We’ve all heard stories of dreaded reporting requirements and complex, in-depth data mounds needing to be refined into operational data, but the process has often been arduous and painful and as soon as the results have been found the information is out of date again. Thankfully for most companies this process is now a thing of the past. The level of technology we now operate with means that modern companies cannot afford to work with outdated systems, as they are automatically putting themselves at a disadvantage with their competitors and at risk of becoming redundant in the marketplace.

Real-time data is a necessity to stay relevant for today’s business and it needs to be delivered by sophisticated electronic communications tools such as digital signage and data dashboards, to remain appealing to today’s ‘tech-savvy’ workforce from call centres to retailers, to manufacturing plants.

Following are five different scenarios when real-time data is a proven asset and can give your business a competitive edge:

  1. Real-time data improves customer service

When customers call, they don’t want to be put on hold or given the run around while a representative searches for information. When agents have real-time data available at their fingertips, they can respond with greater speed and accuracy to customer needs.

For example, a real-time data dashboard can be configured to immediately display vital customer information when a call comes in, eliminating the need to take the time to look up customer history and data. A dashboard can be used to identify where bottlenecks are occurring in the call queue and where idle employees or supervisors are needed to step in and help.

  1. Real-time data helps managers know what’s going on at a glance

Conditions in a busy call centre or customer service department can be chaotic and stressful. When you have a real-time data solution through a digital dashboard, your managers and employees can tell at a glance what’s going on and where improvements need to be made. Call volume can be tracked, delays such as hold times can be identified, total call time can be evaluated, and relevant data can be compared to standards and expectations.

  1. Real-time data improves operational efficiency

Let’s say you’re a manufacturing facility that relies on regular shipments of raw materials from an important supplier. One day, a truckload of that material is delayed because of weather. In this case, you need to know immediately that the shipment is off track so that you can take steps to compensate, whether that’s slowing production or looking for material from another supplier.

Real-time data can also be used to track supply chain data such as inventory of raw materials, available supplies, and expected needs so that you can know when it’s necessary to resupply.

  1. Real-time data helps keep employees motivated

When employees can see how they are performing and what is expected of them, they can make on-the-spot corrections to better reach those performance standards. Real-time data shows where additional attention is needed and where requirements are being met.

With a real-time data dashboard, you can also make jobs more fun by adding elements such as gamification, which turns meeting of goals into a friendly competition among employees.

  1. Real-time data identifies superior performers and employees who need help

With the type of real-time data available on a data dashboard, managers can quickly see who is performing at a highly efficient level and who needs more help to succeed on the job. This can allow superior performers to be more easily recognised and rewarded for their work. At the same time, employees who need additional training and assistance can get the resources they need.

Martyn Barnett

Martyn Barnett


Managing Director at RMG Networks.