In the age of Industry 4.0, organizations generate and store an enormous amount of data. Some of this data is used for improving EH&S programs, as well as preventing future workplace safety issues. To efficiently analyze all the safety data gathered at an organization, investing in customizable dashboards and analytics should be considered. In this article, we’ll consider some of the benefits of such modules in an EH&S program, as well as the steps to ensure a successful integration.
When set up and used correctly, an EH&S dashboard and analytics tool can help accurately gauge an organization’s EH&S performance. These resources assist managers in easily visualizing data. This can give insight into the discovery of patterns and trends that lead to improvements and the identification of potential issues in a program.
While some analytics tools are designed for general business analytics, others are designed specifically for EH&S applications. It is best to select an EH&S analytics tool that can be integrated into broader EH&S software. This lets users manage all their EH&S programs from one centralized platform. Also, when choosing a new analytics tool to integrate within an existing EH&S program, it is important to consider the time necessary for training a team to correctly use the software. Choosing an option that is designed for everyday users, not data scientists, will significantly reduce the time and effort involved in rolling out such technological aids. Additionally, when considering time as a resource, there are many solutions in today’s market that are hosted on the cloud. Implementing cloud-based software ensures real-time data synchronization.
Though these tools technically have the capacity to analyze as many data points as can be entered, trying to divulge any discernable points for improvement or caution from such a wide range of information can be overwhelming and more confusing than it is helpful. To ensure a more successful outcome, it is better to focus on a smaller number of safety key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with business goals. For example, if a company’s main safety objective is to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on the production floor, choosing to track reported incidents, lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR,) and total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR,) may reveal what hazards or other existing circumstances are leading to the current number of mishaps.
The third step is the most straightforward. As mentioned in the last step, once specific data groupings have been chosen, dashboards should be set up to monitor the chosen KPI and begin the process of drilling down into the trends and patterns that exist within the data. Customizable dashboards and analytics tools can allow users to configure existing templates to generate reports with charts, graphs, and KPI summaries. These features make it easier to communicate the findings to stakeholders and solve business questions.
Once safety KPIs have been established and customizations have been applied to the dashboard, data can be used to answer questions and make better safety decisions. If, for example, an organization is purposing to expand its overall safety training, instead of relying on intuition or guesswork to make decisions about what training would be the most effective for which departments, data generated by the EH&S analytics tool can be assessed to form a concrete plan for making those improvements. Having easily viewable information about what issues commonly arise in what areas allows for more informed decisions about what specific training would create more successful outcomes.
An important component of utilizing big data is predictive analytics. Predictive analytics use statistical modeling and other techniques to make predictions about future outcomes and performance. This feature can help organizations anticipate future problems and identify potential opportunities to leverage.
Using a customizable dashboard and analytic software suite empowers enterprise-level reporting and gives users the tools they need to analyze the data gathered within EH&S programs. A cloud-based module that integrates with an overall EH&S management platform gives organizations a 360-degree view into every aspect of their safety program. With these tools, EH&S managers can accurately track performance, identify existing and potential issues, and devise better solutions to challenges.
The SafetyStratus Research Advisory Group (RAG) brings together thought leaders from the global environmental, health, and safety community to promote best practices and provide key insights in the profession and the industries they serve. The Research Advisory Group also advocates, where practical, the intersection of and advances with the use of technology, such as the SafetyStratus enterprise EHS software platform. Group membership consists of representatives from across varied disciplines and market sectors as well as select members of the SafetyStratus team.
The primary objectives of the SafetyStratus RAG partnership are to:
- Build a strategic partnership between EHS practitioners and the SafetyStratus team.
- Provide engaging and practical content to the global EHS community.
- Provide discipline and market feedback specific to SafetyStratus products and services.
While the objectives of the RAG are varied, the primary public-facing outcome will be available through engaging and practical content found on the SafetyStratus resource pages. Various articles, papers, and other valuable resources will be produced and shared as part of an ongoing effort to cultivate a robust community. Ultimately, the SafetyStratus RAG will expand to have a broader reach and provide opportunities for more inclusion by all interested EHS professionals in a collaborative community environment.