Filling Missing Data from Records Management Systems

Missing data is a big problem when it comes to pre-incident plans. Imagine you’ve been called out to a structure fire at a chemical plant in the dark.

You just bought an expensive new pre-plan program that’s supposed to use your existing building records, so you give it a try. You arrive on scene and open the pre-plan.

There’s barely anything in there. No electric panel location, no gas shutoff location, no master key location.

You’re not alone. Missing data is everyone’s problem, and that’s why FlowMSP built a solution.

Solving the First Half

Even when you decide to invest in a program so you can finally use your pre-plans, most software applications have the same two problems:

  1. The apps are too complicated and don’t make data collection easy enough to replace your existing crappy data.
  2. They don’t offer tools to summarize your program, identify missing or outdated pre-plan information and assign it to people to complete.

FlowMSP already solved the first half of the problem several years ago. We created the industry’s most user-friendly program for firefighters to quickly and easily create pre-incident plans. For the past five years, our customers could collect the data faster than ever before. A core group of departments successfully met their pre-planning goals.

So why were many other departments still missing data in 2021? As we spoke with our customers, we realized that FlowMSP had only solved half of the problem. As a result, we partnered with firefighters to understand and attack the second half.

Missing Data: Everyone’s Problem

FlowMSP customers frequently submit their records management system (RMS) files as part of the implementation process. While FlowMSP can pull these existing records into the app and populate the fields with data, no one has complete records. Everyone is missing data.

In the example below, we pulled the RMS data for three different FlowMSP customers to illustrate the problem. Each of these districts is a different size, but they all have one thing in common: missing data.

As you can see, the problem gets worse the larger the department. The sheer number of locations in the occupancy list equals a big administrative problem. There are simply too many buildings, and too many pieces of data, to manage. Many large departments don’t even try.

Others utilize technology to put what little RMS data they do have into an accessible format. However, because the data has so many holes in it, nobody bothers to use it on a daily basis. As a result, departments are stuck. They know their data is bad, they know their solution isn’t working, but they can’t see a way around it.

Finding the Holes

Because the missing data problem was so common, even for our own customers, FlowMSP built a solution. We created an administrative dashboard that pinpointed the missing parts of each pre-plan after the RMS upload. In other words, we found all the holes so that you know exactly which tasks to assign your personnel.

When you can easily see the target hazards and what needs to be done, you can prioritize the work and deploy your field personnel to get it done. Plus, FlowMSP provides just-in-time training to refresh each member’s memory on how to do their assigned tasks. Finally, you can see what has been completed as they check things off the list.

Making Complete Pre-Plans Possible

What FlowMSP customers have found so far is a way to track completion on 100% of their pre-incident plans. Not only can they see all the holes in their data, but they can also easily assign tasks and track results. This relieves the administrative burden and equips pre-plan program managers to get the most important things done first.

What does this mean for field personnel? With every pre-planning task they do, they move closer to the goal: complete, reliable, up-to-date data that makes a difference on the fireground when it’s needed most. Data you can trust. Pre-plans that keep your people safe and help them do their jobs better, every day.

Leaning Into Solutions

FlowMSP solved the missing data problem by creating the admin dashboard, and we acknowledge that the work isn’t done. There will always be more challenges to understand, attack, and solve. FlowMSP is committed to a close partnership with our customers to remove every obstacle to a successful pre-planning program.

As we continue to learn what works for departments and what doesn’t, FlowMSP is leaning into solutions for common problems. We will continue to build new tools to equip fire departments with everything they need for success. We look forward to serving your department and partnering with you to build the best tools for everyone.

Getting Started

Are you ready to see how FlowMSP can identify your missing data and help your department fill the gaps? Request a web demo, and we will walk you through it.

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