Establishing a Data Driven Facility Department

School system administrators have been utilizing data to promote school improvement for some time now. Data such as test scores can help administrators establish baselines for performance, and pro-actively respond to areas that need targeted support and improvement.

The same theory can be applied within facility departments. Popular data points (or Key Performance Indicators) for operations include the number of work orders that were managed through your service portal (as opposed to tracked by hand), or the average number of hours until resolution, but there are multiple ways to monitor data and drive improvement.

Below are three ways data can be evaluated for district improvement:


  1.  Number of Work Orders Placed
    The number of work orders placed will fluctuate based on different circumstances, but analyzing peaks, declines, and averages provides important conclusions for district administrators.

    For example, if administrators pull information on the number of work orders placed for HVAC units across the district and see a peak at one specific elementary school, they would be able to do a cost analysis for the unit and see if a replacement may be more cost-effective for the district. Additionally, this may bring to light a warranty issue that can be brought to the manufacturer’s attention.

    Additionally, administrators can utilize this data to evaluate staffing needs. If there are high requests for plumbing issues within the district, and they are continuously being outsourced, it may be a cost-effective option to bring a full-time plumber on staff.

  2. Time to Complete a Work Order

    We have all heard the saying that time is money. With no shortage of work orders, it is crucial that team members are spending their working hours efficiently. By evaluating labor hours on work orders, the administration is able to establish guidelines regarding the amount of time a general job should take a team member to complete. If team members are exceeding this time, managers can quickly identify underlying issues such as delayed communication, lack of resources, or additional training that may be required.

  3. Reopened Work Orders

    When a work order is reopened, this normally means that work was not completed correctly the first time and needs to be revisited. Incomplete jobs require more time from the team, and from the administration to review again. By tracking reopened work orders, the administration can reevaluate approval processes for closing work orders and provide coaching and feedback to employees with high return rates.

Ultimately, the goal of having more data is to give administration more insight into how efficient the maintenance processes are and work to improve procedures. Daniel Keys Moran said, “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” Data is a driving force behind decision making and the more data you have the better-informed decision you can make within your district.