The Future of Incident Response Statistics: It's Time to Leave Spreadsheets in the Past!
For many years spreadsheets have been used as an aid for compiling emergency response activities. However, the evolution of technology has allowed public and private sector organizations to capture, store, and analyze incident response data in a structured way, adding real value to compiled information.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Many organizations often have spreadsheets containing endless lists of numbers and words. The key is to use this information in a structured way to collect and categorise facts.
[D4H] customers often advise that in the past, data needs were addressed in an ad hoc manner. This included the collecting of information on spreadsheets following activities such as training, exercising and responding to an emergency.
However, given growing budget constraints and needs for accountability, they found a growing importance of understanding the data they collect. The need for systematic data for budget appraisals, mitigation activities and prevention planning is an increasing concern for many response agencies. [D4H] customers outlined 5 key areas where having a structured reporting solution, has improved their organization and added real value:
The Value of Your Response Team Statistics:
Focusing on the Bigger Picture Statistical analysis of multiple responses, from a number of response teams, across a broad time frame, is a fast way of using statistics to see the response trends for an organization. The statistics can afford leadership an unbiased outlook of the risks faced. This allows them to mitigate and put preparation in place that is not based on uncorroborated presuppositions.
Backing Judgements Statistics back up assertions. Leaders can find themselves backed into a corner when persuading people to move in a direction or take a risk based on unsubstantiated opinions. Statistics can provide objective goals, with stand-alone figures, as well as hard evidence to substantiate positions
Ensuring Quality of Emergency Response Equipment Anyone who has looked into continuous improvement or quality assurance programs, understands the necessity for statistics. Statistics provide the means to measure and control the quality of equipment. This saves money by ensuring substandard equipment is identified and removed from service.
Proving Response Team Budget Needs Response teams face a variety of fiscal issues. Sound statistics can often be the key to unlocking the budget you need. Achieving the maximum possible budget allocation can often only be achieved by proving the worth in your operational activities. The best way to prepare for this budget conversation is to know what’s going on in your organization today and to have the data to prove it.
Connecting Risks to Training Needs Statistics can point out relationships. A careful review of data can reveal links between two variables, such as specific training and risk of incident (e.g Hazmat training and crude oil on rail incident). Using software solutions to delve into data further, can provide more specific theories about the connections to test. This will lead to more control over ensuring that teams are prepared for the most likely scenarios.
Photo Credit: Photo by Eilis Maynard - Sep 11, 2014