What is the definition of Operational Data?
In general, operational data is a collection of information produced by daily operational activities, such as stock, ingredients, various operational issues, to the compliance of employees in the field to the applicable SOPs.
When you successfully collected data from operations, your data will be stored in a specific database that the company already owns. Most companies still use the most commonly used databases, which are:
- Excell, or
I believe that you must have heard one of them. Indeed, this two software can already meet the needs of most companies in documenting operational data. However, with the development of technology and massive innovations, many companies are increasingly aware that recording data into this two software is no longer the most effective and optimal thing.
What is Operational Data used for?
Data is a piece of objective information that becomes the foundation for making every business operational decision. Data is needed for various operational needs, such as finding the root of an issue, creating preventive actions, and increasing productivity or the business's operational quality.
Let's get into an example, the most common data processed in operations in the manufacturing industry is the history of machine productivity. On a daily basis, employees who operate the machine will record the machine's condition from the beginning of the machine turned on until it is turned off again.
Is the machine working properly, is there no strange sound coming from the machine, whether there are no active indicators, or whether the physical condition of the machine is still clean and sturdy, and so on. The data from these questions can later be used for management's analysis of whether the machine needs repair, replacement, or something else. The management must analyze this data to prevent unwanted things from happening during the operation. If this happens, it will be a bad thing for the company's operations and may cause losses, which, if not handled immediately and properly, will cause even more severe issues.
Another example in the retail, F&B, or other industries dealing with direct customers is to increase customer satisfaction. Therefore, the data that will usually be needed is customer feedback, reviews & ratings, or continuous product repurchases to be an objective assessment. In addition, management will also need data from daily activities in the store field, such as how many issues occur in the store, cleanliness, and the environmental situation around, to assess and analyze the causes of customer ratings.
This data can be used by management to analyze things that must be improved or make new policies or regulations for working employees.
What kind of data that you need to collect?
You can retrieve any data from your operations. However, here are some of the main operational aspects that you should check and start collecting data if you haven't, namely:
- Health, Safety & Environment
- Stock & Inventory
- Quality Control & Quality Assurance
- Frontliner performance
The above is not the primary role model for all types of business, but almost all companies take some of the operational data above for their decision-making purposes.
How did the traditional Operational Data Collection Flow use to be?
Before there are any operations digital technology innovation, the company will send dozens of auditors who will inspect and collect operational data of each of their business units directly and regularly.
Usually, they will be equipped with a stack of checklist papers containing questions about whether the unit they are inspecting is operating in accordance with the SOPs set by the company. It can include Health, Safety & Environment, to Frontliner Performance.
After they finish their inspection and answer every question on the checklist, the data that has been collected will be compiled and documented into the system, namely excel or spreadsheet.
This may seem simple and reasonable to implement. Still, it is not the most effective and efficient way to conduct inspections. Applying traditional operational data collection will take a long time to require extra costs and accuracy for reports to be made, according to the actual situation in the field. We all know that human error is undeniable and will always happen, especially if the employee conducting the inspection is too tired, reducing his level of scrutiny.
Therefore, technological innovation and assistance have been able to help streamline this process. Now large companies worldwide have transformed their operational processes to digital. For example, they changed their manual checklist paper to a mobile application, which is very easy to access and use.
The Innovation of Operational Data Collection Flow
Field employees can easily view questions and answer them with just one tap by using a digital checklist. This mobile application is effortless; its visuals and easy-to-use functions make even the new employees at the company understand easily.
Employees in the field only need to answer questions that have been determined and scheduled by the management regularly. Then each answer will be automatically compiled into a report and sent to a dashboard system that the management can access directly. As a result, they no longer have to compile all the answers, create reports, and enter them into excel or spreadsheets.
This greatly facilitates the management to see the situation in the field in real-time without having to wait for the inspection report. And without having to doubt the accuracy of the data because the mobile app used by employees implements a powerful data validation feature, starting from taking pictures and videos, GPS tracking, and validating selfies of employees who conducted it.
Nimbly is one such software which streamlines and automates operational processes that should be easy and fast. Nimbly is built to be used from 2 sides, which is the workers in the field & from the management side.
- Nimbly Mobile app is a mobile application that employees can use to work on daily digital checklists and report issues that occur in the field directly.
- Web Admin Dashboard Analytics is a dashboard that management can use to manage all the SOP and workflows that will be applied in the field, from creating lists of digital checklists to analyzing operational data.
In December 2021, Nimbly Technologies selected Sisense, a leading AI-driven cloud analytics platform that embeds analytics everywhere to provide a new, customizable visual dashboard. With this, users of the Nimbly Analytic Dashboard Web Admin can easily view data and analyze every operational activity with very easy-to-understand visuals.
In addition, Nimbly dashboard users can also easily manage visual data and choose what operational data they want to display and analyze. This makes management decision-making more straightforward and faster.
Learn more about Sisense by clicking here.