We believe data management and visualization can play an important role in locating vulnerable people. In a previous post we introduced you to our Personnel Monitor platform, which is a web-based platform designed for companies working in frontier markets. It helps companies understand how many employees are in a country, who they are and where they are.
In this post we wanted to tell you a bit more about how the system works and our thinking behind it’s development.
Employees working in frontier regions can face greater exposure to threats such as civil unrest, terrorist attacks, natural disasters or major health and safety incidents. For employers, who have a duty of care to all their people, as well as any family members located in-country, it’s vital to understand who’s where, so as to mitigate against risks. If a situation escalates, that information is also critical in arranging evacuations or relocation.
We found that employee data is often stored in disparate systems, such as HR records, at individual offices or oil rig sites, or within travel tracker systems. Data sets usually come in different, non-standard formats, which makes them hard to compare and even harder to get important insight from.
For example, if there was an emergency and we were relying on the Personnel on Board (POB) spreadsheet below, it would take some time to get critical information out. Questions such as ‘How many personnel are on site in total?’ or ‘How many different nationalities are there?’, ‘Is John Smith on site X?’, become time consuming to answer.
The problem is further compounded when there are multiple sites within a frontier country or region, with large numbers of people on each site. Tracking down the most recent POB for every site in-country and putting together a list of all personnel present would take some time, and during a fast moving crisis, time is in short supply for crisis managers.
These are all issues and questions we had in mind when we developed our Personnel Monitor platform. We wanted to give managers better situational awareness and to help reduce the time it takes to locate personnel in a high-threat situation.
Standardising the data
Our first step was to develop standardised POB spreadsheets, which can be used across multiple sites. The standardised spreadsheets are machine readable, so when they’re uploaded to our Personnel Monitor system, the personnel information is extracted from the spreadsheets and loaded into the platform, where it’s visualised.
Sites upload their POB spreadsheet onto the system on a daily basis. The system flags any out of date POBs which makes it easier for managers to chase up sites and helps to increase the reliability of the data on the system.
Summary information about the number of people at each site, nationalities and subsidiaries is provided all in one place. Full lists of personnel are available to search, filter and download.
Integrating disparate data sources
Third party sources can be integrated into the platform. For example, we recently integrated the data from a well known corporate travel and flight management system into our system. This means that any discrepancies between arrivals and departures listed in the third party data and the daily POB spreadsheets submitted by sites will be flagged up, making it easy to spot anomalies. It also means that managers organising pick ups and drop offs from airports can more easily coordinate airport runs.
We are also in the process of integrating real time tracking information. This will allow managers to view, search and analyse their POB, travel and tracking data all within one platform.
If you want to find out more, or request a demo of the Personnel Monitor system, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.