Data without Focus or Insights

September 20 2021
By: Shawn M. Galloway

Imagine a racecar driver glancing down at their dashboard and the only information provided to them is the number and frequency of crashes at this year's races. If you have objectives around injury rates, what insights are you providing your employees to help them determine where they are on the journey? Or are you just tracking progress towards failing less?

If the only information going to employees are incident rates, what does that do? If they contributed towards the rates, hopefully they will have some insight into what can be done to prevent future occurrences. If they haven't been injured during that time, I guess they will just keep on keeping on?

Data without Focus or Insights

I'm routinely hired to help companies develop their overall safety strategy. To accomplish this, we must gather, obtain and review data about the business and safety. Recently, I was provided this anonymous employee comment about the perceived usefulness of safety metrics with a client with tremendous amounts of data. "No good safety dashboard that works for the guys in the field." People at different levels are customers and consumers of your safety data. We need to enable them to buy-in, participate and feel ownership. Measurements must help with this.

Measurements should prompt, direct, inform, align and motivate action towards goals. What percentage of your workforce are supermotivated by their safety measurements? Do the measurements tell them what they can do, or what to avoid or watch out for? From both reactive and proactively obtained data, successful companies have a dynamic dashboard that provides insight into where to focus their efforts. They also drive to the workforce what to focus on for their own personal safety. Don't settle for measurements on status, strive for insight and focus.

"We are surrounded by data, but starved for insights." - Jay Baer






Shawn M. Galloway

Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 650 podcasts, 200 articles and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow and Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers.