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Leveraging big data for safety and financial performance

Emotion no longer drives decision-making - big data does. Analytics have become inescapable in the modern workplace. According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day.

There's now a number attached to nearly everything - from operational efficiency down to how an employee dresses for his job. Businesses that foster a culture of statistical analysis are 2.2 times more likely to outperform their competitors, IBM reported. Is your company ready to take the next step?

Analytics aren't magic
Every company wants to predict the future, but it's difficult to find a starting point. Data doesn't just show up on a doorstep and lead your business to the promised land. Safety managers must first understand how to aggregate data, which numbers are useful and how it all correlates to future events. Unless you have a degree in statistical analysis, you're unlikely to know how to do this off the top of your head.

Environmental, health and safety software can provide real-time analytics and business insights from digitally submitted injury reports. It takes the difficult part of identifying trends and predicting injuries out of the equation, allowing safety managers to spend that saved time elsewhere. The numbers you collect should answer a few different questions:

  • What is the root cause of each accident?
  • Where do most incidents occur?
  • How can you quantify "safe areas?"
Big data can help safety managers visualize trends and keep employees safe.Big data can help safety managers visualize trends to keep employees safe and save money.

Driving safety and financial performance
Ultimately, the financial savings and improvements in safety performance vary by industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported businesses can save between 20 percent and 40 percent on injury costs by adopting EHS software.

Improvements don't spawn from just fostering a culture of reporting analytics, though. Acting on them is just as important. According to the Naylor Network, a "red-flag prediction model," otherwise known as a risk management assessment, can pinpoint a pervasive safety issue across multiple workplaces - much like dashboard warning lights in your vehicle. While this sort of predictive modeling can't specifically pick out when, where and how the next accident will occur, it can cast a spotlight on what the system believes is a dangerous area.

In yielding to this warning based on statistical analysis, safety managers can better allocate their resources. For example, if a company has 12 different working locations, though the risk management software identifies just three as "at-risk" worksites, the business can focus on the identified areas to weed out any safety concerns, solve them and then move back into normal production. In the past, a safety manager would have spent extra resources to identify the issue across all 12 different sites - even if just three of them were high risk.

EHS software can help a safety manager keep injuries out of the workplace, which in turn drives productivity, revenue and safety through the roof. Buying into big data can seem challenging at first, but after understanding which numbers are the most telling, businesses can work to eradicate accidents that occur on the job.

What tangible results have you gained from using big data? If you're not currently using big data, what is holding you back?

Leave a comment below to let us know.

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