Without access to business data, it is nearly impossible for owners, operators and executive management teams to gain valuable, provable insights into their organisation.

Data analysis is changing the game for businesses as reporting tools are stepping up to meet the requirements of larger and deeper datasets.

However, before you dive right in, you should ask yourself if the data you're collecting will actually give you the insights you're chasing.

Here are three ways you can get the most out of your data, and gain key, relevant insights.

narrow down the business challenges your team are currently facing

Get your staff together and have an honest discussion about the pain points that might be impacting day-to-day workflows or overall success in a position.

Try asking questions like:

  • What is limiting you in your day-to-day job?
  • Are you missing any tools that could help you do your job successfully?
  • Do you feel like we are meeting customer expectations? Why or why not?
  • Are you feeling confident in your position? Why or why not?
  • How could you be better informed?
  • Could we improve general workflows? How?

Having this discussion will open up lines of enquiry into your business and help you to better understand what your team needs to complete their work effectively.

An open discussion can help you uncover small-scale issues. For example, maybe there is a need for improvements in managing stock or understanding site layouts and histories. These discussions could also help you uncover larger issues like impact points in your business such as misinformed technicians or inefficient workflows that are affecting customer satisfaction.

determine what data you need to run your business better

Say one of your team members mentions that he is concerned his different hourly rates throughout the work day aren't being accurately recorded.

Consider the different datasets involved in the recording of hourly rates:

  • Travel time
  • After hours rates
  • Billable hours
  • Average time to complete
  • Type of work required for a job
  • Technician competency in work required
  • Amount of time a job may be on hold while parts are sourced
  • Travel time to source parts to complete a job

Each of these sets of information will influence your technicians’ payslip at the end of the day, so it's important that your business has the ability to record these details as effectively as possible.

find a solution that can help you record and manage your data

There is a range of software and hardware that can not only help you optimise data collection but also get all of the information into one place.

simPRO offers a range of mobile applications and software that can assist you in collecting data. For example:

Plus, simPRO also has over 60 in-built native reports which you can use to analyse the data you've collected!

Knowing the why and how behind your data collection will help you obtain the best data for business analysis.

In her book on business intelligence, Cindi Hawson says "A manager in any organisation spends an average two hours per working time hunting for data. Half of that information later turns out to be useless."

As an owner or operator, you know you never have that kind of time to waste and neither does your business! That's why understanding what data you're collecting, and why, is important.

To learn more about simPRO's range of data collecting features for in the field, check out our mobile applications: eForms and Connect!