Benchmarking, an industry comparison tool and a well-known business technology, offers health care a method of establishing standards for health care use with clinical governance. Benchmarking can lead to practice innovations necessary for survival in a managed care environment that has a need for decreasing cost and increasing quality. Information gleaned from the benchmarking dataset can be used to determine where limited resources for disease management programs should be directed. It can also be used to help decision makers manage a drug formulary by providing a basic knowledge about the environment in which a drug will be used and prescribed. This article describes the relationship of database studies and benchmarking and the usefulness as applied to managed care.