Leverage Strong Data Management Practices to Identify Departments That Need Attention

In both the public and private sector, turnover is a constant challenge. Attracting and retaining the highest quality talent is difficult and time consuming, and making a bad hiring decision can be extremely costly (and in the case of public safety, dangerous).

Organizations spend millions trying to combat employee churn, with many initiatives focused on prediction and prevention, such as paying researchers to find links between turnover rates and other common employment statistics, and using the data to reverse the trend at the source.

These concerns are magnified in the public safety sector, where the training and monitoring deficiencies of today can be a matter of life or death tomorrow.  

In this regard, sharpening an overseeing agency’s analytical capabilities isn’t just a good idea for stakeholders high enough to make the call—it’s vital to the well-being of both the organization and the people it protects and employs.

Data in a public safety context

For an overseeing agency coordinating subordinate departments or individuals, the focus should always be on standardizing the way data is collected, reported, transmitted, and displayed to improve high-level visibility. Otherwise, the agency runs the risk of data falling into so-called silos.

What does that mean in a day-to-day context? Agencies face two primary requirements:

  • Standardized systems capable of allowing multiple entities (such as sub-departments or reporting managers) to report highly varied items of data in the same space.
  • Standardized processes that account for widespread work needs and the variables and complications that arise in individual locations.

In the private sector, streamlining both these needs often comes at massive expense, with customized software solutions allowing national and even international entities to report, analyze, and act upon data as a cohesive unit.

To reduce these costs, organizations have increasingly turned to cloud technology: a collection of tools, protocols, and end-user software solutions that make centralizing and standardizing data easier and more intuitive.

The same technology can benefit public sector organizations, including those that oversee the behavior of multiple subordinate departments.

The key is in knowing what to look for—and having tools that help identify key data points without too much complexity. The right data can help detect patterns before they become problems.  

Using next-gen reporting tools to standardize intelligence—and reduce risk

Obviously, every organization’s take on the contributing factors in use-of-force issues will be different, and the science surrounding red flags isn’t clear cut.

Likewise, any blanket policy that uses imprecise data to make decisions about an individual’s future (particularly when that individual hasn’t misbehaved) leads agencies down an ethical rabbit hole that may breach employment laws, union agreements, and more.

The point here isn’t necessarily about prediction. It’s about having a comprehensive view—and thus being able to make better decisions.  

Imagine a policing agency tasked with enforcing compliance and reviewing use-of-force complaints among a dozen or two sub-departments.

Newly created (or empowered, as is often the case in government), its primary focus is making sure all its subordinates are working toward the same readiness goals: reporting the same data from the same places, with space for both standardized events (such as training data on new recruits) and atypical circumstances that still intersect with the agency’s authority (missed compliance standards or training, for example).

For this agency, harnessing cloud technology is a must.

And the best way to do that is to implement a powerful, cloud-based training and compliance management system that allows an agency to configure its reporting and viewing needs at a granular level, with a focus on human decision-making at the top.

Key benefits are achieved when the tools match the need:

  • Apples to apples comparisons, allowing the agency to standardize how it gathers intelligence and acts upon it in a broad range of situations.
  • The ability to account for variation, making sure smart policy—not arbitrary blanket rules—will dictate the agency’s response in any given situation.
  • Improved flexibility, should the agency need to expand its capabilities or add new subordinates to its operation.

In terms of heading off personnel problems such as excessive turnover and use of force, this level of cohesiveness can make all the difference—and ensure that people, not policy or software, are making well-informed decisions.

Good intelligence leads to good options

Agencies will always face challenges when seeking to eliminate problems like turnover and undue use of force.

To improve awareness and facilitate intervention, organizations need tools that enhance human decision-making by organizing clear, standardized data from defined points of analysis.  

A training management system (TMS) like the Acadis® Readiness Suite can be a huge step in the right direction.

For more guidance, see the Five Keys to Leading Through the Policing Crisis webinar series to learn how you can reduce the risk of costly personnel problems and make your response and readiness capabilities stronger than ever.

Posted on Apr 8, 2021