There are certain topics that are relevant year after year at our annual operations conference, Dude University.
Data has to be one of those.
Even more today, data is on everyone’s mind as it changes how we do things, often more intelligently and with more efficiency.
Our Director of Data Insights, Pat Buchanan, is an expert at this, so that’s why his session Garbage In, Garbage Out: Quality of Data is always well-attended.
Let’s dive into his recommendations for questions you should be asking to go further in your journey to better data intelligence at your organization.
One resource that Pat used to introduce this topic was Accenture’s Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed report.
It breaks down some of the top tech trends, including:
Internet of Thinking
Let’s zoom in on the data veracity trend (or the importance of trust in data integrity) and the questions it brings up.
Since data is the lifeblood of your operations, giving you the power to make better decisions and plan ahead, it’s critical that it is correct. Furthermore, you need to trust that your data is correct.
Unverified data leaves you vulnerable and is a threat to your organization as a whole.
Collecting good data that you can trust starts with creating a data intelligence practice. This can be broken down into actions in three areas:
Provenance- Verifying the history of data from its origin throughout its lifecycle
Context- Considering the circumstances around data’s use
Integrity- Securing and maintaining data
To do this, you need a way to monitor who is putting in data to your systems, what they’re putting in and even set up a process for regular review.
It all starts with trust.
Next up is questioning if your data is doing its job and telling a compelling story.
Whether you’re looking at utility bill data or work order completion times, your data should be presented in a way that tells an accurate and focused story.
Many operations professionals use reporting and data intelligence dashboards to hone in and answer the questions they have. Like, when should they budget for a new HVAC? What type of work are our contractors doing most, and what is it costing them?
These type of data points should be used regularly in meetings. You can also start looking at benchmarking data that shows how you perform against organizations like yours in your industry.
As your data tells its unique story, it will lead you one way or the other.
That’s why data and analytics are such an invaluable tool when making decisions. Instead of just guessing at when something should be repaired or what your facilities will need in five years, you can have proof points to show what you should do next.
Gathering data from the people who frequent your operations or facilities is important, too, and can tell you a lot about what you’re doing well and where you can improve.
You might gather that data through surveys or quality assurance checks – and it could be the evidence you need to answer burning questions and maybe even get additional resources to help solve the issue.
Another important component of data intelligence is having a second pair of eyes and people around you who can help verify and utilize your data.
In operations, you need to have a software vendor who you can trust and who has a backlog of their own useful data you can use to improve.