My background is in medical IT, and when I joined Dntl Bar, I was surprised to see the differences between medical and dental Practice Management Systems (PMS). Don’t get me wrong: a modern dental PMS is a mature, sophisticated solution for managing a solo or group dental office. But these solutions were designed for on-premises use and weren’t built to scale across multiple clinics. They make back-end data available to users only through standardized reports or truly gigantic spreadsheets. We were happy with our PMS database but needed to make more use out of the information it gave us.
The usual approach to this kind of problem is to ask an SQL developer to create a set of custom reports. But building and maintaining a library of more than 300 reports is a huge burden on IT. And developers don’t necessarily understand everything domain experts need from a report—there’s a lot of back-and-forth communication to create each one. Instead, we divided responsibilities: IT would build clean data sets, and domain experts would create their own reports. We just had to find the right tool for them to use.
I knew from experience that Domo could meet our requirements for both scale and ease of use, so we adopted it even before we opened our second location. We now use it for all our data warehouse, extract, transform, load (ETL), and data-cleansing operations. We consolidate and upload 10-12 tables from all our locations every night into a master ledger table in the cloud. That table feeds Domo, which powers 100% of our reporting.
Domain experts build the reports, dashboards, and analyses they need or adapt them from Domo templates. As a result, we were able to replace weekly spreadsheet-crunching with data analysis that moves the company forward. In the rare case that our PMS doesn’t capture the data we need, we track it in Notes and build a pipe to the right destination. It’s the quickest way to add functionality to a solid system.
Domo gives us the best of both worlds: a mature database we can trust and the flexibility to build a new business model for customer-focused dental services.