Editor's Note: This post was originally published on July 19, 2017, and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
I like and appreciate a good book. Regardless of whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, a book tells a story. Books present information, and we form logical decisions as we read and allow our brains to process. However, I prefer looking at a fine piece of art over reading a book. Looking at a painting, I appreciate the colors, brushstrokes, and how everything interacts to create the scene. The different shapes, colors, contours, and materials in a piece of art evoke emotions that books can’t quite conjure up for me. Believe it or not, field workforce management software can have the same effect.
Paint a Picture for Your Audience
For many people, seeing something rather than reading about it often conveys more meaning and simplifies comprehension. Research by 3M Corporation concluded that we process visual images 60,000 times faster than text processing. Images are the most straightforward things for our brains to remember. You can paint a picture for your audience much faster with an actual picture than you can with words and numbers.
Work Orders = Literature + Maps = Art!
All of this brings us back to whether art and literature have a place in the daily work lives of our field technicians. Let’s consider work orders and the data associated with those work orders as a form of literature (words and numbers) and, conversely, maps as a graphical art form. These two items belong in the field.
But the real question is, why do we limit our field workers to “literature” or data presented in a tabular format? Suppose images are processed faster and retained more quickly and for more extended periods. Doesn’t it make sense to give our users their information in a visual representation on a map? We should, through color coding, let them “see” their work and notice the difference between work assigned and work waiting. We should let them see when a meter is registering high values and needs repair instead of forcing them to read about the need for repairs on a form. Or better yet, let’s give them a choice!
There isn’t necessarily a right and wrong way to give our workers the information they need to perform their tasks efficiently and quickly process the data provided. However, we can open them to more than one way with field workforce management software.
Gomocha Knows That Users Need A Choice in Field Workforce Management
With the latest release of our FMP360 platform, we’ve taken our strong history in GIS, mapping, and integrated images into our platform. Field workers can see their data on a map and visually represent their assets. They can identify the location of their colleagues on a map and navigate to those colleagues to borrow a tool.