Big Data Collection: Why Field Service Management Needs Analytics

Blog, Field Service, Technology Trends

Last updated Nov 2, 2023 at 7:25PM | Published on Jun 5, 2019 | Blog, Field Service, Technology Trends

Who are the largest collectors of Big Data in field service management software? The obvious answer is the field technicians actually in the field working alongside customers. Almost all Big Data comes straight from the field, collected by the people doing the work. Your technicians are the cornerstone of your operation in more ways than one. That’s because they don’t just drive service delivery, they are constantly affecting service delivery with the analytics they collect.

As a result, field service management is getting smarter and more analytic in the many ways businesses conduct themselves. Even more, businesses are starting to turn to Big Data collection and analytics to affect positive change. It’s nothing new to field service management. However, the way people react to Big Data is changing. That’s because the customer experience has more weight behind it. And reports and analytics from Big Data collection are affecting that experience.

Technicians provide a gold mine of data to use to make that experience a better one for the customers. After all, what good is all this data if it isn’t being put to good use? That is why field service management software comes with analytic reporting tools to affect change. There are a lot of areas in which Big Data can make positive changes in a field service management business. So, it is worth looking into the areas and why field service management needs analytics and a way to collect Big Data.

Start with proper Big Data collection tools

You have to successfully collect, store, organize and evaluate all the Big Data you collect. That requires a system ready to handle the mounds of data coming in. A robust field service management software is the tool of choice for most in the industry. And a mobile field service app is the tool to use to collect all the data. Just think about the process if you didn’t have those tools. Manual paper-based work orders would have to be submitted back to your head office and processed into meaningful data. How long would that take to complete? It sometimes takes weeks to get work orders turned into invoices, let alone have those work orders analyzed into meaningful analytics.

Before even beginning to think about how analytics can change your customer experience, think about the tools to collect that data. Technicians in the field need mobile field service apps to complete work orders, while at the same time collecting valuable data. They also are the ones in the field talking with customers, so they have frontline experience. By giving them a mobile field service app, you reduce the time it takes to complete administration takes. However, they are still collecting plenty of data that can be turned into useful reports.

Secondly, having a field service management software with analytical reporting tools will give you instant results. Real-time processing is done, instead of once every few weeks. After all, what good is the data you collect if it takes weeks or months to make a change from that data?

Share the Data Collected by Field Service Management

Another thing to consider when collecting data is who will find it useful. Think about all the data your field service management software collects from the field. There is a technician’s travel, labor and response times, parts used, expenses, the type of service call it is, where it’s located, whether there a solution on the first visit, and more. That’s all data that many people in a field service management business would find useful. Make your Big Data available to them to use.

There’s a misconception that Big Data is for the top-level managers in a field service management business. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth because analytics can affect change at every level in the business. From CEOs to managers, to dispatchers to even technicians, analytics that are meaningful to them can affect positive change. It’s why field service management software gives the ability to build custom reports and dashboards that are important to the people who use them.

For example, dispatchers would be wise to see response and travel times when looking to better schedule technicians. In these analytics, perhaps they learn to better optimize routes, or utilize technicians in a certain way. Parts managers can see which time of year to keep certain parts in stock, such as a busy season for an HVAC company, so they don’t overbuy. If you are going to collect Big Data, share Big Data. Build reports and dashboards that are best for the people using them and don’t keep it close to the chest where it can’t affect change.

Become a Progressive Field Service Management Team

Big Data isn’t just the information your technician types into their mobile field service app. It’s all the data your technicians collect in their interactions with their customers. There is now a real push to be progressive in data collection and have your technicians ask more questions about customer behavior. It’s also why email surveys and phone questionnaires are becoming normal, to ensure the experience was great and collect more data.

Progressive field service management is looking into the actions of customers. Field service management teams are trying to understand customer behavior in order to make changes. That includes finding out what customers did before they called you, and what the parameters were before equipment started to fail. It’s why things like the Internet of Things (IoT) technology is being used more often. Not only does it turn service more predictive, but it starts to answer questions about customer and equipment behavior before service is called for. Combined with other service data, field service management teams can start to change their own behavior to reflect the customers. This can help improve response times, reduce customer frustration and increase first-time fix rates.

By using field service management software, field service businesses can affect real change in the customer experience. Data analysis is how leading field service management teams are getting ahead of the competition. It starts from the field, then how it is processed, and finally, who gets their hands on it. If you limit any of those abilities, you aren’t maximizing the use of Big Data. If you are going to invest in a field service management software, be prepared to invest in analytics and Big Data collection. Then be ready to make smarter business decisions based on that change.