Years ago, my dad taught me this little weather forecasting poem:
Red sky at night, sailor's delight
Red sky at morning, sailor’s warning
According to that poem, a beautiful red sky can predict the weather based on whether you are seeing it at sunrise or sunset. This rule of thumb dates back over 2,000 years. Does it work? I don’t know. I recall that poem every time I see a red sky, but I always forget about the sky by the time I can test it out.
Previously from Dr. Rothschild: Patient needs should supersede insurance demands
Weather forecasting has come a long way. Early forecasters predicted weather based on cloud patterns and changes in temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Then came radar and live satellite images and constant computer models and soon we couldn’t get enough information about the weather. Now that we all have the weather on our phone, who even watches the news?
Like weather forecasting, forecasting in our optometric practices has also come a long way. Today’s software programs have every imaginable piece of data about our practices. But unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to use the data. The problem is there is so much data and information, it is hard to know what to pay attention to.
Forecasting and benchmarks
Most business consultants establish a set of benchmarks to measure and monitor how things are going with the practice. The best set of benchmarks looks into the future to pick up on problems before they occur.
What to measure
It is important to maintain a good strategy on collecting and evaluating data from your practice. There is a balance of how much to measure, and there is no set of data points that is perfect for every practice.