Building a business case for software in your ecological consultancy

Rhiannon Liversuch Apr 22 - 3 min read

As an ecologist, you understand how important accurate data collection is. Without the correct data, you run the risk of creating inaccurate reports, which could have implications for your business, your client and the environment. 

Many consultancies still rely heavily on paper-based surveys.  This can cause problems including wasted staff time entering data into an electronic system, slow data flow, needing supporting materials such as maps and photos, and the potential for errors in data transcription. 

This is where data collection software comes in. 

In one system, you’re able to set up, collect and manage all the information you need.  Using an app for data collection allows you to obtain accurate locations for your records, capture images and audio and even build in reference guides where needed. It all works offline too and records can be uploaded and used by other team members as soon as you have data.

However, the introduction of software might ring some alarm bells, as it can be thought of as being expensive, complex and difficult to transition to. This is where some research and testing, coupled with a cost-benefit analysis and simple business case can be invaluable.

Here are our  top tips to help you write a strong business case to showcase why data collection software should be assessed for use in your consultancy.  

Tip 1 – know your facts 

As the person championing the use of software, you need to be the expert. You’ll be the main point of contact when it comes to providing answers to the questions people have across the business. 

When researching software, you should establish a sound knowledge of the following:

When it comes to developing a cost-benefit analysis our ‘9 reasons to use software’ blog is a handy guide to refer to. 

Tip 3 – run a trial and find some software champions

It’s always good to present a balanced view, so setting up a trial with some key data collectors within the organisation is a great idea.  No software will solve every issue you have, so being aware of the pros and cons and having a consensus opinion is important for making sure your business makes the right decisions.  

The trial team can greatly support your business case, by undertaking research themselves and providing further information around the use of software. They can also help support any concerns surrounding particular areas of change, by providing context from a range of perspectives.  You’re also likely to discover key software ‘champions’ in this process, who will enjoy helping the business roll out and implement the new solutions.

Coreo being used by a team

Tip 4 – writing your business case 

Writing a business case can seem daunting. However, it doesn’t need to be long or complicated.  Having a clearly laid out structure will help you to succinctly capture the key points. We recommend you look for a suitable template online or, simply use a set of headings like the following:

We hope by using our top tips, you’ll be well on your way to helping your consultancy business improve its efficiency and effectiveness by moving to a digital workflow for data collection.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about the benefits of using software within your business, or you’d like a demonstration of Coreo, please get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.

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