Our most important role in the implementation of Alert Monitoring Systems is the process of counselling and consultation that we offer before you decide to implement one. We’ll start by looking at your business as a whole, and specifically your data collection systems, working with you to analyse their effectiveness and their suitability for use with an AMS. It may well be that your business would benefit more from dashboard monitoring or an overhaul of your accounting system.
If you decide that you want to go ahead, we’ll help you to select a system that will work for you, based on an assessment of KPIs and alerts that will be the most relevant, and advise around where and how they might trigger. Once you’ve chosen a package and begun to configure it according to your specifications, we’ll offer ongoing support and even reconfigure the software for you in response to changing environmental or internal conditions.
In the event that there is no ‘off the shelf’ solution that is suitable for you, we can assist in the design and implementation of a fully bespoke system that meets your requirements, with the careful attention to detail that this kind of project requires.
An Alert monitoring system is a piece of software that works by continuously analysing your company’s data stream to pick out critical changes in KPIs and other aspects of performance, giving notifications by email, SMS etc. or through a dashboard. Many ‘off the shelf’ commercial applications are available from companies like Oracle and Fathom which can be highly customised to reflect the needs of a particular business in terms of the data they take as input, the dimensions they analyse, and the thresholds at which an alert will trigger. Typically, these systems allow you to ‘drill down’ through an alert for a closer look at the data that lies behind it. For very specific requirements, however, a bespoke program may be necessary.
The principle on which these systems are based is derived from the kind of systems used to monitor computer networks of which ‘Big Brother’ designed by Quest Software is a good example. You might choose to set up alerts for specific customers that trigger if the profitability of your sales to them fall too low, or if projected cashflow falls below an accepted level for some time in the future. Whatever your KPIs, there is a software package out there that will support remote and automatic monitoring of them, and if there isn’t, then one can be designed.
Before opting for an alert monitoring system, there are a few important things to consider: The first is “do I really need one?” Like dashboards, alert monitoring systems are the kind of thing that sound and look impressive, but can be difficult to implement and actually create more problems than they solve, meaning that their value can be far outweighed by their costs. On the whole, larger businesses with narrow margins and a large number of transactions per unit time stand to benefit the most from these systems because of the volume of information and the relative intolerance of the operation to shortfalls. Smaller businesses, or those with fewer clients and larger transactions, may find an AMS more trouble than it’s worth.
Second, it’s important to be honest about the quality of your existing data collection streams. The old programmer’s adage “garbage in, garbage out” applies strongly here since the system, however sophisticated it might be, can only respond to the data that it’s given. If there are holes in your data, or your collection processes are suboptimal, implementing an AMS is not only inefficient, it may also be dangerous. A system that looks and sounds very sophisticated encourages people to trust it blindly. If it’s triggering, or failing to trigger on the basis of inaccurate and incomplete information, that could easily cause you to overlook a major problem.
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