Ergonomics done right.®
October 18th, 2019

Digital Transformation and Big Data

Your organization is on the journey to digital transformation whether you know it or not. Someone in your leadership chain is reviewing a new software application that will affect the flow of information to you, or to those around you.

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes and customer experiences to maintain or strengthen the business’ position in the market. In plain terms, it’s taking the cumbersome paper/pencil methods, spreadsheets, etc., that have dragged down your ergonomics processes over the years and replacing those with a cloud-based system to make information more accessible and to cut the time required to improve a manufacturing process. Ergonomics is no exception; the digital technology is available to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your ergonomics process.

The end result of this transformation is the ability to collect and share data to:

  • Provide scope and scale of issues
  • Help draw conclusions
  • Enable better decision making

We have had the privilege to present the topic of big data at two large ergonomics conferences this year and, both times, the presentation was well received. We believe people want to know how big data is going to impact them and what to look for when choosing new software. On that note, we would like to share a summary of best practices. The centerpiece of the talk revolves around the 4 V’s of big data, which are designed to extract value from your data set:


  • Collect enough data to make meaningful decisions. It is also imperative that this information is collected consistently.


  • Collect enough kinds of data (activity metrics, leading metrics, lagging indicators). This is where you have to be careful of “paralysis by analysis,” so choose wisely. Do not focus solely on injury data; focus on the leading metrics that will result in a reduction in injury numbers.


  • Make sure you can access and analyze data quickly. Cloud-based systems are industry best practices, as they do not require installation of software on individuals’ laptops, tablets, or phones.Plus,they are how we securely access almost everything we do today at work and at home.


  • Make sure the data you’re collecting is of the highest quality—accurate, precise, and trusted. To achieve this, your employees must be trained and skilled in data collection and measures must be put in place to ensure accuracy of that data.

Follow these suggestions and you will gain the ability to achieve greater value through insights from superior analytics.