The Problem with Spreadsheets & How to Produce Meaningful Incident Data
For a long time, spreadsheets have been used as an aid for recording emergency response activities. However, the evolution of technology has allowed public and private sector organizations to capture, store, and analyze incident response data in a structured way, adding real value to compiled information.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Many organizations often have spreadsheets containing endless lists of numbers and words. The key is to use this information in a structured way to collect and categorize facts.
Out customers often advise that in the past, their data needs were addressed in an ad hoc manner. This included the collecting of information on spreadsheets following activities such as training, exercising, and responding to an emergency.
“We were running into the situation where we had spreadsheets and bits and pieces of information everywhere with nothing centrally located.”
However, given growing budget constraints and a need for accountability, there’s a growing importance of understanding the data collected at incidents, events, and training exercises. There is a need for systematic data for budget appraisals, mitigation activities, and prevention planning for many response agencies and private sector companies.
D4H is a fully integrated readiness, response, and reevaluation platform. D4H Incident Reporting has been specifically designed to alleviate the administrative burden associated with data collection and analysis. With D4H Incident Reporting, it’s easier than ever to automatically generate insightful incident reports with charts, visualizations, and statistics. Access game-changing data to re-evaluate operations, make better decisions and evidence the true value of your organization.
Our customers have outlined some key areas where having a structured reporting solution has improved their organization and added real value.
Focusing on the Bigger Picture
Statistical analysis of multiple responses from a number of response teams, across a broad time frame, is a fast way of using statistics to see the response trends for an organization. The statistics can afford leadership an unbiased outlook of the risks faced. This allows them to mitigate, introduce preventative measures, and put the necessary preparation in place that is not based on uncorroborated presuppositions.
“Previously, reports were kept but there was no standardized format and therefore no meaningful data was produced. We now use D4H Incident Reporting to keep a structured report that must be filled in by our members after each search. This gives us meaningful data that can be used in decision-making going forward.”
Statistics back up assertions. Leaders can find themselves backed into a corner when persuading people to move in a direction. Statistics can provide objective goals, with stand-alone figures, as well as hard evidence to substantiate positions.
Further, should a decision be called into question after an incident has occurred, a full audit log will clearly show the exact information that was to hand at the time to justify the decision made.
“D4H’s reporting options provide significant information that we have used to submit compliance reports to our municipal and provincial governments.”
Ensuring Quality of Emergency Response Equipment
Anyone who has looked into continuous improvement or quality assurance programs understands the necessity for statistics. Statistics provide the means to measure and control the quality of equipment. This saves money by ensuring substandard equipment is identified and removed from service.
“D4H does a phenomenal job of providing a platform for effective report writing and cost recovery.”
Proving Response Team Budget Needs
Response teams face a variety of fiscal issues. Sound statistics can often be the key to unlocking the budget you need. Achieving the maximum possible budget allocation can often only be achieved by proving the worth in your operational activities. The best way to prepare for this budget conversation is to know what’s going on in your organization today and to have the data to prove it.
“The overall long-term budgeting and planning of the team have greatly improved with D4H.”