Have you ever wondered if the data we're receiving is accurate? Likely you haven't, because we have an inherent trust in software applications that they are smarter, faster and more efficient than we are. While that may be true, an application can only process information accurately if it has accurate information to process. So much time is spent in business finding, searching or untangling the multiple ways of processing information. Why are we wasting so much time finding what we need when it should be a streamlined process? How can we make the sure the information we're searching and processing is accurate?
Most likely you have several team members that have been there since the beginning, some that have come and gone, and others still coming. During all of these years, there have been multiple people being trained, each one slightly differently than the last. Depending on who was involved, training styles vary, and when this happens, businesses end up with several ways of doing the same thing. This also means there's a possibility that the work is being done through different programs and also being saved on different servers or platforms. When a company's data has to be processed, how much can you really trust it?
The idea of garbage in-garbage out refers to the fact that software applications will process unintended data ("garbage in") and take that to produce undesired results or information ("garbage out"). Today, these systems are producing extensive amounts of data, some useful and exactly what you need, others completely nonsensical. It's not uncommon for us have so much trust that we accept the data blindly. Regardless of how accurate a program's logic is, if the data is not accurate or is not inputted correctly, the results will always be invalid and incorrect.
Garbage can be anything from inaccurate information, or information that just isn't relevant. However, if this data is included, will affect the results of what you're processing leading someone to make a decision that may not be the best for the company. It's important to spend the time time validating the data and not so much the application's algorithms.
By having set processes and proper technology in place, you can avoid bringing in the unnecessary garbage. It's become one of the biggest impediments we're facing in business. With proper use and keeping everything stored in a centralized place, integration of those applications becomes paramount of the the idea of garbage in-garbage out. We can begin to use the data we have and won't have to question where it came from or if we are missing anything. We can trust the data again and won't have to keep tinkering to find the data and interpret it.
If your processes, workflows, integrations and training aren't up to speed, then you'll always have garbage in-garbage out. Major decisions being made based on inaccurate information could be detrimental to your business. The goal of using technology and software applications in the most effective way will depend on how open, integrated and cohesive real estate operations platforms become ... so that our data will start driving our decisions in a much more focused way.