Would you drive a car without a dashboard?

3/8/2013

By B.J. Johnson, VP of Archive University

I recently picked up my new car which is the latest model of the same car I’ve driven for the last eight years. I look for a number features in the cars I drive and a great dashboard is one feature that’s important to me. Maybe it’s because of the amount of time I spend driving but I think we all appreciate some of the proactive features found in cars today:

- Audible and visual warnings when fuel is running low

- Notifications when service is due

- Rearview cameras and sensors

- Wipers and stereos that adjust to the speed we are driving

- Warnings when we exceed the speed limit (even if we ignore it)

Some of these features are standard on cars and we expect them to be there because they are just that “standards”. I could not imagine driving a car without a dashboard and I’m starting to think the same way about managing a RIM program. Why should we have to run or request a report to know how much storage (physical or digital) we have? That should be on my dashboard.  How many records have passed their retention date or even worse don’t have a retention date. I don’t know, let me check my dashboard. Record Managers have their hands full trying to keep an eye on the KPI’s (key performance indicators) to effectively manage their RIM program. Dashboards need to become a standard feature in all types of RIM software; SaaS, on-premise or portals offered by records management companies. I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

When I’m interested in reviewing KPI’s about how well we are supporting our clients all I need to do is check my dashboard. How about reviewing some of my organizations key metrics, yes they are on the company dashboard. Transparency, visibility and insight; all words that apply to effective reporting, metrics and dashboards. If these three words don’t apply to your RIM program and software maybe it’s time for a new model. Are you driving without a dashboard?

I made a comment during a recent webinar that record managers should not “settle”. I was referring to not settling for poor reporting and metrics. Demand the data and information you need in the format you need it, that’s the minimum sort of like the speedometer. However, I don’t think the minimum is good enough. During that webinar I shared samples of some of the dashboards and metrics we offer our clients. If you want to take a closer look, here’s a link to the recorded webinar.

As I mentioned before a dashboard needs to be standard feature in all RIM software. Record managers are responsible for controlling cost and managing risk. Try doing that without a gas gauge or knowing if you need an oil change. I’m sure some of you deal with audits from time to time. Think of an auditor like a policeman; would you tell an officer you were speeding because you didn’t have a dashboard?


What do you think?

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