A trend for data trends?


Greg Davies
Director of Market Development, Assurity Consulting
13th April 2017

The reason I found the question so interesting was because:

  1. It was the third sector specific request for a piece of health and safety information we had received this week.
  2. I had just finished a phone call discussing preparations for the 2017 BIFM Sustainability in FM survey. Now in its 11th year it provides a unique insight into sustainability and FM in the UK.
  3. The latest Leesman review (issue 22) landed in my inbox.
  4. I had spent the morning reading the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Sector plans as part of the wider “Helping Great Britain work well” strategy.

For the latter the HSE have split Great Britain’s workplaces into 19 sectors (based on industry type and risk profile) and for each produced:

  • a draft plan covering its health and safety performance;
  • identified the top three strategic priorities for the next three to five years;
  • actions the HSE propose to take.

“The priorities included were informed by the Health and Work strategy[1] and focus on work-related stress, musculoskeletal disorders and lung disease.”

Comparison data it seems for all sort of subjects (not just health and safety) is back in vogue and in a big way.

Returning to the original trigger for this blog, the statistics provided were accompanied with a note that if the school was looking to solely use the data for benchmarking, there were potentially “many variables” - school size, age range, activity etc. in the stats that would have an effect. The advice continued, “I would suggest that it is more important to aim to improve their own numbers - accident statistics - by proper investigation and improvement to ensure that their stats aren’t increasing.”

Both comments are also true:

  • data needs to be given context and relevance, which is when it becomes information and then knowledge.
  • with so much data available, don’t lose sight of the original objective.