“Big and small data”, words which have gained quite a bit of popularity nowadays, have changed the way many leading field service management companies think about their actionable data. The comprehension and translation of large amounts of data is not a straightforward task and is considered by many field service professionals as a lengthy and complex process.
Luckily, in a digital world of continuous technological improvement, the analysis of “big data” for efficient management has become easier, but is it the way forward for field service management?
There are companies that choose to invest in large amounts of server storage, utilize state-of-the-art analytic engines and data harvesting applications to gather their networks for data, such as dates and times of user actions and democratic information to just scratch the surface. The collected data would then be transported into a central data centre, where sophisticated algorithms do the sorting and processing and display the actionable data in comprehensive reports. Although these methods have helped businesses in many areas, numerous enterprises are discovering that these procedures necessitate a fair deal of effort and in certain situations, comparable outcomes can be reached using far less vigorous data harvesting approaches.
Small data & big data
The term small data did not exist before the word big data which came into common usage in the 1990’s. What we once called simply “data” is now called small data. Small data was not made useless by the advent of big data. Most data we see in our life is small data, and it should not be overlooked in any field.
Let’s have a look at the some of the key differences between the so called “big” data and what we consider to be “small” data and how this relates to field service management.
Small data is about people. It has a small enough size for human comprehension, it consists of usable chunks of information which the analysts control and it is ready and conditioned for analysis once the data is collected.
Big data is about machines. It is not comprehensible to humans in its raw form and needs to be broken off in understandable chunks of data (small data) to be understood. It is often identified by the 3Vs: The volume of data, the velocity at which it is processed and the variety of the types of data, which makes big data very difficult to extract and manage.
Field service management
Most top-tier service leaders are becoming increasingly aware that ensuring management and the service team have “actionable data” is a journey and not something that can be solved with one-off investments. It takes strategy, leadership, and resolve. Connecting the field team and management to “actionable reports “helped these organisations resolve issues faster, deliver more value to the customer conversation, and make the field team better at their jobs!
It is crucial to empower the service team with the data they need to make their decisions; more isn’t always better.
In a world where AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistants are on the rise, programs communicate to programs, field specialists collaborate with each other via mobile and wearable devices while in the field, and customers interact with the service teams real-time, access to this information and data comes with few challenges.
Fortunately, there are companies with outstanding reputations that have created state-of-the-art reporting platforms that answer questions such as:
- How do I simplify gaining insight into my organization’s operations?
- Are we meeting our customer commitments?
- How is our current resource utilization?
- How much overtime are we doing?
- How much service call volume do we get?
- What does our forecast look like?
- How do we track travel distances and time?
- Who needs to know what and when?
- How do we turn this data into “actionable data”?
- How much is too much data?
Many experts – including myself – currently believe that the hype around big data in field service management is misplaced. Small, linked actionable data is where the real value lies.
So how do we tap into “actionable data? Simply reach out to me!