Movie Monday: Lessons from The Heat to Improve Your Data Collection

By katie simpson on January 6, 2014

We’re starting a new series: Movie Mondays. We’ll be bringing you interesting insights from movies we love both current and classics. I finally saw The Heat over the winter holidays, and knew it had some great insights.  Here are three that I found:

1. Notice What Doesn’t Fit

In the opening scene, FBI Special Agent, Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), conducts a raid. Initially they find no illegal substances or contraband materials. The other agents think the raid is a bust.

But Ashburn turns it around. Why? She notices a moving piece of wood over the fireplace. What does it reveal?

A stash of illegal firearms. Total bust becomes a total success with her catch.

Ok, Hollywood is prone to a little exaggeration, but this scene holds a kernel of truth. Details matter. Catching just one loose wire could stop a fire. The catch may not make you into a hero like Ashburn, but it will improve your business. The more details you gather, the stronger your work becomes.

You don’t need Ashburn’s memory to collect data though. Mobile apps can help you collect and retain data. Have more accurate data with calculations and legible print. You can also expand your data to include photos, GPS location, time stamps and much more.

Even better? You can easily search and find all your data in the cloud. Not only do you get more data, you also get more storage space, both physically and mentally. 


2. Know the Field Like the Back of Your Hand

The force respects Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) not because of how she dresses, but because she’s a fierce cop. She’s rough and tumble, but she knows Boston. Why does that make her great? She uses it to her advantage.

Mullins highlights this strength when she and Ashburn go to a dance club. How? Mullins understands how to fit in and be inconspicuous. Ok, Mullins does force Ashburn to ruin a good suit, but her knowledge makes Ashburn look authentic in the club. Mullins knowledge of the people helps Ashburn connect with her target.

You can’t wear spanxx in a nightclub. 

Your work may not involve nightclubs and drug lords. But you need to understand who you are working with. Are your customers mostly older or younger? Do you work mostly in offices or in people’s homes? All of this affects how you present yourself and reach out.

You don’t need to be a native like Mullins to understand your customers. Mobile apps can help you gather important information about your clientele. Do you work at their homes? Put their address on a map to see where your clients are (and areas where you could grow into). Tailor your messaging for your clients. When you send receipts, you can customize email message so that it’s messaging that works for them, not just your computer.

Knowing your customers, what they want and need isn’t easy. But gathering more information can help you understand them better and reach out in an effective way.

3. Quality, Not Just Quantity

Ashburn gets a tip about a boat coming in with drugs. She sets up a raid…only to find the boat isn’t full of drugs, but partiers.


So why does this bust fail? Because she had bad information. She relied on an informant who had bad information. In fact, that leak not only led to a bad bust, but put the informant’s life in danger.

The business takeaway? Not only do you need data, you need quality data. A lost invoice stinks, but an inaccurate one can cost you time, money, or worse—your reputation. Human error often hurts data. Illegible handwriting, miscalculation, or even a coffee spill could cost you important forms.

Mobile apps protect your data from these errors. Never struggle again with handwriting. Don’t worry about calculations: the app does it for you. Coffee? It can’t touch your work: it’s safe up in the cloud. Get the best information and make the best decisions for your business. 

There’s More…

Good data and hard work help these buddy cops catch their kingpin. Mobile apps could help your take back both time and money.

Don’t believe me? See how HAFSCO saved $10,000 a month by going mobile!