In the past, dispatch management systems have traditionally focused on their primary function: communications. Hence data analysis and reporting are not intuitively at the forefront of system administrators’, designers’ and purchasers’ minds. With big and smart data taking over traditional business intelligence, heavily influencing and driving organizational operations and strategy with insights coming from all areas of an organization, the need to utilize and integrate data from communications into the decision-making process is the logical next step to take for a holistic and comprehensive 360 initial assessment and ongoing insight into operational and system performance.
Mistake No 1: Relying on a Hunch to Manage System Health.
Instead: Review Actual System and Performance Analytics in Real-Time.
Communications networks are complex infrastructures that agencies, organizations and businesses heavily rely on to conduct their activities. Interruptions can have detrimental effects not only to an operation, the bottom line, but also to safety or even lives of individuals. Modern Dispatch Management offer the capability to follow system and performance in real-time. No more diving into a problem after it has occurred, with system health analytics, issues may be identified before ripple effects occur. Be it displayed on a big screen in the control room or on the administrator’s dashboard – a dispatch management system should self-identify when something is out of the ordinary for immediate action.
Mistake No 2: Guessing Operator Workloads
Instead: Distribute Workloads Based on Actual Demand and Capacity in Real-Time, Even if Things Change on Short Notice.
Managing teams of staff and individual workloads is a constant challenge managers are faced with. Especially in demanding high-pressure environments where every second counts, communications managers and supervisors are tasked with making sure staff workloads are optimized for fast and efficient handling of communications without operators being over or under-loaded. Select a Dispatch Management System that provides real-time insights into who is handling what volumes and the capability for the manager or supervisor to make adjustments to operator loads on-the-fly, especially when quiet times can turn into busy ones in an instant. For long-term planning, make sure metrics also include activity levels over longer periods of time, i.e. 24hours, weekly, monthly operator loads for optimized staffing based on forecasted demand.
Mistake No 3: Investigating an Incident Without Independent, Objective Information
Instead: Know the 5 W: Who Was Where When Why
When an incident or accident occurs, traditionally relying on verbal or written reports from individuals directly or indirectly involved, eyewitnesses, managers and supervisors has been the primary source of information to investigate. Nowadays dispatch management systems can collect and process a plethora of incident-related information that can significantly support the course of findings through data alone.
Historic communications and location information is easily available for both internal and external investigations in an objective, reliable, time and location stamped format that removes cognitive bias. Wondering who was where and talked to whom on what channel? What messages were sent and received? Where were they before / after the incident?
Especially in mission-critical and enterprise environments the opportunity to be able to rely on past historical data to investigate incidents, accidents or gain insights into situations from an objective third-party perspective is invaluable, not just for internal purposes but also when legal proceedings and processes are underway and records have to be collated for judicial purposes.
Dispatch reporting and analytics can significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of an organization – even beyond communications – through relevant and time-sensitive objective information. Not all Dispatch Management Systems provide the same comprehensive level of metrics and reporting and not all consoles offer insights in real-time, some are delayed or difficult to retrieve. With big data taking over many decision-making processes in organizations and agencies, neglecting dispatch reporting requirements in the purchasing decision could have detrimental effects down the road with upgrades being difficult and costly to implement.