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DWF 3Sixty Blog

You Can't Make Decisions Without Data

Posted by Elliott Seaton on Apr 18, 2016 9:43:00 PM

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Data is one of the most important components in the effective operation of a business. However, it is also one of the hardest things to manage and control.

Organisations can be compiling data from many different sources and in many different formats. The birth of intuitive analytics and reporting tools mean that this data can be used to gain a competitive advantage. In a matter of seconds you can be presented with a pretty report built on hundreds of data points and metrics, providing valuable information about your business. 

No doubt, you have stumbled across the term Big Data in the last few years. You can expect to hear it a fair bit in the future. Organisations are coming to the realisation that data, in volume, can be used to spot trends and even sculpt whole business plans. 

 

So What's the Problem?

So we have the tools within our reach to do great things; what's the problem? The issue is that you can't build a house without bricks. That mouth-watering Sunday dinner you had at the weekend was a combination of meat, veg and Yorkshire puddings, all cooked to perfection. If the Yorkshire puddings were slightly burnt however, it would ruin the whole meal. After all, what's a Sunday dinner without Yorkshires?

You may be struggling to see the relevance of my slight tangent. My point is, the same rule applies for how we can use data. You may have all the tools to produce intuitive reports, but if the raw data (the ingredient) is inaccurate (or burnt!), the end result is not going to be of any value (or very tasty). Maybe I should have started this analogy in a restaurant…

 

The Devil is in the Data

Many organisations will have a number of spreadsheets and/or management systems. All of which will contain vast amounts of data. However, the actual value of this data is compromised if it isn't accurate.

Inaccurate data is about as useful as a blow up dartboard.  

Accurate data
 allows you to create reports and craft business decisions based on those reports. 

Inaccurate data means you risk making business decisions on false reports, meaning the operations of the business aren't right for getting to where you want to be. 

 

How can I control my data?

When implementing a data control strategy, you have two options:

  • Employ a data control lackey (probably an office junior or apprentice) to trawl through your data and keep it correct. This can be costly and prone to error.
  • Use technology which places strict rules on how data is input. This method is simple, consistent and cost effective. But you may get less brews made for you.

Many organisations are turning to technology to help increase efficiency. The number of business’ investing in software to save long term costs is steadily increasing year on year. 

There are many advantages to implementing a claims management system and it can also help you keep on top of your data. 

The problem arises when the software hasn't been built with data integrity in mind.

 


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Single Point of Truth

For example, imagine you're wanting to compile a report on a particular claimant. You may want to ask your system to report on all incidents associated with that claimant. One claim handler may have entered the claimant's name as 'John Smith', another 'J Smith' and another 'John S'. This means that unless you add each of these variations into your report, some claims will be missed out of the finished product. 

Better systems solve this problem. They do this by creating what is known in the data world as a 'Single point of truth'. In other words all data in the system is drawn from one source, eliminating inconsistency.

Whenever a new incident is created, they can select a pre-existing claimant if they are already in the system and assign the incident to them. This means that when you ask the system for a claimant report, it will give you all claims assigned to  .

This approach also reduces duplication of work. Once the details have been added in initially, they can be assigned to a policy/claim in a couple of clicks. 

 

What about documents?

A good data management system (such as a claims system or health and safety system) will allow you to assign documents to claimants, and will act as the single point of truth for your claims handlers. This reduces duplication of work and ultimately increases efficiency, saving you money.

Many people don't realise the true power of data integrity and control. Get the right systems and procedures in place now and you will gain an advantage and see increases in the effectiveness of your organisation's operations.

EvoClaim,  and EvoSafe (our claims management and health & safety management systems) have been built with data integrity as a priority. If you'd like to see how the software can be implemented in your organisation to improve your processes, call 0333 010 7999, email info@3sixtysystems.com or book a demo:

 

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Topics: data