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Apr 22, 2019 | IN Quality Management | BY Dave Martelon
How Much Does Form Data Cost Your Business?

How much data is your business capturing on unstructured forms? If yours is like many other construction-driven enterprises, your field teams are swimming in data gathering requirements. Forms, photographs, date reporting, and checklists are adding cost and schedule to projects. But why?

Is the data captured throughout the lifecycle of a project being used to drive change in the business? Does it funnel through the company to drive meaningful decisions or is it a relic? Is some data captured simply because “That is what we have always done;” and since no one is sure why it is captured, no one can decide to stop?

More than 95 percent of data captured in the engineering and construction industry goes unused. - FMI Corp

Why Does Data Go Unused?

With the list of required forms getting longer and longer for each project, there must be some value to all of this data capture, right?

The truth is that it is impossible to tell because most data never makes it into a single analysis. In fact, after the initial effort of capturing, categorizing, and filing the data – it is rarely seen again.

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Data captured on forms is not tied to field captures; which means that technicians in the field are jotting down notes and taking pictures with their phones in the field and then using that information to complete the form days or even weeks later.

Most forms require a laptop or desktop to view and complete. They are not mobile-responsive nor are they connected to any other part of the project. In most cases, forms are stand-alone data sources that neither drive action nor influence future decisions.

Nearly 50% of the construction professionals manually prepare and process daily reports. - JB Knowledge

How Data Should be Captured and Managed

Structured data moves data out of a silo and an accessible database where it can be captured and updated in real-time and relied upon to influence future decisions.

Forms setup within the natural project workflow integrates data capture into daily work and eliminates double entry. Instead, data is captured on behalf of a larger workflow that supports timely project closeouts. The setup of the form and its applicability within the workflow is naturally intuitive. Data is elegantly captured as technicians move through tasks that equate to sections within the form.

Data that is accessible by a centralized location enables businesses to see how (and if) captured data is used throughout the project lifecycle and the business. With so much unused information bloating project schedules and costs, companies stand to see significant profit improvements by merely eliminating unnecessary data captures.

Centralized reporting also supports true business intelligence efforts to extract data, perform analyses, and drive improvements.

Structured data capture using workflow-driven, mobile-ready forms that automatically upload and store data in a centralized location drives field efficiency, profit increases, and business improvements. It allows businesses to cut unnecessary data captures and utilize meaningful metrics to drive decision-making.

Tags: Quality Management, Standardization

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