Data in Waste: Don't Keep Recycling Your Reports

23 October 2019 | Posted by Cass Waste Marketing

When you hear the word “data” what do you think of? Is it a report from an excel sheet? Is it a phone call or email requesting for an additional pickup, or maybe it’s a scanned invoice from a customer? Capturing these data points and more is providing the power to change reporting and the waste industry for the future.

To illustrate the Cass Waste Expense Management process, our team has created what we call, the DIVE Process.

DIVE stands for Data, Intelligence, Volume, and Exposition.

Not only are these critical steps in reporting, but they also represent the "deep dive" we take into the process to deliver timely, relevant data to drive better business decisions.

4 Steps of the Cass Data DIVE:

Data Integrity: Technically two words, but it’s the combination of the two that create the concept that is our first and most imperative step. This is the act of making sure our data follows standardized practices when being recorded, easily understood, preserved in its original form, timestamped and accurate. Cass ensures holistic data consistency through the life-cycle, providing straight forward data translation that is easily consumed and understood by the end user.

Intelligence: This is not about how smart we are, it pertains to how we use accurate and timely data in our planning process for waste & recycling, and how we share that information with our customers. Determining if the user  should be viewing the data visually so they can create trends or slice it up to make decisions, or, if it is better providing the data flat so leadership can come to their own conclusions via a question they posed.  

Volume: A step that is easily overlooked is how much of each data point you have and if you can derive a beneficial conclusion based on this limit. Several of the reports created for trending follow our rule of a rolling 12 months. While this benefits the size of the reports, it also permits end users to notice any anomalies sooner than if the report is buried under years and years of previous data. Nothing is worse than averaging your data over a large period, seeing very little change, only to then find out a recycling mandate went live last year and all your recent invoices have large swathing changes that are being hidden underneath historical amounts.

Exposition: This is our final step and where businesses see the fruit of their investment in the D.I.V.E. process. Narratives are created from analyzing compiled data, then presented or showcased in a report. Key stakeholders now have insights into waste and recycling operations for performance measurement and process improvement.  For example, sourcing a larger compactor because the capacity at a site is always at maximum, to changing haulers because they are constantly charging non-contracted fees that you can now trend, site by site, you can evaluate services as you choose.

The recommendations we put forth and custom reports that can translate real-time changes are deliverables we provide our clients, and quite frankly, the joy in the work of our Business Analytics team. Through our DIVE Process, we can plan for each new metric of big data in waste, translate to our clients and optimize services around waste and recycling. Cass WasteVision Analytics was developed to provide our clients the visibility that is lacking in the waste hauler and broker industry. It is one of the processes that is driving our vision of the future in the waste expense management field and its analytical tools. For more on the WasteVision Analytics, watch the webinar “How to Measure What You Can’t See.

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