A unified team is the foundation of your operations; without a communicative and smoothly functioning atmosphere it is difficult to achieve optimal results. Strong leadership is an important piece of the puzzle, but other facets are often overlooked, including increased collaboration and intrateam communication. When it comes to achieving these goals, one of the best places to start is with their software and workflow. Without an option that expedites or simplifies common processes, or one that fosters collaborative work with its features, productivity can be stifled significantly. Finding the ideal new software option, specifically one created by developers familiar with your field, is a small investment that often pays for itself almost immediately with increased productivity, reduced project hours and a higher quality final product. What features and functions should you seek to ensure that your team is content with their resources and empowered to do their best work?
When working with large datasets, it's common to come across a wealth of file formats; this can present numerous challenges for limited software platforms that are only designed to work with a certain number of formats. Whether it's mapping or graphing software, look for an option that provides comprehensive compatibility with multiple data sources from multiple industries. For mapping software, your best bet will be a platform that is designed to both read and export multiple leading file formats such as SHP, DXF and XLSX. For your graphing option, make sure there is native reading and exporting options for ACCDB, DBF and XLSX.
Unfortunately, many software options prioritize functionality at the expense of user experience and ease of use, rendering it all but useless. An intuitive user experience can save countless hours by decreasing the learning curve and providing easy access to all of a platform's functions and features. For example, seek a graphing tool that provides a single window for viewing, editing and manipulating data – eliminating the legwork and stress created by a platform that requires multiple windows and prevents a holistic view of the project. Another helpful feature is the ability to customize the ribbon bar layout so that team members with different roles or workstyles can each have their own unique and optimized experience. For mapping software, workflows can be improved with an option that allows users to access online data from a diverse set of sources, such as worldwide aerial imagery, worldwide vector data, terrain data, Street Map Imagery, and even data from private servers – all directly within the application.
When a team's ability to collaborate improves, everybody wins. Roadblocks to collaboration can cause frustrations, resentment and an inferior final product. Be sure to choose software options that allow projects to be easily shared online in multiple formats or one that inserts maps, models, graphs and diagrams into Microsoft Word documents or PowerPoint Presentations. Whether passing work between team members or sharing data and updates with stakeholders and clients, tools that focus on collaboration can make things run much more smoothly.