Using Shared Data for More Profitable Business Decisions
This article appeared in City Security Magazine.
Demand for security professionals is expected to increase, but researchers predict industry challenges. Reliable data gives businesses the power to combat those obstacles, if the data has concrete value and it is properly implemented.
Reliable data and the security industry
Demand in the security industry in the UK is expected to increase over the next five years, due to crime rates and major national events, such as the introduction of Martyn’s Law, according to an IBIS report. “However, revenue will remain constrained by inflationary pressures and lacklustre business confidence,” researchers said.
A readily available way to increase business confidence and to help offset some of the expected economic challenges is through reliable company data. “When integrated properly, data can accelerate many — even most — business strategies by improving the processes and empowering the people needed to execute them,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
Using data provides insight into the future. It exposes inefficiencies, reveals industry trends and communicates ongoing performance. Despite its usefulness, experts report that one of the challenges to using data involves accessing the right information and making sure the data aligns to the needs of the business.
Choosing from different types of data
Reliable data is relevant, because it can serve as a single source of truth to influence business decisions which in turn impacts profits. Data enables companies to operate from the same source, ensuring accurate information is shared amongst different departments.
Usable data should provide information into whether or not a company is in compliance with post orders or standard operating procedures. It should also help managers identify if job sites are experiencing issues. And if issues are happening, the data should let business owners know what issues are happening, when those issues occur and which issues are the most common.
By collecting the right kind of data, business professionals can move from reviewing empty spreadsheets to accessing valuable reports that are relevant to an entire organization, which provides a better understanding of available resources and how those assets are being used to prioritize company needs.
Using Shared Data to Increase Profitability
Major news publications are widely covering Martyn’s Law, which is anti-terrorism legislation designed to reduce the risk people face from attacks at public venues. Also known as the Protect Duty, this piece of legislation is expected to have a big impact on the security industry, since private security companies will have to boost their requirements to remain in compliance.
Using shared data may be one answer to the question of how security professionals could meet new standards, while remaining profitable. Martyn’s Law will require that businesses undertake measures such as training, information sharing, and completion of a preparedness plan – data and reporting tools designed for security professionals can support all of these initiatives.
For instance, data and reporting tools enable security guards to identify on-site incidents, respond to issues and communicate to resolve incidents. That type of data is sharable with clients, so security companies can earn repeat business by providing proof of service. Additionally, that shareable data may also help with meeting new government requirements.
Managers can use data to gain increased visibility of their contracts for guard monitoring purposes. Using data enables managers to gain a better understanding of where security officers are positioned onsite and while completing patrols. Being able to help track all security guard activity in real-time may be another way to remain in compliance and stay in business.
Examples of Concrete Data
Concrete data comes in different forms. For instance, scheduling reports answer the following questions: how many guards are needed for a job, what qualifications do those workers need, what is the pay level for the site, who is available, how many hours have staffers worked this week and have employees had enough rest?
Scheduling reports may be able to help tackle additional requirements that security professionals may face, since this data helps companies ensure that they are scheduling workers who have the right qualifications and training. Companies can also use scheduling reports to avoid paying excess amounts in overtime, which can aid with profitability.
Exception-based reporting is another type of data resource that helps businesses identify actions and situations that require immediate attention. Once a contract is set up, exception-based reporting can let a manager know if a worker fails to clock into their shift through escalated messages. This customizable resource allows managers to choose their own outliers and receive updates when an issue has been flagged.
Proof of service enables companies to provide evidence that all of the work performed was in compliance with governmental and contractual standards. Adequate proof of service can show the processes taken, timelines, equipment used and more. It also provides protection against liability, since proof of service establishes that guards performed their activities and responded as expected, while also identifying areas of security that need to be improved.
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