Oct 24, 2022

The Downfall of Data Silos

Key Takeaways:

1. Data silos isolate pertinent information within a company, they’re an outdated method of data collection and cause a number of issues such as:

- Limited access and transparency

- Mixed messaging

- Restricted collaboration

- Cost of time and money

- They never tell the whole story

2. Modern tech has paved the way for contractor management software, this digital solution can solve data silos once and for all through providing:

- System integrations

- Streamlined communication

- More accurate data

- Accessible information for all

The world of tech has undergone steep and massive changes over the course of the last decade. If Saas businesses have learned anything, it is the fact that customers value convenience and efficiency over anything else. But the reality is that many businesses are still lagging behind. Still, companies often opt for rudimentary methods of managing their safety programs, leaving much to be desired and a whole lot of risk left unaddressed. On the flip side, software companies are often playing catchup to the constantly evolving needs of contractor management in an effort to match current climates of the industry. For companies paving the way for automated compliance, we bear witness to a disruptive era labeled ‘the downfall of data silos’. In this blog post, we will cover exactly what a data silo is, how it can disrupt your safety program and increase risk, and how modern technology can help eliminate data silos by integrating processes with one another.

What is a Data Silo?

Data silos occur when you use outdated methods of organizing and dispersing crucial information pertaining to a certain aspect of a business operation. It is a process in which data groups are separated from other functions of the business, allowing them to exist only in their own space. An example of this is EHS managers keeping an incident record sheet that is only accessible by that department, leading to a lack of communication between different departments. This method keeps people in the dark, slows down productivity, and ultimately increases the risk that your business takes on.

Why Are Data Silos Inefficient?

Data is an incredibly important matter to address in safety. Once that is compromised, so is everything else. There are a number of ways in which data silos can negatively affect your compliance efforts, in turn, putting your business and workers at risk. Below are just a few ways that they can negatively impact your business:

Limited Access and Transparency

Simply put, in the scenario of a data silo, no one knows what’s going on. Key stakeholders do not have the necessary information to make informed business decisions, safety managers are unable to reflect on ongoing efforts, and workers are afforded limited transparency regarding the risks associated with their work. Limited access to critical data is a surefire way to increase unnecessary administrative hours and disrupt productivity.

Increased Risk of Mixed Messaging

Due to a lack of communication, businesses run the risk of sending out mixed messages to the rest of the company. Departments may end up storing different data on the same subject, making it harder to ensure accuracy and integrity when reporting on safety performance. As we already know, this eventually leads into much more severe repercussions such as higher incident rates and failed audits.

Restricted Collaboration

Data silos immediately extend to company culture. If important information is kept to itself, so will the people. Due to the restricted nature of how data is stored and communicated, different roles will find it difficult to find areas in which they can collaborate to improve their company-wide safety efforts.

Data Silos Cost Time and Money

Through storing incorrect information, duplicate data, and multiple sets of data, you can quickly fall into a trap of inefficiency. These small discrepancies gradually add up to become a detriment to your business that costs you more time and money than you planned for.

Never Tell the Whole Story

Safety requires a set of factors to ensure its success. Transparency, collaboration, and data integrity are just a few examples of the many things it takes to build a steadfast safety program. However, a data silo set up will always fail to tell the whole story of your business’s efforts.

How Contractor Software Eliminates Data Silos

While many organizations begin to move away from the traditional means of isolating information, companies are gradually making way for connectivity and software integration. Contractor management softwares have propositioned themselves as turnkey solutions to increase connectivity and fill data gaps that cause inaccurate and isolated data.

Data Accessibility

Using a digital solution to tackle this issue will ensure that data is easily accessible to all. That way, every department within the organization can be on the same page to uphold the integrity of their information. Through software, there are no physical barriers to access the documents you need, nor are there extra steps in communicating with different roles to find information.

System Integrations

Ironically, data silos can at times arise from the implementation of new technology. However, it is your responsibility to use digital solutions to your advantage by integrating them into your existing data and communication systems to ensure that no information is compromised. Such solutions can take standalone processes and efficiently include them in the wider contractor management process.

Accuracy of Data

The data you have only matters if it’s correct. Data silos often suffer from inaccurate and duplicate data, which could quickly fail you when you have to prepare for an audit, file a workers compensation claim, or report an incident. Contractor management software ensures that your data is cleaned up, up-to-date, and actionable.

Centralized Communication

Spotty communication is an understated yet overly represented fault that results in noncompliance. Through effective communication, things like failed audits and increased incident reports can be completely avoidable. Softwares like Contractor Compliance can help curate all pertinent information into a centralized system that serves as a single source of truth. This removes the risk for human error out of the equation and allows for all parties to access the same, accurate information.

Closing Remarks

Isolating your information is an inefficient process that introduces workplace safety barriers. Is your organization suffering from data silos? Talk to one of our experts at Contractor Compliance so we can show you how you can integrate all your data into a single, secure platform for ease of communication and increased efficiency.

About the Author

Addison Moore
Director of Marketing at Contractor Compliance

Addison has spent the last four years learning from and participating in the Health & Safety community. He has travelled to numerous EHS conferences, trade shows and events with the intention of helping organizations with their contractor management programs. Addison is also responsible for curating the collection of white papers, case studies and eBooks that provide real world insights into the workforce safety space.

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