I was commenting on Richard’s great post about BP’s deep water drilling catastrophe when it occurred to me that in the human service field we all do deep data drilling of a sort (and in a much safer environment!). Like the oil reserves buried deep beneath the Gulf, Therap’s individual-centered database also contains a wealth of valuable information to anyone with the tools and skills to bring it to the surface.

ISP Data and Health Tracking Reports allow a reviewer to quickly gather all the data into a single pool and examine patterns and trends that could reveal more successful treatment strategies. We regularly save scores of hours analyzing data with Therap compared to scouring through piles of paper documents!

Therap’s ability to zoom in on a specific teaching task or response score and to convert reports into graphs is another great way to process crude data into refined information that helps us make better decisions for those we serve.

Another great example of such a resource mining tool is the General Event Summary. This tool allows the user to drill down through thousands of pieces of data to uncover useful information for revealing relational trends in events. The flexibility of this tool to extend beyond a specific individual to site or agency level patterns is spectacular. The “export to excel” feature allows the data to be further refined using Pivot tables.

We’re hoping that Therap’s continued trend toward reporting aggregate data will allow companies to better measure and forecast their course. For example, it would be great to be able to measure how many ISPs are making progress or being met (by site, by division or service area, by county etc). Or to be able to trend the average length of time it takes to transition from one level of care to another.

Just as computing power continues to increase since our first Dell 286 (with one whole megabyte of RAM!), we need to expand our abilities to use Therap’s data mining tools to gather, process and translate raw data into useful business information.

How are you using Therap to mine YOUR data?