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Apr 28, 2015

End of day reports

written by Mike

One of the challenges we find major events struggle with is creating end of day reports. Typically everyone wants to know what happened over the course of the day and some sort of intelligent summary is useful to everyone, especially those picking up shifts first thing in the morning.

The key challenges we have come across are as follows:

Collecting all the data from around the event before people finish their shifts

While you will always have the challenge of getting people to send in their end of day reports (especially if you are dealing with volunteers who have worked 24 hours straight), this for the most part can be dealt with through a combination of training, easy to use report submission applications and the odd phone call to remind people to send in their reports.

Interrogating the data and pulling out the useful parts

There will always be a need for a human to sense check data before it is sent around in a report to senior leaders. Even with the best artificial intelligence, clients will always want a human to check that the report isn’t saying the wrong thing. The trick is to make this as easy as possible. The model we have implemented recently asks users to highlight 3 key issues that they want to draw attention to. This prioritization focuses the submissions while adding a character string maximum (256 characters for example) can limit users tendency to go into too much detail.

Getting agreement on the content of the report before distribution

Trying to get agreement on content before distribution is impossible due to timescales and availability of key staff (especially at 3am). Hence we always recommend that the report is built-up over the day and the approving parties can then check as the day moves along. Most of the major issues are identified and the content agreed as the day progresses and only show stoppers at bump-out need adding at the end.

Distribution in a timely fashion

Using automated email distribution lists (tested in advance) or applications that can automatically send reports out (especially in the form of online dashboards) have been highly successful in our experience and we urge all our clients to adopt this method where possible. One area to watch out for are proprietary systems which do the automating, as the flexibility to add-on another users will always be required at the end of the first few days.

We’ve learned a lot about developing systems for generating end of day reports and we are happy to share these insights with you, if you are about to set up a major control room give us a call.