Data vs. Information – is there really a difference?
In this digital age of ours you can find recorded information pretty much anywhere and in every industry. Tons of information can be great, but if you can’t craft it into useful data that is easily digested and demonstrates the trends in your information clearly it is almost pointless to have.
For many Facilities Managers this is the case, they’ll generally use Excel to keep records of their buildings, assets, equipment and work requests. On the surface, Excel is an easy to use, low cost and accessible solution, but for the purposes of Facilities Management (FM), it has many limitations.
Records stored like this are just data until they are processed to become useful information. Only then can a Facilities Manager gain insight and make informed decisions. Yes calculations can be conducted in Excel, but without safeguards in place to protect the data from accidental change, deletion or human error, the results produced can be unreliable and un-auditable.
Using a FM system to manage data is a two-part process. Firstly, with a system such as PASS MS the user is presented with an intuitive, easy to use screen, customised to the business’ requirements. Essentially this means that they only see field’s specific to their task, streamlining the process and saving the user valuable time.
The interface can also limit the type of information entered to prevent errors, such as the use of intelligent drop-down menus to help create a cleaner view. But it not only streamlines the view, the systems structure also prevents access to the main FM database in order to maintain the original data’s integrity and security (just in case you do make a human error).
With these measures in place, the Pass MS system helps ensure that the data captured is error free from the outset, which is then transformed into meaningful information through powerful reports – meaning that you aren’t just viewing information, you’re analysing meaningful data!