If your private practice is starting its journey into the world of reporting or you want to understand how to kick it up a notch in 2019, can I recommend business intelligence as your first stop?

The purpose of business intelligence in any business is to help executives, managers and other team members make better and more informed business decisions. While the purpose of business intelligence is much the same for outpatient rehab, the added layer of complexity around the transition to value-based care and increased demands for a more consumer-oriented experience means that having actionable data at your fingertips is more important than ever if you want to succeed in the future.

Before we jump in, let’s first define business intelligence.

Business intelligence tools provide an interactive way to identify problem areas within your business that you can then address and take steps to correct; you can also identify areas where your business is doing well. It’s designed to help explain why things happened rather than show you what happened. As it relates to outpatient rehab, it turns clinical and financial data into actionable insight for fast, informed decision-making across your therapy practice.

Now, onto the top 10 reporting and business intelligence terms you should know.

Data visualization

Delivers information and data visually through charts, graphs and maps to make it easier for users to see and understand trends, outliers and patterns in data.

Drill down

Takes users from a higher-level visualization to additional visualizations relevant to the metric. Example: a drill-down for visits may be cancellation rate.

Drill through

Takes users from a visualization, to the detail that supports the visualization. Example: a drill-through for visits may be a list of patients who had visits in a time period.

Trend analysis

Compares business data over time to identify any consistent results or trends. Trend analysis helps organizations develop a strategy and action plans to respond to the trends and meet their business goals.


In a data context, measures are the numbers or values that can be summed and/or averaged. Example: referrals, visits, days AR, etc.

Key performance indicator

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a business metric that measures your progress towards a goal. The results are often reported in the form of a dashboard or scorecard that helps you assess performance and whether or not you’ve missed, met or exceeded the mark.


A snapshot is a view of data at a particular moment in time. For example, your average cost/visit for a specific month would be referred to as a snapshot.

Slice and dice

To me, this is a more digestible way to define data manipulation. It’s a technique that allows a user to breakdown a body of information into smaller parts and examine that information from different viewpoints to better understand the information.


The regular provisioning of information to stakeholders. When it comes to the difference between reporting and business intelligence, reporting is more static while business intelligence data can be manipulated and


A dashboard is made up of the visualizations the tool puts together, analyses, and serves up to the end users. It provides at a glance view of the status of business analytics metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and important data points.

Stumped trying to decide how else to implement metrics into your practice? Download this tip sheet to learn five do’s and don’ts when using metrics.

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