Today's field service climate is one in which organizations face mounting pressure to improve customer experiences around changing expectations for support and service. As a result, field service organizations, whether they serve consumers or commercial entities, must be quick to identify operational roadblocks and get those barriers out of the way so technicians can function at peak capacity.
The growing data analytics movement centers around this idea. In theory, organizations that gather data from across a wide range of sources can use that information to gain a better understanding of how their business operates. Whether this means identifying customer complaints made on social media or generating deep statistical reports, the premise is still the same – better visibility into real-world information drives a greater awareness of day-to-day operations. With this transparency in place, field services firms can more readily establish a culture of continual improvement that fuels consistent revenue growth.
The promise that comes with analytics initiatives is substantial, but field service organizations must carefully consider how they use data to avoid getting overwhelmed by information.
"Advanced reporting solutions play a key role in creating and analyzing the right data."
Avoiding big data analysis paralysis
Big data ends up as part of plenty of analytics discussions, but many businesses don't need to handle huge quantities of information in order to glean value from data. Instead, organizations are often better suited identifying the information that is most important to their specific goals and finding ways to put that data into action. A Harvard Business Review report explained that companies using analytics will often find the most success with big data when they move beyond simply getting as much information as possible and focus in identifying and using the best information at their disposal.
For field service organizations, advanced reporting solutions play a key role in creating and analyzing the right data.
Using reporting as a foundation for continual improvement
Field service software systems often incorporate some degree of reporting to help organizations understand precisely how their operations are going. Solutions that can unify and integrate those reporting tools across lines of the business can prove invaluable to helping employees understand how they are performing and what they can do to be more effective. A few key functions that field service firms should be on the lookout for include:
- Business intelligence tools that simplify and automate many analytics processes in the backend to deliver frontend information that is as actionable as possible.
- Integration with dashboard systems so users can quickly view key performance indicators and similar information that has a direct impact on their day-to-day operations.
- Backend data warehousing and analytics functionality that allows for custom and standard reporting.
- Diverse reporting methods that ensure users can get access to analytics data in a variety of ways, such as email or web apps.
These robust reporting capabilities add up to allow organizations to build data analytics into everyday processes and procedures. If a manager wants to track the relationship, for example, between technician first-visit resolution rates and positive customer feedback, he should be able to dive right into the system to quickly get that data in a report form. Quick, customizable analytics tools built into service management software can take all of the data that organizations are creating and gathering within the system and use that information to identify operating trends. From there, the real-world visibility can offer feedback for performance strategies, making it easier to drive continual improvement.