Make Your Warehouse Data Work for You

Make Your Warehouse Data Work for You

The Era of Data

We live a modern business era where data is king. Reports and dashboards are the hot topic of board room meetings, and measurable results are at the top of everyone’s priority list. But data, especially warehouse data, in and of itself with no means of interpretation is meaningless. Numbers and letters in rows upon rows and columns upon columns of spreadsheets end up drowning management teams instead of spurring them on to greater success, or beautiful dashboards leave a room silent because, though visually appealing, their numbers are ill defined and don’t have practical application.

So why has data become the cool kid on the block?

Data has taken on its oh so popular name because, when paired with the correct business objectives and focus, it takes shape into meaningful answers. Bare bones data does not provide answers, only confusion and perhaps a headache. But data is like clay. It can be massaged and molded in a nearly infinite number of ways to create anything a management team needs it to be. It’s the new-age version of the genie in a bottle. If you need an answer, ask the data. But first, you have to know exactly what your question is, determine what data can get you to your answer, and get the rest of the clutter out of the way.

Get the Most Out of Your Data

In order to get the most of your data in any area of your business, you must first:
  • Outline your key business objectives (sales, marketing, service, etc.) and note what data elements are important to that objective

    for example, in marketing, you will need to know a contact name, email or mailing address, etc.

  • Determine what business objective you are seeking answers for

  • Pose your question in terms that can be answered by measurable results

  • Determine which key data points will help you answer the question at hand

    For example, if you want to know the breakdown of your small, medium, and large client companies, you will want to look at the client name, number of employees, annual gross profit, etc., but you don’t necessarily need contact information for that report

  • Filter and focus your data based on the key metrics you have defined, and create summaries for the data in order to answer the question you have posed

So, for example, if you want to see a summary of the battery life for each type of equipment you have in your warehouse, you would do the following:

  • Define the question: What is the average battery life for each type of lift truck in our facility?

  • Determine key data points to evaluate: equipment ID, equipment make, equipment model, equipment battery life

  • Filter and focus your data: Whittle out all data fields except for the ones defined above, group data by equipment make and model, average the battery life for each make and model subgroup

In this increasingly digitized business world, it is important to stay on top of the latest technology and trends, and right now the trend on top is data. Don’t get bogged down in the details. Instead, make your data work for you. With a little time and preparation, you can mold the clay of data to whatever you need it to be. The answers are there. You just have to ask the right question, look at the right data, and get the rest out of the way.

RELATED POST: Material Handling Connectivity

Data Collection Resources

Need a tool to help you collect your data in order to get the answers your seeking? Take a look at our fleet management solutions. These tools will help you keep a pulse on your fleet by giving you the data you need.

Material Handling Connectivity

Stay in the Know

Want to know what's new in the material handling world? Let's keep in touch! Lift Power shares bimonthly blog posts on the latest material handling trends, and you can have it delivered right to your inbox in our monthly newsletter!


Be the first to know about the latest and greatest industry innovations!