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    Elevating EHS Excellence: The Impact of Business Intelligence

    23 January 2024 - Evotix


    EHS departments are collecting more types of data and the quantity of data captured is only increasing, partly due to data from phones and drones. Having a lot of data is a good thing. But what’s even better is using powerful business intelligence (BI) tools designed to turn data into insights, resulting in more effective decision-making and improved EHS management.

    Business intelligence, or BI as we know it today, has a longer history than you might think. In fact, the term ‘business intelligence’ first appeared in 1865 in Richard Millar Devens’ Cyclopaedia of Commercial and Business Anecdotes in that year.

    Devens used the term to describe how a banker, Sir Henry Fumese, used “business intelligence” to gain an advantage over his competitors. Through careful study, he gained knowledge of the political issues, risks and general market conditions of that time.

    It wasn’t until the 20th century, with the emergence of computers, that BI started to gain recognition. The 50s, 60s and 70s came and went, and with them, the development of various enterprise applications. But these were one-dimensional reports. The problem was that the underlying data in these reports was siloed; there wasn’t a single, consistent, holistic view of the data.

    Fast forward to 2024

    Now, data is captured from connected devices in real time and then analyzed for insights in real time. The breakthrough is in speed, quality and quantity of the data, along with advanced analytical and visualization tools that equip EHS professionals to make data-driven decisions with a high degree of accuracy.

    From a data science modeling perspective, more data produces higher quality predictive analytics. With EHS, increasingly more data is coming in from mobile devices, monitors and drones. All this data fuels insights for risk prevention. Before a near miss or incident occurs, data and predictive insights equip EHS professionals with advance notice to address safety.

    Your employees’ safety, in 1s and 0s

    When it comes to EHS, with enormous amounts of data stored across organizations, a centralized EHS data warehouse driven by robust BI becomes paramount. Within this digital treasure trove lie patterns waiting to be discovered through the lens of advanced AI tools. This wealth of data, once dissected, unveils insights for informed decision-making, foreseeing potential incidents before they occur.

    EHS professionals are always looking for ways to predict and prevent significant incidents. Traditionally, using statistical methods for historical data to determine what happened and why gives them a good indication of past performance, such as how many incidents of each type have occurred. This allows them to establish what has caused them. Using this information, an organization can learn from previous events and put controls in place to eliminate or reduce hazards and mitigate risks.

    Moving toward operational excellence

    EHS is highly regulated. Organizations navigate a sea of data to ensure compliance with governing authorities. Traditional methods relied on historical data for insights into past incidents. Now, mature organizations combine historical and real-time data, employing predictive analytics to forecast future incidents and their probabilities.

    To truly capitalize on BI predictions, EHS systems must not only forecast but also prescribe actions and their associated consequences. This prescriptive analysis guides organizations in maximizing opportunities and mitigating risks effectively.

    More data, fewer incidents

    The marriage of BI and EHS provides many benefits, from more reliable hazard detection processes to the codification of best practices into computer algorithms. Advanced BI not only enhances risk detection but also fosters consistency across geographies and divisions, reducing reliance on anecdotal sharing of best practices.

    The road to a safer working environment

    Having the ability to quickly turn raw data into actionable information can make the difference between smart EHS decisions and costly mistakes. While making sense of all the information from different data sources can be a challenge, it is imperative to have the right analytical tools in place. By putting data to work, you enable easy identification of insights and instill the confidence to act, ensuring focus remains on EHS performance improvement.

    Want to learn more about how data can enhance your EHS performance? Check out our blog: Building a Safer Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Data-Driven Occupational Health and Safety 

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