Data in order? Improve your processes too

By: Douwe Horst

Data is increasingly put in order as a result of attention to data management. It is forgotten that this leads to improvements in the primary and supporting processes, resulting in fewer errors and higher effectiveness. These process improvements, in turn, ensure that the data quality increases, resulting in a self-reinforcing effect. So after putting the data in order, don't forget to improve the processes. 

I meet more and more organizations that are serious about data management. This is to comply with the AVG (General Data Protection Regulation) but also because they can realize their ambitions such as information-driven work on the basis of data. When complying with the AVG, the focus is on what data may and must be retained and who has access to this data. With information-driven work, it is mainly the search for data on which control can take place. 

As a result, data has increasingly been put in order. In other words, an inventory is made of the data present within the organization, because there is often no overview of it, and then it is placed in a suitable location with appropriate authorizations. But all too often I see that it is then forgotten to make better use of this data in the primary and supported processes.  An open goal is missed. 

An example of this in the primary process is putting client files in order in a healthcare institution. The added value of this becomes much greater if one then looks at how this data can be used effectively and efficiently by employees. What information do they need in order to best help the client in specific cases? How can we ensure that precisely this information is easily and quickly extracted from the file? 

Another example is the deployment of steering information. Based on this data, the quality of the capacity management of employees in support processes can be examined, or where in administrative processes the greatest delays occur. This often turns out to be low-hanging fruit because it takes little time to identify improvements. 

and if process improvements are achieved in this way, this also leads retroactively to further strengthening data quality. After all, when processes have fewer errors and are more effective, data quality also increases. This creates a self-reinforcing effect. 

If you want to know where data-based process improvement can be achieved for your organization, please contact me.