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2021: The Year for Insights Into Quality Data


If there was ever an unpredictable year, it was 2020. We saw ourselves picking up practices we never would’ve considered before. One of those revolved around data. Information related to COVID-19, like the number of new cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and more is readily available online. And, in most cases, is presented in a visual format. You can easily find an interactive map of a country, state, or county to see how the pandemic has progressed over time. This data continues to be important for policy decisions as we start 2021.

The new year might turn out to be just as unpredictable as the old. But, there’s one thing that we at MasterControl have full confidence in: Quality data will become more accessible and provide more insights than ever before. At Virtual Masters Summit 2020, Product Management Director Sue Marchant gave attendees a glimpse into the future with a preview of MasterControl Insights.

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out, or FOMO as it’s known online, usually hits us when we’re scrolling through social media. As Marchant pointed out, “In business these days, we have data FOMO where we keep hearing about opportunities to use data and AI to supercharge our businesses, but we really aren’t sure what the opportunities are or how to access them.” It seems like everyone is using data in some way to make business decisions and improve their processes. When you’re still trying to figure out how to get up-to-date data and compile it manually, it can feel a little like you’ve been left behind. Just tracking data on paper or across different systems can be hard enough, let alone using it to make business decisions.

Herding Cats

One reason data is so hard to manage is that it’s always changing. Even a completely accurate report might only be accurate for a few seconds before one data point changes. That’s why tracking down data, compiling it and turning it into something useful can be a bit like, well, herding cats. Each data point is constantly changing, and bringing it all together through a manual process has the potential to introduce human error. No stagnant report can tell you what’s happening right now, but a digital solution that has access to all your data and is programmed to bring it together in a meaningful way can. In her presentation, Marchant mentioned, “We spent a good part of the last year talking to … our customers, and working to understand your pain points, your problems, and your issues with data. We learned a lot about what you need and in 2021 we’re going to deliver a solution.”

MasterControl Insights

“One of the common themes we [hear] has to do with the time [spent] gathering, exporting, and manipulating data,” Marchant explained. Bringing together information from all MasterControl products, and even other enterprise solutions, will give users complete visibility into their business performance. The nature of the product will eliminate the manual information gathering and report creating that most professionals now face. And this won’t just be a product for quality. Every department and every level of the organization can access out-of-the-box reports designed specifically for their role. Or they can use the intuitive drag-and-drop functionality to create their own reports.

Just like the COVID-19 dashboards we’ve all been keeping an eye on, Insights reports are largely visual. The information is more consumable in this format and it makes it easy to drill down into the data to get to the root of a problem. The example Marchant provided was a manufacturing line experiencing delays in production. An Insights visualization designed for a line supervisor displayed data showing that the batch had fallen significantly behind the expected time target. She was able to drill down from the top-level view of the overall status and performance of the line into more granular information about the specific operations and steps where the operators were having issues. The line supervisor could understand within seconds that the delays on the line were due to equipment issues occurring during a specific step of the manufacturing process. The supervisor would quickly understand exactly where and how to focus their efforts to fix the problem. Eventually, the product will make suggestions based on predictive analytics to help users avoid potential issues and problems, improve product quality, increase efficiency, and maximize production capacity.


Last year felt a bit out of control. Even with a vaccine, some of that uncertainly has carried over into 2021. While MasterControl customers are rushing to combat COVID-19, we’ve been working to give you control over your data. Connected, business-wide data can affect every aspect of the business. With this level of control over your data you’ll be able to get to the root of every issue and know how changes will affect your business before implementing them.


Sarah Beale is a content marketing specialist at MasterControl in Salt Lake City, where she writes white papers, web pages, and is a frequent contributor to the company’s blog, GxP Lifeline. Beale has been writing about the life sciences and health care for over five years. Prior to joining MasterControl she worked for a nutraceutical company in Salt Lake City and before that she worked for a third-party health care administrator in Chicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in business administration from DeVry University.

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