Leveraging data analytics to improve safety initiatives and performance

How capturing and sharing actionable insights can strengthen internal and external safety procedures


There has long been a case for strengthening data analysis programs across myriad industries. From manufacturing to education and almost every sector in between, there stands to be enormous value gleaned from capturing, recording and reviewing insights from both external and internal sources, then using that information to create more efficient and effective operations. Still, while improving workplace functions is a viable reason to invest in these promising technologies, it is far from the only one. In many spheres, data analysis can also be used to promote safety initiatives, helping companies create products and services that are more secure and reliable for customers. In this sense, it moves from being a nice-to-have program within a hierarchy of important departments to an essential segment of a forward-facing, client-focused workforce.

Key industries with safety benefits from improved data analytics

Two of the most prominent industries that come to mind when discussing the importance of leveraging data analytics to improve safety aims are healthcare and automotive. Consider, for example, how much more effective medical organizations are when they can accurately capture and record patient data.

There are four main branches of data analytics within this sector, including insights gathered around claims and costing, pharmaceutical research and development, clinical data accessed from electronic medical records, and patient preferences and behavior. As analysts at every touchpoint obtain and review information gathered at every stage of the patient journey, they’re better able to make that journey as customized and successful as possible. While most data has traditionally been captured and stored in hard copy format, new innovations in technology have enabled organizations to more seamlessly capture and save this data electronically, meaning that authorized personnel have immediate access to the information they require. Studies reveal that as a result of this improved technology, healthcare organizations can use big data more intentionally to facilitate clinical decision support, better survey diseases, and conduct population health management. With this sector expected to reach a yottabyte of big data in the coming years, experts will continue to research effective ways these insights can be organized and stored for the most benefit.

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Along those same lines, the automotive industry is another highlighted sector that is rapidly adopting new technologies to improve safety standards and offerings. For example, the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over the past 20 years, 85% of the vehicles manufactured have been equipped with event data recorders (EDRs). In short, these are integrated devices that record a vehicle’s speed, braking patterns, travel direction, and velocity changes. Similar to black boxes that are commonly found on aircraft and ships, these data recorders are essential to helping determine the causes of vehicular accidents and the circumstances surrounding them. As the most sophisticated systems now include video and audio capture, these can also be valuable assets in helping victims navigate the process associated with meeting legal expectations following a crash, determining fault and establishing liability. While analysts continue to fine-tune and advance EDR technology, there are now more than 30 discrete data points they can glean from a single recorder alone, all regulated by the NHTSA. Using these insights, automobile manufacturers can analyze ways to make their vehicles safer, identifying weak or vulnerable areas that may have contributed to or played a role in the severity of an impact. 

Data analytics and safety: moving forward in confidence

Industry experts around the world have a common goal of making the customer experience as painless and seamless as possible. While data analytics are invaluable in their ability to improve the overall client experience, in the instances where they can make that experience safer, they are unquestionably necessary. Even in B2B industries, these technologies can be used to make internal operations as secure as possible, helping executives to better predict and prevent workplace injuries and their catalysts. Investing in robust data analytics is a wise move for any forward-facing company, but the return is especially high for those who can use those systems and processes to amplify safety levels and fortify already-strong operations. 

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