Unleashing the Power of Data: A Beginner’s Guide to Data Analytics in Damage Prevention

Amidst a world of increasing regulatory scrutiny, higher workloads, and growing costs, Damage Prevention teams are quickly learning the importance of data analytics. As monies associated with the 2021 Infrastructure Bill start to hit communities around North America, 811 ticket requests volumes continue to rise. Many damage prevention teams are limited in the ease of access they have to data.  Members of their teams may spend hours a week putting their best Excel skills to work to pull together the metrics that matter to their teams and senior management.  Even worse, many may feel that they are flying blind in this area.  These challenges are bringing the importance of data intelligence to the forefront of discussions in the damage prevention industry. At KorTerra, we believe that data analytics is the key to making informed decisions, improving operational efficiency, and reducing risks. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the importance, benefits, and practical applications of data analytics, and how it can transform your damage prevention efforts for the better. 

The Importance of Data Analytics in Damage Prevention

Imagine being a locator trying to locate with a blindfold on.  If you are a damage prevention leader and your current approach is relying heavily on instincts and experience, you too may feel like you are blindfolded.  If you do not have meaningful reports and dashboards at your fingertips that are informing your damage prevention efforts, it’s time to discover that there is a better way. In the world of damage prevention, every decision made, and action taken can have far-reaching consequences. The industry operates in a complex environment, involving various stakeholders, such as utility companies, contract locators, and government agencies. As excavation activities continue to increase, the risk of damaging critical underground infrastructure also rises. 

Having a strong understanding of data analytics provides damage prevention teams with a vital edge by transforming raw data into valuable and actionable insights. Gone are the days of relying solely on intuition and guesswork. Instead, data-driven decisions empower businesses to optimize their operations, enhance safety, and ensure regulatory compliance. With a strong approach to data analytics, you can move from a reactive damage prevention program to a proactive one, mitigating risks before they escalate.  These actions result in fewer damages and keep your assets and the community safe. 

Damage Prevention Benefits of Data Analytics

  1. Trending Analysis: Data analytics identifies patterns and trends in on-time performance, project tickets, damages, and much more. This enables stakeholders to analyze trends against key performance indicators (KPIs) while also facilitating proactive decision-making and prompt response to any issues or completion delays.
  2. Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Through data analytics, damage prevention teams can optimize workflow processes, streamline resource allocation, and minimize downtime. This efficiency translates to improved operational efficiency, reduced administrative overhead, and data-driven process improvements. 
  3. Compliance and Contract Monitoring: Staying compliant with various safety and excavation regulations is crucial. Using data analytics, damage prevention stakeholders can monitor compliance and contractual requirements, such as response timeframes and ticket closure rates. Dashboards can provide insights into completion rates, identify areas for improvement, and make it easier to facilitate adherence to regulatory and contractual standards.
  4. Data-Driven Decision-Making: With accurate and up-to-date information at your fingertips, making informed decisions becomes easier. You can analyze historical data, identify patterns, and understand the performance of locating and excavation activities. This empowers you to optimize resource allocation, improve productivity, and enhance overall ticket outcomes.

    Practical Applications of Data Analytics 

    1. Trend Analysis for Continuous Improvement: Strong data tools can provide trend analysis over time, allowing damage prevention organizations to identify areas where improvements can be made. By tracking KPIs related to safety, incident response times, and damage prevention measures, organizations can assess their progress and identify opportunities for enhancement. Continuous improvement efforts driven by data analytics can lead to safer excavation, reduced damage incidents, and increased operational efficiency.
    2. Incident Analysis: When incidents occur, data analytics can help investigate the cause by identifying any hidden patterns in the data. This analysis helps develop targeted corrective actions and preventive strategies to address the underlying issues and avoid similar incidents in the future.
    3. Resource Allocation Optimization: By analyzing historical data on excavation activities and damage incidents, organizations can identify patterns and allocate resources strategically to areas with higher damage risk. This optimization ensures that resources are used efficiently, reducing response times and enhancing overall operational effectiveness. 
    4. Performance Monitoring and Compliance: By analyzing data related to response times, ticket closure rates, and adherence to protocols, organizations can ensure that all parties meet their obligations and comply with regulatory requirements. This approach helps maintain a high standard of safety and accountability within the industry while also encouraging continuous improvement among stakeholders. 
    5. Geospatial Analysis: By integrating information from GIS systems with excavation data and historical damage records, damage prevention organizations can gain valuable insights into geographic patterns of damage incidents. Geospatial analysis enables the identification of hotspots or areas prone to damage, helping prioritize preventive measures and targeted education campaigns for contractors and excavators operating in those regions. 


    Having a robust approach and set of tools in the area of data analytics has the power to guide businesses who own underground assets toward a safer, more efficient, and successful future. At KorTerra, we believe that embracing data analytics is not only necessary but also transformational so we recently developed KorTerra Business Insights and Secure Analytics Engine (link to one-pagers). We sought to create a flexible set of tools that empowers our customers to leverage KorTerra’s analytics front end to display 811 ticket data or take their 811 data and integrate it into their data analytics infrastructure. The key for us was unlocking that data for our customers to empower them on their journey. By leveraging analytics within the ticket management system, organizations can optimize ticket management, track compliance, improve performance, and drive better outcomes for their business. 

    To learn more about KorTerra Business Insights and/or KorTerra’s Secure Analytics Engine, contact one of our team members at korterra.com/contact-us. 

    About KorTerra, Inc.

    KorTerra is the leading provider of damage prevention software, protecting billions of dollars in underground infrastructure. For over 30 years, the leading stakeholders in gas distribution, pipeline operation, telecommunications, electric distribution, contract locating, and city, county, and state governments have trusted KorTerra as their damage prevention solution. KorTerra helps mitigate risk and ensure the safety of field personnel by providing secure software platforms for processing 811 locate tickets, tracking and reporting asset damages, meeting regulatory compliance, and more. Explore additional solutions at korterra.com and follow KorTerra on LinkedIn.

    Media Contact:
    Paige Nygaard – KorTerra, Inc.