Ok, so you have a data quality problem. You've always had one. Where do you start on improving? You don't have time for training and you don't have money. This presentation details easy ways you can start improving data quality today. Stay tuned for the next presentation on what to do with your reports now that they're cleaned up!
Note: I am aware that some elements are flipped. Slideshare has been unable to discover the cause. If you would like the un-flipped .pdf please contact me.
You want to do
your best but there
is a quality problem
and you don't know
where to start.
Start at the Top
Leadership support is key for improvement. If
there is a disconnect between Leaders and NFIRS
(reports) it's difficult to do anything.
Grow Data Champions by expressing your
support. Everybody in your department
should know what NFIRS is, what it does,
and how it affects the Fire Service.
are people who speak up
about NFIRS and care about the quality of the
System. Vocal leadership support creates more
Creating a department policy on NFIRS
cultivates Administrative support with
an added bonus of reducing errors.
Start with responsibility. Who will complete
reports, who will check them, and who will
Detail expectations for data quality. Include
what fields should be collected and
standardize codes used.
Include when the reports should be finished,
checked, and submitted. Submission should be
in-line with your State's guidelines.
Don't forget to include updating reports! Failing
to keep reports updated can cause problems
A policy is great but how do you get
the information in the first place?
Field Notes Form
Trucks Taken: Personnel:
A good field notes form
ensures that information
is collected right from
the beginning, even at
Click here to see an example
Now about that stack of errors that you
see again and again...send them back!
Think of it as an individualized training
opportunity. If you keep fixing errors for
everyone you'll keep seeing them. Send
the reports back for correction with an
explanation of the errors.
Return to writer
Decide how many errors or which
types of errors will result in a
return to writer.
Further reduce errors by creating cheat
sheets that are specific to your department.
Eliminate rarely-used codes
from cheat sheets and use
categories to bring order to
the many options.
Use names rather than generic descriptions.
Property Use is a perfect place to use names.
Facing an error you just
can't get past?
Phone a friend.
There's no reason to struggle alone
when hundreds of people are familiar
with NFIRS. Your State Program
Manager has probably fixed that
same error a thousand times.
While you're at it, make sure your State
Program Manager knows who the contact
is for your department. You may be
missing out on cheat sheets, training, and
These steps are actionable, free,
and within the control of all fire
departments. Now it's time to put
those great reports to use!
Do you have tips on how your
department cleans up data quality?
I'd love to hear from you!