10 Benefits of Using the Right Tool to Collect and Manage Data
- The evolution from data hunter and gatherer to performance manager through measurement and tools -
With reporting season in full flight, many sustainability managers are still forced back into being hunter and gatherers. Loud signals can be heard through all internal communication channels within an organisation that they are gearing up to track down that last piece of data. Their tools often are very traditional, archaic and labour intensive. Colleagues have even spotted them sneaking up behind their prey before the sun begins to set on the reporting deadline.
While this sounds very primeval, it is often still reality.
The good news is that integrated reporting and management tools have evolved considerably in recent times, giving sustainability managers capabilities that were previously unavailable and enabling them to effectively and efficiently add value to their organisation and community.
The critical insight is that simply adding tools and technology is not enough.
Instead, integrating these new tools in ways that are tailored specifically to the organisation’s needs can support sustainability managers to demonstrate leadership and add tangible value to all areas of their business, from procurement to R&D, marketing, finance and HR up to Board level.
Advanced sustainability reporting tools (like SoFi Software) go beyond collecting data, but also help managing performance and responding to internal reports, or external rankings and indexes, including CDP, GRI, FTSE4Good, DJSI, etc.
Deciding what data to collect and report is equally important. Already over 800 business metrics have been related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” (William Bruce Cameron).
Less is often more
For a meaningful report, less is often more. Materiality assessment, hotspot analyses and benchmarking help to narrow this down to meaningful measures for a specific organisation.
Good tools support these aspects: identifying the relevant data and collecting it as well as reporting and managing purposeful KPIs.
Put down the spear and start your tractor, its harvesting time!!
10 benefits of measuring data with the right tool:
- Set targets for all organisational levels, based on scenario analysis
- Improve data quality by providing standard conversions, default units and alerts
- Report efficiently to different standards, such as GRI, CDP, DJSI, SASB, GRESB, FTSE4Good
- Minimise manual data handling by integrating with other tools, meters, databases etc.
- Reduce costs for audits by having all data and supporting documentation in one place
- Create interactive marginal cost abatement curves
- Deliver ad hoc reports on KPIs for regions, divisions or specific sites
- Access databases with relevant and up to date emission factors
- Administrate the entire solution in house, e.g. add and modify sites, dashboards, reports, questions, etc.
- Easily undertake hotspot analysis and benchmarking