Many organisations that have started their implementation of the Safety Management System forgot to include strategy on how to deal with the big volume of safety data, once the SMS is becoming more mature. In a sense they have become the victim of their own success.
They have been successful in obtaining a lot of safety data from various sources, such as reporting and FDM, but there is so much of it that it does not make sense anymore.
Now however you see organisations which have amassed more than 10.000 safety reports and several tera-bytes of flight data.
Still the focus is on amassing more reports, rather than harvesting the useful information form these piles of raw data. Hidden in this data are potentially useful Safety Performance Indicators which could be used to more effectively steer the safety management efforts.
One of the results of this approach is that focus is on the counting of symptoms rather than identifying causes. If this is the case, the solution will probably not be found in amassing yet more data. If your organisation is in this situation, it is time to step back and develop better strategies and tools to deal with this influx of data.
A coaching session can help to step back a moment to evaluate if all this data in its current form contributes to an improved safety performance.
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