Programmatic Data Conversion Can Eliminate the Fear of Sunk Cost

By Bruce Smith, Co-Founder & CEO GEOGRAPH

So you want to do a better job of fiber mapping, but you’ve already invested a lot.  You are concerned about putting more “good money after bad”.  You have a decision to make life better, but you’re not really sure if you want to move forward.  

That’s a situation that I encounter fairly regularly.  The issue of sunk costs.  The definition of which refers to unrecoverable costs that have been incurred by past actions.  We all have the them…..the equipment that was purchased, the software upgrade you had to have, or the new tools that were needed…..all of which were supposed to offer a new era of operational efficiency and make everything better.  

It just didn’t quite work out as planned.  

So you want to move forward, but you can’t get beyond the money that has already been spent.

It’s what I call the sunk cost fallacy. Many seem to believe that they must use the investment they acquired, for some unspecified economic period, in order to justify the ROI — even when the workflows, projects, or tools did not deliver as intended.  

So, they put off the new investment, and in reality, most often end up spending more time and money trying to make bad things work, rather than simply starting over.  We’ve all been there, and it’s a hard practice to overcome.  

Sunk Costs and GIS

In the GIS mapping world, and specifically with Telecom Network mapping, this is a major concern for many organizations.  Network operators spend months, and sometimes years, throwing money and time at tools and processes that are clunky, rigid, or lack the effect of organizational efficiency they had promised.  

I’ve seen things go even further — to the point where organizations become paralyzed toward action, because the thought of starting over is too much to consider.  This can sometimes even turn into a fear of the unknown and create an even greater hurdle.

GEOGAPH Senior GIS Analyst, Ben Capell

Concern over Data Migration

The fallacy of sunk costs often comes to light when clients consider data migration, one of the onboarding steps in creating a customized digital twin to manage a communications network. 

This is important to us at GEOGRAPH because we like to partner with our clients, so if our partners are concerned with potential data loss during a data migration effort, then it requires our support and understanding.  In an effort to manage this concern, our Professional Services team has devised solutions to support the process.  

Our team has spent countless hours evaluating best practice methodology for migrating data from Excel spreadsheets, hand written notes, CAD drawings, or from other systems. 

The GEOGRAPH Solution to Data Migration

Over the past twelve months, GEOGRAPH’s Professional Services team has successfully converted data from over 15 organizations using a programmatic process when migrating data from other popular mapping tools. 

This programmatic process minimizes the cost of change, and thus lessens the blow when considering current sunk cost or the cost of making a change. 

This process has been so successful, that in many cases, we have been able to significantly streamline data migration conversions by taking time to evaluate the condition of the data and understanding the consistencies that exist.  We do this by having the know-how, and the team, to put everything together properly.  The result is reduced cost for our customers, which in turn creates the beginning of a positive partnership between GEOGRAPH, our clients, and their data.  

GEOGRAPH Senior GIS Analyst, Matthew Watts

So don’t let the fallacy of sunk costs get you stuck using workflows, projects, or tools that don’t work.  Stop spending time and money to support inadequate processes, and start thinking of a better way forward, with your network data migrated into an intuitive and easy-to-use single source of truth.  

Donato Diorio said that “Without a systematic way to start and keep data clean, bad data will happen.”

Data Migration Expertise with Excellent Customer Service

At GEOGRAPH we focus on providing not only the best fiber network management solutions, but also the best customer service.  We are proud of our 100% customer service satisfaction rating and most of our clients having used our software for almost 10 years.  

So if you’re not happy with your current fiber management solution, and you are looking for fiber network operational efficiency, then GEOGRAPH can help.  We can support you throughout your fiber mapping journey and make it easier than anyone else.

Don’t let sunk cost, and the fear of change, stop you from having the tools and data necessary to make your job easier.  Partner with GEOGRAPH and take the next step in finding a better fiber mapping solution today.

Bruce Smith is Co-Founder and CEO at GEOGRAPH and he began his career building copper and fiber networks over 25 years ago.  He has overseen the construction of more than 10,000 miles of network improvements and he has designed, engineered, and managed projects and installations throughout the United States.  Since June of 2018, Bruce has been at the helm of GEOGRAPH and has established the new organization from the ground up.  Today GEOGRAPH supports over 160 customers in 32 of the United States and in Canada, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and Guyana.

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