People to Data: It’s Never Been Easier to Close the Gap

In Quality Management by Frances DonnellyLeave a Comment

The real love of every quality professional is data and particularly statistical data.  We like it to be scientific and objective but sometimes we can’t meet those standards and we need to consider alternative research methods.

Behavioral indicators from attending industry events can be a sound alternative to such research. Whether targeted to insiders, focused on end users or even a combination of both it is possible in such venues and events to identify trends.

GPUG Summit Tampa:

Customers affirm emerging trends in business intelligence, mobility and document management

These three trends, in particular, continue to emerge as needs or ideas of interest in the industry.  What they all have in common is that they are targeted towards closing the gap between people and data, especially data from diverse sources that have not typically been easily accessible in traditional enterprise solutions.

Part of what is striking about these trends is how significantly they are driving interest from prospects without necessarily demonstrating a direct measurable for either cost control or revenue growth, which are the traditional justifications for improvement investment.  The common factor in discussions with end users is the perception that these trends represent investments in products that have strategic value for the organization.

Specifically, they are seen as tools that help get people closer to data, which organizations believe will lead to considerable performance improvement.

Closing the Gap: Mobility

The value in closing the gap with mobility is very evident. There is more timely access to the data that no longer relies on getting to a desktop or laptop.  Not only are we are speeding up the availability of the data for decision purposes but in many cases we are eliminating a previously existing middle man activity that required transcription or other efforts.

Closing the Gap: Document Management

How Document Management closes the gap can be a little less obvious but for anyone in a quality or regulatory environment it too is very evident.  Effective document management systems help you transform your documents into searchable data.

Closing the Gap: Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence focuses on bringing all the relevant data that has typically been in disparate locations into one secure location.  Depending on solutions selected it may go further and attempt to expose data in charts and other tools that make interpretation quicker and easier.

Closing the people to data gap: the need for decision-making skills?

Simply exposing more data, more quickly will not alone drive performance improvements for organizations.  Key to the success of these strategies is having staff with the skills to extract, evaluate and act on the data.

Many organizations, therefore, will need to incorporate in their plans for acquiring these technologies the resources and methods to ensure that their staff can be effective with these tools.  Internal or external quality professionals may be great resources for these efforts given that many already are well skilled in statistical analysis, charting and evaluating data.

Is your organization considering investing in these “gap closing” technologies?

What are your plans for ensuring that staff is prepared and skilled to take advantage of these tools?

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