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It’s the Data, Stupid

Dan Goldberg ON May 10, 2016

We spend a lot of time here talking about communication. We talk about communicating quickly, communicating to the right people, communicating with the right hardware and software, and communicating through the right devices.

We were talking about that in the office a few weeks ago, and we all greed that if someone is communicating to you constantly but not saying anything worthwhile, we want them to shut up. The information you send is at least as important as the way you send it.

The result of bad data might not be what you think
What are the potential consequences of poor information? Depending on your industry, you could darken the lights in a city, endanger lives in a hospital, or take down a satellite.

Hitomi X-Ray Telescope (Hackaday)

Hitomi X-Ray Telescope

I read just last week that Japan’s space agency, JAXA, recently lost the X-ray telescope Hitomi after it disintegrated in out space. Losing the satellite cost an estimated $286 million, not to mention years of planned observations and information from scientific research.

JAXA has not definitively stated the reason for the demise of its satellite, the the most likely cause is bad data in a software package that was installed after an instrument probe extended from the rear of the space telescope.

So take common-sense precautions before sending communications.

  • Consult a checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
  • Use tested communication methods.
  • Be sure your communication will not waste anyone’s time.
  • Send all the information you intend to send.

And hopefully you will keep things where they belong, even in outer space.

Major Incident Management Survival Guide for Service Desk managers

Read the Major Incident Management Survival Guide

Remember the five essentials of service desk communication:

  • Rapid engagement
  • Intelligent responses
  • Multi-modal support
  • Integration with operations
  • Stakeholder alignment

You many never find yourself abandoned on Mars, but these five essentials of major incident communication could still save your bacon one of these days. Learn more in our latest white paper, 5 Essentials of the Service Desk.