Davis Balestracci began his career as an internal industrial statistical consultant, most significantly with 3M, where he received several corporate awards for his innovative teaching and applications of statistical methods. After being exposed to W. Edwards Deming’s philosophy in 1983, his interests evolved to a broader application of statistics and cultural psychology to organizational “transformation.” Since 1992, his primary involvement has been with health care.
Davis has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering, an M.S. degree in statistics, yet describes himself as a “right-brained” statistician. He is a pipe organist and has also done graduate work in orchestral and choral conducting.
He is well known for his provocative, challenging, yet humorous and down-to-earth public speaking style. He is a regular speaker at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement forums in the U.S. and Europe. More than one “math phobe” has confessed, “Wow…this actually makes sense. I FINALLY get it!” In addition, people also appreciate his acute awareness of the daily realities of implementing statistical approaches to quality and cultural transformation – including the inherent frustrations of dealing with “those darn humans!”
In 1995, at the invitation of Dr. Donald Berwick, Davis participated in a project sponsored by the Harvard Institute for International Development. He was part of team that taught health care improvement methods to 80 participants from Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Morocco, and Jordan.
In 2001, he became an independent consultant, with his company name of Harmony Consulting, LLC, reflecting not only his love of music, but his unique synthesis of left-brain (analytical) and right-brain (psychological) approaches to quality, as well as “the passion of Beethoven composing symphonies” with which he approaches his work.
He has consulted and given seminars domestically in 35 states as well as internationally in Israel, Palestine, Vietnam, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia. Since 2003, he has developed a special relationship with the national health services of England and Wales.
Davis is a senior member of the American Society for Quality (2003-2004 Chair of its Statistics Division). For five years he was the monthly statistical columnist for Quality Digest and continues to contribute to their daily e-version. He has recently prepared a 3rd edition of his book, Data Sanity: A Quantum Leap to Unprecedented Results, published by the Medical Group Management Association (January 2009) — what he describes as a true labor of love.