Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Information: Why do we duplicate it? Part 2 of 2

I decided not to complete the original post as I can clearly see that the information systems I have to use are not designed to provide information. They are in-fact just databases with very little refinement. Unfortunately, some information is not available in the databases and requires examination of paper records.

I believe there is a need for a complete system overview to decide what information is required for each individual report. If the information is inserted (live from the database) in the report template then the evaluation and impact could easily be written with reference to the information contained. However, the current practice is to spend time finding information from paper based records and on-line databases which in many cases require training from the administrator on how to obtain my own data. Bonkers!!, why should anyone have to learn someone else's job.

I have spoken about the 'Hidden Factory' in the past, well this is an example of one. Consider the following... if it takes say, 15 hours (conservative estimate) to produce information from the various data available for one report. If the on-costs of a member of staff is £40, then the cost will be £600. If there are 12 managers doing the same than the cost rise to £7200. Now consider that most tutors are spending a number of hours finding their part of the information; 200 tutors spending 3 hours each could easily add an extra £24000. Therefore each report approximately costs £31,200.

The solution... closer communication between business support and teachers/managers to focus on streamlining the report process and making every aspect electronic.