Some people love forms, and reporting requirements. A good example is the payroll process in the United States. Most companies pay their employees using payroll computer programs. It is all digital. At the end of each pay period, a program is run, checks are written, or more likely a digital bank transfer is generated, and related money transfers are digitally generated towards the various agencies withholding money from paychecks, from the Internal Revenue Service to the city tax office, the unemployment offices, both Federal and state, and social security. Yet, around April 15, Tax Day, everybody has to file more paperwork with the Federal, State, and local governments to “confirm” all the filing that has been done all year long. And on top of this, there are fines and late filing penalties for those who are late filing this duplicate, often fourplicate, information. Some will say this is simply the result of lawyers and accountants getting elected to congress, and creating a lucrative jobs program for themselves. Others will fault an antiquated system which made sense in a pre-digital world, but clearly needs updating since the digitization of the payroll process has made secondary filing obsolete. Regardless, one fact remains: the digitization of processes, such as payroll processing, has made parallel, redundant reporting an anachronism for many reasons:
- The data from the actual payroll is bound to be more accurate than any second-hand data generated as part of a separate payroll reporting/double-checking requirement that is seen as cumbersome and unnecessary
- The task of re- reporting data that has already been communicated is itself a waste of time, money, and resources
- The data from the actual payroll is in many cases richer than the subset of the data that is reported as part of a post-payroll requirement. Employers does not report all the data concerning the work and pay of their employees, but just the subset agencies require.
This brings us to our topic of event layout. The digitization of the event layout enabled by EventMapStudio has implications beyond the production of the layout itself.
- The richness of the data that can be entered in EventMapStudio, from exact geo-location, to size, functionality, power source, or food and drinks served makes any additional manual reporting obsolete
- The power of EventMapstudio is that all the data captured is captured for a reason: to plan and execute the actual event. It is not some artificial bureaucratic filing requirements. Therefore, the people capturing the data will be motivated to enter correct data.
- Because this data is a part of the actual process of executing the event, capturing it is not a waste of time, money, or resources.
Compare this to the digitization of event-related information usually being performed around events. One can identify three main event digitization efforts:
- Events using CAD/CAM systems
- Government based permitting systems, usually an online form with a list of preset questions with the goal of informing the event producers of which permits they need to secure. Those questionnaires usually include questions concerning the presence of alcohol, the sale of food, or the existence of accessible restrooms.
- Post-event questionnaires to evaluate how the event performed along some metrics. Long sustainability-related questionnaires asking everything from the number of garbage cans to the use or not of recycling bins can be found in this category.
It is interesting to note that many, if not all, of the questions in the latter 2 categories can be answered by looking at the EventMapStudio map of an event. It is also interesting to note that all the information necessary to answer these questions is captured in the EventMapStudio system to achieve the overarching goal of planning and executing the event. It is not entered as part of an isolated permitting process, nor as part of a post-event analysis most stakeholders have very little interest or time to deal with. Thus, besides saving time, money, and resources, it is safe to say that the data gathered through EventMapStudio will be more complete and more accurate than any of the data generated by the permitting or post-analysis processes. The richness of this data is what enable us to currently generate a detailed 21 pages Event Sustainability Report for any organization using our system. The fact that this data is captured with the unique goal of executing the event, and the richness of the reports we can generate from this data is what leads us to talk about Reports without Reporting. One could also talk of Reports by Doing, as all this data is really the direct product of doing the work of planning and executing the event.
* Definition from www.dictionary.com
Reporting: Verb: to prepare, make, or submit a report of something observed, investigated, or the like.