It seems like collecting the right data gets more important every year. It’s for good reason, though. Data is what makes the modern business tick. Not only that, it’s what separates a highly efficient business from a managerial horror show.
If you haven’t implemented sound data collection apps into your processes yet, this article will give you one more reason to expedite the shift to the digital age.
Let’s get stuck in.
The Data That Matters
The first step to implementing any data-centric business approach is deciding which datasets are most important to your business. We can’t be expected to capture every last scrap of data – who would spend their hours analysing this data? Many can’t afford a full-time data analyst.
We also can’t get too attached to the bottom-line figures alone. Then we’d miss out on the earlier bottlenecks and inefficient processes that could hugely benefit that bottom line.
So striking a balance is crucial. Here are a few data points that we deem important in most business types.
The cornerstone of any data initiative. If you don’t know your production figures, you won’t be able to measure the impact of your efforts in the first place.
Whether you measure production by volumetric output or by revenue is unimportant – as long as you have the figures that matter to you.
Time Spent On Tasks
The total amount of time tasks take is another critical metric. Knowing where the labour-intensive areas of your business are can help set up winning employee structures.
You’ll be able to identify bottlenecks before they become a problem. You’ll be able to take remedial action before your bottom line feels the hurt.
Tracking time on tasks can be challenging – and it can put some strain on employee trust relationships. That’s why this step should always be handled carefully and with a focus on improving processes, not targeting individuals (when possible).
Stock Levels And Choke Points
Keeping an eye on your product as it moves through the workflow is another excellent way of identifying bottlenecks early. When the temporary storage area between machines in your production line begins to fill up, action must be taken ASAP – usually through a root cause analysis and remedial action.
Similarly, within a service environment, when a certain department’s task list begins to fill up, it could be worth lending them a hand.
Remedial Actions And Effects
Keeping a list of remedial actions and their effects on production is wise. This way, you can gauge the effectiveness of different solutions and have the data readily available in case the issue ever crops up again.
You’ll also be able to tell early on whether the solution works or if it’s time to try something else.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but a rough guide. Another thing to remember is that we face a constant battle with inefficiencies and bottlenecks. It’s an ongoing process, not a once-off project.
This begs the question… how do we efficiently capture all of this data?
How To Avoid Drowning In Paper
By now, you likely have a good idea of what sort of data you need to capture in your organisation. The problem is, how do you get hold of all this data without creating mountains of paper that end up collecting nothing but dust?
That’s rather simple, thanks to modern technology. You need data capture software. A quick web search will present thousands of options. Their marketing promises sound irresistible. How on earth are you supposed to choose the right solution for you?
This will largely depend on your business. If you have a standard process found in 9/10 of your competitors, then any ready-to-go solution could work for you.
However, if you’re into innovation and changing for the better, only one type of solution will work for you.
Custom no-code app builders.
What Does A Custom App Builder Do?
With these types of solutions, you pretty much get what it says on the box. Using a drag-n-drop app builder, you can create mobile applications that directly dovetail with your process. Going the custom route also means you don’t have to adapt to rigid software. You can create your real-world processes in digital form.
Many of these solutions are also offline-capable these days, so you don’t have to worry about the internet going down. Work can continue!
One drawback is that these app builders can take some time to learn. This is why we at Appenate offer free training and support – even during your free trial.
One Form To Rule Them All
Onto another question. What if you don’t want to build hundreds of little apps in order to get your process running?
The answer is, thankfully, simple. Opt for Appenate.
Our Process Step field can be used to create a multi-step application that can track various processes from start to finish – all on the same form. Combined with our email Connector, you can get all of the relevant data delivered straight to your inbox once a form is complete.
This process can be a little complicated at times – it’s one of the features that makes Appenate one of the most potent customer app builders on the market. Not to worry, however, our stellar training team is more than willing to help you through your first form.
The Eventual Impact
With data in hand, making quick and effective decisions is a lot easier. Effective decisions make for a more productive company. That trickles down to the bottom line, and that makes the higher-ups smile.
It’s more than that. When people work as part of a well-oiled machine, there’s less stress about making production targets. This can lead to a happier workplace, which can increase production even more. Happy people tend to do better jobs.
At the end of the day, staying on top of your data can make all the difference.
Getting Started Is Free
Appenate is a powerful solution to any paper woes. We have a range of connectors plus a REST API that can hook to any web service with an exposed API, so your data stack can be streamlined throughout.
If you’d like to give Appenate a spin and see how well it works for your setup, simply sign up for a free trial here.
From the moment you join up, you’ll have access to free training and a comprehensive knowledge base if you’d prefer to figure it out independently.
Whatever you decide, we hope you find the best way to make your data work for you.