I wanted to write an article on my views as to where TCW is now and highlight some really interesting things with regards peoples reaction to our software. Although not a sales pitch, I’m pretty sure you will get the product from some of the examples I will give.
Ok, here goes…
Firstly it may benefit you to understand why I thought of TCW, or Electrical Harmony which is what I originally called it the idea. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty happy I had a change of heart on that one.
Around 7 and a half years ago I was sitting in my lounge with loads and loads of Electrical Documents (Periodic’s) and I was checking the information in them to put my signature against the electricians’ output. I remember when I was doing it I kept thinking, ‘how many times has he got this wrong, I should keep a pile for each spark’. This got me thinking, I wonder if there was a way to ‘link the information’ in the documents to spot things that people are not really looking for.
Let me give you an example:
Imagine an Electrician who has been taught to test the end to end on the line only of a ring circuit and then calculate the rest. Not only that, to hide the fact they do this they should add 0.02ohms to each reading so it isn’t perfect and thus won’t bring it to the attention of the person countersigning or the client.
It wouldn’t be easy to spot this as most sparks scan over the data and know kind of whereabouts the reading should end up. Surely having this kind of visibility could help with training and process. I know from my perspective as a client I would want to know where this had happened as it opens up unnecessary risk. I pay for the risk to be removed or mitigated against, not for it to be hidden.
At the time I was thinking specifically Electrical but over the coming months, I started to look further afield with regards relatable data strings across other sectors. How can one piece of information be used to trigger a process around the journey of a specific item of a system? Right from the start, I was looking at the asset management journey and not document checking.
The biggest problem with this was the need to find a way of pulling physical data from the many types of documents we would produce and receive. I mean there are hundreds of different companies in the many markets that produce their own data capture facility, how can you grab the data needed to use confidently and then give people outputs they can use using the relatable concept above.
We can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR), right? – WRONG. Remember we have to pull the data from multiple parts of a document to then calculate and cross-reference with other things. Getting the data is the first bit, but the most important aspect of that is that the data is true. Using OCR we run the risk of missing something, using confidence scoring on the data cannot constitute reliability in the data we need to relate.
Next option was to key in the information needed to do what we do? Again this is not an option. Could you imagine getting access to 100,000 documents and then having to key specific sections of the document to a platform which then needs the precise information to calculate and utilise?
Both of the options were considered and scrapped. We had to find another solution which we were confident was timely, effective and most importantly able to provide the end user with fruitful data and reports that provided an instant ROI.
Around 5 years ago I sat in a room with the other 2 main shareholders in TCW and discussed whether this was worth moving forward or if we should step down and consider this task impossible? Of course, it’s not impossible. Remember at this point we weren’t looking at electrical, we were looking at the data.
So, today where do we stand? We have a platform that can read ANY Digital pdf and then save that data in another platform that can be easily used to map, link and report on the information you really need to pull from the documents. The software pulls 100% of the data from the documents and then places it into TCW to then be used to calculate, transit and interpret the risk, journey and/or performance.
Let me give you a few working examples of what we can do with data…..
- Remember the example above, calculated 0.02ohms always, well, if we can use the data we have to interpret that to highlight geographically where this happens and with what companies, the level of visibility for Competent Person Schemes to be 100% more effective in their duties becomes so in-depth that competence and quality would most definitely improve. This also goes with boiler operating pressures as whole numbers and not calculated or tested correctly. It’s about relating the data so we can use it collectively.
- Another example of this is tool theft, its right at the top of the list at the moment… If there was a portal for everyone to submit documents (note anyone’s documents and not a singular data capture software, as this would make the data stats fuzzy). We could use the serial numbers on engineers equipment to map into the police national computer to add triggers to stolen equipment to identify when it is used by someone else. We have millions of documents in the system at the moment and that data (serial numbers) is just dormant as no one uses it.
- How about milestones and potential DIY systems. Milestones on data asset journeys are not always easy to track because of the laborious work involved spotting these throughout the life of a system. For example, a property designed and installed today should be used as per the design, and so, we should be able to accurately depict the deterioration prior to it becoming a problem. Adding a trigger on something like the insulation resistance to flag deterioration when the reading is less than 150Mohms is an asset management function that we just don’t do because we’re too concerned with next inspection dates and document Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.
- What about the Gas Safe register. Our platform gives the clients the ability to see the gas safe number which you can check against the register itself. There’s no need to change the certificating software you use now as the technology allows for a fair game selective approach to what’s best for the contracting business and your business. On the flip side, the register once agreed via the new supplier, would be able to have much better visibility of what’s happening in the market. Ultimately the safety aspect of data usage is phenomenal.
Our product is currently used mainly via our OEM supplier CORGI Technical Services in the Social Housing sector as CDMS. The data we extract belongs to the client at all times and so the task for clients is to define how they want to use the data to help drive efficiencies and improvements in their own organisations. The key is that we provide visual aid through TCW by extracting the data using our “other” product.
Did I mention we are currently ingesting historical documents across the country, this gives clients the ability to grab specific data locked in documents?
The big news is that other sectors are now embracing the technology to help manage the data more effectively. Not just in the UK either.
If you have any question or want to discuss things with Ryan you can find him on LinkedIn or contact us email@example.com