The Critical Need for Reports that Drive Smart (and Quick) Decisions

Gaps in information sharing, or data silos, are an ongoing challenge for public safety agencies.

While having good data is a concern of many organizations, it is just as crucial to have reliable, efficient ways to access that data.

Fragmented information systems can prevent employees and decision-makers from viewing or understanding crucial details when it’s time to make calls that impact public safety and critical operations.

Even when your staff knows about siloed data, the administrative work of accessing it often impedes efficiency.

While there are no shortcuts to achieving an efficient and communicative organization, useful reports are a significant first step towards getting there.

Determining touchpoints for holistic data collection

The first step is figuring out what data should be tracked and utilized. What is the information decision-makers will ultimately act upon?

Naturally, specific information needs will vary from role to role. Even two supervisors may require different sets of data day-to-day, depending on their real-world responsibilities. For instance, one may need access to training info, while another might need more info on scheduling. The further we move up the chain of command, the more complex the data needs become.

To illustrate that point, here are examples of the kinds of high-level information public safety leaders may need on a day-to-day basis:

  • Sheriff: Employment records; HR records; training records; disciplinary records; information contained in court computer systems; information contained in training systems
  • Fire Marshall/Chief: Employment records; HR records; training records; disciplinary records; hotspot and water maps; architectural and city data
  • POST Director: Training data from multiple agencies; data from learning management systems; data from training management systems; disciplinary records; field review notes and other paper data
  • Federal Director: Information generated and stored in fusion centers (uploaded from area/state/local LE); training and disciplinary history; payroll and associated HR data; legal info; scheduling and dispatch data; info shared from other federal agencies (outside the fusion center setting)

There are endless sources of data that can make life easier for you and your team. Getting a handle on precisely what you have and what you think you’ll need is an important starting point.

What do I do with all this data?

Of course, you can have access to all the data in the world, and it still won’t matter if you can’t view it in an efficient, logical manner. This lack of clarity is why office workers spend up to half their week bouncing between systems, looking for the correct information and ways to utilize it.

A similar challenge arises even when decision-makers know where the information is.

Consider a high-level supervisor bouncing between computer systems to find the best candidate for a competitive promotion: between training, disciplinary history, service record, attendance, and countless other data points, a decision-maker without the right tools at their disposal may fully know where to get all the info they need and still struggle to make the right decision in a timely manner. That’s because the info is disconnected, a problem that makes it hard to create the right connections and can greatly slow a process that works best when it’s made quickly, with the right data at hand. In other words—it makes the big picture that much harder to see.

You can look at the challenge public safety agencies face in two ways:

  • Data collection tools need access to all the relevant systems that supervisors rely on. If they don’t directly interface with (and pull data from) numerous essential sources, they’re potentially leaving gaps in “vision” that can create operational inefficiencies or worse outcomes.
  • Those tools must present data in a logical, easy-to-understand way. Imagine the difference between pulling data from three unwieldy Excel spreadsheets and doing it from a single, easy-to-read dashboard. The way the data is reported is just as important as the quality of the data itself.

Conclusion: Finding a solution that fits

When you don’t give supervisors, high-level managers, and other relevant parties access to all relevant data, you make their job harder at best and prevent them from making a fully informed decision at worst.

These challenges are why we’ve built Acadis® Insights. This addition to the Acadis® Readiness Suite will link up with your data and create useful visual dashboards. From making day-to-day decisions to building greater transparency and public trust, pulling reports from the same data sources you already rely on will give you better insight into your agency’s operation, all from multiple customizable sources.

Whatever your solution, ensure you grasp both the source of the data and the way it is presented to the people making the decisions.

Interested in what clear and comprehensive data can do for your organization?

Posted on Jan 20, 2022