I am honoured to have been selected to present at the Digital Workplace Conference, New Zealand in May 2018 and even more lucky to be co-presenting with Keith Williams, General Manager of Marine Rescue Queensland.
We released a new Azure-based app in January and finally retired a rather dated ASP application (no not .NET) which was hosted on Windows Server 2003 and using SQL 2005. Having served well for many years it was definitely starting to show it’s age.
Every time one of our rescue vessels goes in the water we capture details in our new app such as how much fuel was used, how many people we assisted and how long the vessel was at sea. We also use it to keep track of around 1500 volunteers along with their training records.
Data quality has long been a challenge for us with most of our crew members much more interested in being at the helm of a vessel than behind a keyboard. We intentionally took this into consideration when designing the new app and have employed a few different techniques to improve the data which is input.
A key example of this is giving something back. I will try not to get on my soapbox but it has long been a personal crusade to provide something which shows where the data is going or how it is used. Too often I have seen organisations demand their staff provide all sorts of data but it just disappears into a black hole. There is very little incentive in that scenario to put any effort into ensuring the data is useful or accurate.
Almost every page in our new Portal (or is it porthole) contains some statistics from the database relevant to the that page. I mentioned persons assisted above. Showing the total number of persons assisted for the current month means that as soon as somebody enters a new activation they can see those statistics change so they know they are making a difference.
Encouraging this level of interest in the statistics means that the quality of the data is improving – which in turn means that the quality of the statistics is improving. Now that is a great improvement cycle where everybody benefits. If you come along to watch our session and learn more about this then do say hello! Look forward to seeing you there.