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Tapping Your Data Can Yield Big Benefits

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Most companies can improve operations by simply taking advantage of data they already possess.

We’re part of a rapidly changing world where decisions must be made faster and more scientifically. In the past we often relied on our gut to decide on what the next step should be. In today’s world where corporate meetings, classroom teachings and technical documentation occur on digital formats, relying on a gut feeling is not good enough.  

Have you experienced situations where a valuable employee has left for greener pastures? And you had forgotten how much work is required to get back to similar capability and expertise?

While the right course may have been that the employee should have paid more or the supervisor should have given better attention to that employee’s wellbeing, one will still encounter these situations in this era of Great Resignations and beyond.

Cognizant of the need for quick on boarding of new employees, wouldn’t it be ideal to have a data portal like a local wiki or archive where standard procedures and methods for critical services are well documented so that one can get back to business in the shortest time?

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This solution may seem counter to human nature of seeking job security, but if all the pieces are functioning well, this data portal could energize your firm’s potential for growth, productivity, and innovation. It is a win for everyone if we can take advantage of our collective learnings, all centralized in one place with easy access and good content.

There are websites like LinkedIn Learning and others where they teach critical professional skills whether it is coding or photography or accounting. However, that is still a broad overview of subjects, and you need to select items from that list and apply it for your unique case.

That is often like searching for a needle in a haystack. It will take quite a bit of time and dedication. You may have to sort through a “not so useful” 90% to get to the 10% you need. Depending on your requirements, this can be a very inefficient process.

Now imagine you had a data portal where you can easily search where your last contract agreement was or the quote and contacts you sent a prospective customer several years back. In addition, quick access to keyword-searchable reports from previous studies can quickly refresh your brain. That knowledge can then be monetized.

Make the data resource a live document.

There is immense value in documenting any task that your firm regularly churns out to support the revenue stream. It will further help if this is a live document that is updated regularly to incorporate the latest modifications and learnings.

Security of such documents is a key concern so that these trade secrets and other Intellectual Property (IP) does not make it out in the open due to a rogue employee or vulnerability in your security network. Well established policies and guidelines are already available as part of best practices. A role-based access level may limit documents retrieval by department or hierarchy. The need for proper infrastructure coupled with a culture of developing new shareable material is of critical importance to harness the data power.

Data is the means for providing useful information and driving decisions. Spending time to determine the critical ones and establishing the proper mechanism to populate them companywide for future retrieval and analysis is the key. You can rate them and tag them too like your favorite pictures in the cloud album based on relevancy and usefulness. It can have a huge payback in organizational efficiency and productivity.

Author: Sumit Mukherjee is the chief technology officer of PTI. He has 25 years of experience in package design, materials characterization, process simulation and modeling, and finite element analysis (FEA) for package performance prediction.

PTI is a worldwide source for preform and package design, package development, rapid prototyping, pre-production prototyping, and material evaluation engineering for the plastic packaging industry. For more information: www.pti-usa.com.

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