Saturday, 5 November 2016

Slave To the Data Rhythm

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Well I heard at the NHF conference, just recently from Nick Atkin, 'Data is an asset' and we should be 'rethinking the office'. Cheers to both of those, I will raise a glass of IPA to Nick for giving it straight between the eyes, to a room full of housing folk. Quality of data, well poor quality of data is something I see a lot of.

Why are we so reluctant to respect the data, why is regarded as being so worthless?

Older workers may recall the times when data was entered by a team of clerks. Probably this would be the same time when there was a typing pool on the 3rd floor and you could pretty much while away 3/4 of the day, looking busy running around with a piece of paper in your hand.

In case you may have been elsewhere for the last 25 years, those halcyon days look to be well behind us. We seem to do all our data management ourselves now, including all that troublesome use of Word, Outlook and Excel.

In many organisations, I see many users who despise data and really feel a slave to it. "I used to just write out my notes on a form in pen and file it, why do I have to type it all in here now"? We can all relate to why they have to, particularly if you work in the customer services team. Without everybody's interactions & contacts going into the system, no way can it deliver a 360 degree view of the world. Its 110 degree's otherwise at best.

When the form was just filed, it and the questions and answers on it, had little value. In most cases it just audited the fact that the interaction took place. If we were lucky. Data gains value when we can use it to take decisions, or use it for specific purposes like building essential reports and returns. We might use it to improve or shape customer service to individual needs.

Valuable data needs to be always accessible and can be costly to replace if corrupted, lost or access is denied to it. The cost per customer, of collecting accurate data might easily be £50 or much higher. While hardware and infrastructure can pretty easily replaced and replicated, particularly if hosted in the cloud, data needs to be protected reflecting its value. The more data is used, the cost per access is effectively reduced.

Poor or lack of data recording will generally create problems for someone else in the organisation. when they or another third party fix it, someone else feels the pain, other than the original suspects. Until the people causing the data issues are pointed at their problems first hand, and it's their job to correct, they will not get out of their bad habits. If each issue they cause creates them some pain, they will slowly change their bad habits. It is far easier to get things right and not come to grief than constantly be doing the reverse.

To see how data is being used, is also a good driver for users to record it properly, as they can understand how processes and service levels rely on it. Feeling other team data pain, is as useful as feeling it themselves. It can create some good habits around keeping good data and getting the best value from it, like a commodity.

If it's not a useful commodity,  why force our staff to slavishly record it?

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Related Post: Are some of our HMS Supplier implementers One Chord wonders? 


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Grace Jones - Slave To The RhythmGrace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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