EC1 Capital

How to make the most of data in your business

Jozef Wallis, cofounder Toothpick, gives some tips on how companies can collect and gain actionable insights from data
Jozef Wallis Jozef Wallis Thu 12th Mar 2015 12:32

Toothpick, the UK’s leading dental appointment booking platform, is now releasing a set of data projects after 4 years in the making. As part of the release we decided to share some of our experiences working with data so that other start-ups can benefit from the phenomenal power that business intelligence and data insight can bring to your business. Using these techniques we have been able to empower the whole team and drive markable improvements both bottom up and top down through our business and operations.


Where do I start?

It’s a good idea to research the available data in your vertical; reports and white papers are frequently available but there may even be some Open Data. You will often find holes in the data that make it difficult to glean insight - filling these through data you collect on your platform or by utilising surveys can be a great way to get to a 360 degree view of your project. It’s important to normalise your data so that it speaks to the exact points you are looking to understand. Toothpick found one of the biggest challenges was geo tagging, as most data sets are based on a given region or geographic area. The UK does not seem to have much standardisation so it’s important to ensure your data is geo tagged using the same methodology across all contributions for a unified view. 

It’s never too early to start collecting data and have a data strategy on your roadmap. It was on the Toothpick agenda from conception, and over a four year period we have employed a ‘gain-analyze-apply-optimize’ approach that is unique in UK dentistry. On top of building great technology, it’s our data approach that has secured Toothpick’s place as the market leader in the space - allowing us to make smarter decisions faster than our competitors.


Example projects

Market Analysis/Market Sizing – Understanding the fabric of your market helps to inform decision making around not only the revenue opportunities, but also the product mix needed to obtain effective market share.

Product Performance – Toothpick’s products are mapped and graded into quintiles, and we monitor in real-time all the factors that affect their performance. This is a great tool to get a sense of how you are tracking against your KPIs, and get the general health of your products and services.

Customer Profiling – Who are your customers? Where do they live and work and how can you effectively target them? This analysis can save huge amounts of  money and efforts when scaling your idea.

Operational Analysis – Operationalising the insights is key to the performance or your business. We map all the data and analyse it to a point where we can create hot spots, that not only help us target but also allow us to accurately predict performance in a given area or demographic.

Forecasting and Strategy – If you have the data to accurately carry out the above analytical tasks your organisation will be able to create strong accurate forecasts


Get involved 

To celebrate the launch of Toothpick’s data management services we launched the ‘Healthy Access’ app. We wanted to turn inaccessible databases of really interesting information into a more usable and digestible format that would engage communities. The Healthy Access app provides a gauge on the relative ease of living a healthy life in different parts of England. We launched the project with the knowledge that prevention is key to solving our future health crisis, and that individuals making the right health decisions depend on the right services being available.

In its first phase, Healthy Access takes into account access to dentists, access to GPs, quality of hospitals, walking and cycling behaviour, and access to green space. Our aim for the project is to provide a simple to use platform where local citizens can comment, reflect and influence decision makers in order to make sure that their local area offers the right provisions for them to stay healthy.

Screenshot of Healthy Access: Dental Score for Mid Suffolk Region


We are proud to collaborate and partner with organisations such as Noetika, Digital Catapult, DrDoctor and MastadonC to bring this interactive tool to our users.

Any organisation or individual that would like to get involved with the app please do not hesitate to get in touch, this data is a living breathing indicator, together we can change the scores for the better. You can download a widget for your website for your given data point and local area.

And remember a great smile can improve your health, confidence and even your love life so go visit your dentist to say hi :)



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