Our business is all about data. Asset data, specifically – but accurate, timely, reliable data.
It might seem obvious, but we are a bit obsessive about quality data – because it creates quality information when the right data elements are gathered together.
And if you don’t have quality information, your decisions may not be so solid.
Pieces of Data By Themselves Aren’t Always Helpful
I was talking with a colleague recently about RFID. He was so excited about the read rates he was getting with a new scanner he was testing. The tag numbers just flew into the notepad application that the scanner populated.
I told him I thought it was great – but asked what he would do with the numbers. I think he was confused and a little disappointed as to why I wasn’t more impressed.
Don’t misunderstand – I’m a huge fan of RFID. In fact, it’s a critical part of many of our solutions. But, like many things, it demonstrates its greatest power when combined with other elements.
Your data is just like this.
Let’s look at one example. If I scan an asset tag – by itself, it’s typically just a number – and not all that useful on its own. But if I combine that with:
- It’s current location
- The asset’s condition or status
- The quantity of the same type of assets
- The cost of replacing that asset
- The criticality of that asset and its role in how we get things done for our customers (do we need hot spares?)
That asset number data element can be built into valuable information for budgeting, resource allocation, and more.
Three Issues Impacting Data Quality
Often, when implementing our asset inventory solutions, one of the biggest challenges we find is cleaning up data. It’s not surprising, given many organizations are still collecting this information from manual processes – and even just estimations. But that can cause some serious problems when actually using the data – so that’s when we come in to help.
Even if all of the data that we find is technically “correct,” there are often three areas that will still need some attention:
Missing Data – This is easily the most common issue. An asset record may be missing the serial number, a description, a custodian assignment, etc.
Duplicate Data – There may be multiple records for the same asset.
Data in the Wrong Field – The Manufacturer’s name is in the Description field or vice versa, or something similar.
While these may seem like minor issues, they can really throw a wrench into things when trying to get information out of your database.
Luckily, in the case of our asset inventory example, the first inventory cycle can eliminate most, if not all, of these issues. And maintaining an automated solution for asset tracking can prevent them from reoccurring in the future.
Again, we talk a lot about data and data quality. Because without good data, we won’t get good information – and that will impact our ability to make good decisions.
Have you considered the quality of your data – assets or otherwise?
When it comes to your asset data, we can help you eliminate all of the quality issues – quickly and easily. Contact us for more information and a demonstration of how mobilePLUS may fit your organization.