowing what barriers and opportunities exist in deploying a data strategy from a team perspective and the team walks away feeling heard and hopefully, knowing your clients will be better served utilizing the strategy.
At Recovery Data Solutions, we're committed to helping teams create and adopt data strategy that works. That means our experience in helping your agency get started with data will serve to effectively develop a strategy and get your team excited about that data. At the end of the day, our sole focus is helping you get back to doing what you do best: helping people. Schedule your free consultation today!
Want to dive deeper into the next steps on getting started with data? Check out our resource on Selecting Your Tools for Data Collection!