How To Manage Your Incident Information The Right Way

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Good decisions require piecing together good information; and these pieces of information have never before been available in such quantity. During a crisis, emergency or unexpected event an organizations communication channels become flooded, information is lost, and facts quickly turn stale.

In this pressurized situation, data will inevitably be shared inconsistently, resulting in a challenging situation when trying to analyze it. To be successful you need to put a structure in place to manage this information the right way;

1. Define your information requirements.

A decision maker during any incident, needs an accurate representation of all information known by the organization at that exact point in time. They need to make effective and timely decisions, the aim is to achieve a common operating picture. It is necessary to identify the key indicators that will help an incident manager. This method is based on the need for managers to focus, at any point in time, on the most significant aspects of their responsibilities.

2. Determine how to gather information.

Managing your incidents using spreadsheets, whiteboards, email, and paper makes gathering together all information for your decision makers really difficult. The problem starts in the field. Incidents are of many types, length and impact. The trick is capturing data as early as possible and then processing it into useful information, which is your next step.

3. Decide who will analyze that information.

More data means better situation assessment but can lead to information overload. Analyzing information involves examining it in ways that reveal the relationships, patterns, trends, etc. that can be found within it. It is important to choose someone who understands the benefit of information for your organization. The point, in terms of their evaluation, is to get an accurate assessment in order to better understand the organizations capabilities and in course better understand the overall situation.

4. Determine how that information will be shared.

The number of sign-offs required to implement a decision is one of the major issues during a fast-moving incident. Speed always counts, having the ability to share information can have a positive effect on efficient conclusion of an incident. There should be a predetermined source of information that all involved can rely on being the definitive single source of information truth.

5. Choose the technology that will help communicate and manage the information.

The options are endless, 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 their data in a structured way, adding real value to compiled information.

It’s important to remember, when you can’t get your hands on the information you need, or when the information you have isn’t appropriate, you can miss opportunities and performance drops. As it happens, the information management ability organisations need to succeed is already within their grasp.

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