Are we drowning in data?

6th of June 2023 Article by Lynn Webster
Are we drowning in data?

Lynn Webster in the UK asks if a more data driven approach over-complicates the cleaning process.

The traditional approaches to cleaning specifications have long been either an input style or outcome led service models, along with some hybrids of the two. The need to develop alternative means of capturing the operational details are changing.

Service providers are seeking that extra value opportunity for clients. This includes keeping a competitive edge with the use of smart and digital technology, an approach that is fast becoming synonymous with the concept of ‘dynamic cleaning’ - a decisive move away from more conventional cleaning service delivery.

Dynamic cleaning is about finding ways to work smarter and not necessarily harder. It is a data driven perspective with the application of technology enhancing systems and processes that meet the demands of the next generation. It is evolving so fast that what only recently existed in research is out there in the here and now. This technology requires appropriate use and applications, with understanding of the value of the data produced, what it does, and what it means. Some question its benefit. Are the fancy dashboards actually providing value? Is the data meaningful?

This includes a wide variety of digital intel. From the deployment of management software to the embracing of a globally accessible network of Internet of Things (IoT) and a plethora of mobile applications the whole approach to cleaning has shifted. Are we all being sucked into this because everyone else appears to be? Or are the answers, the solutions to so many of the issues faced being resolved through the application of data? Is it being used to better guide our businesses of the future?

Utilising smart solutions - through the introduction of facility management apps; occupancy and space planning tools; platforms leveraging AI technology with sensors that provide smart solutions for efficient, healthy sustainable buildings, producing real time data. These can make the operational side of the business far more efficient and support business growth with the best possible results, demonstrating clearly outstanding outcomes.

When considering the speed of movement towards this data led approach in the cleaning and facilities sector it is still important to consider if this is over-complicating the process. Are we sinking under this abundance of data and is it making a real difference? Certainly the compliance demonstrated by collection of suitable evidence, data from telemetry and measurements for proof of compliance provides some key benefits for both the service provider and their client.

With the well-publicised struggle to recruit in the labour market the application and appropriate use of technology has some valuable benefits. It will not replace the emotional input of human touch nor will it provide that face-to-face connection but the integration of technology generates certain successes in this challenging collaboration between them.

The capture of data and use of smarter solutions are certainly embraced by the younger generations. We must all tune in to their acceptance of all aspects of IoT, embracing the value of innovation, not resisting it. The data analysis, the technology is here to stay; the challenge is not to sink but to learn to swim with the tide.

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