As announced at the beginning of the year, Nova teamed up with Quire, a state-of-the-art report authoring software platform, to enhance our report writing and data collection capabilities.
Click here for the original interview with Quire CEO, Kelly L. Stratton, from January 2018.
After a year of using Quire, we talked with some Nova experts for their feedback on the partnership, how we benefited, challenges we faced, and what the future may hold.
Time, time, and MORE TIME for writers, reviewers, and production staff. Reports can be prepared more efficiently, especially without having to reformat the report or remove unnecessary fonts/highlights. Quire also allows the writer to insert information that was gathered as part of the writing process into the appropriate appendices, and then allows the reviewer to decide which information is pertinent to the report or exclude information as they see fit. This eliminates the need for production to spend additional time preparing final reports. The Quire mapping and photo management tools have also been critical in saving time. Rather than figures being completed in different formats, they are prepared in one location and should appear more consistent between authors. The photo page option in Quire is much easier to use than Word, and since all the photographs for a project are stored directly in the appendix, it is easier for reviewers to remove or add photos as needed.
Standard text throughout reports have been locked so that writers and reviewers alike do not need to review it. This also ensures that an author does not modify client-required text. The information provided within reports has been simplified and moved to tables, so it is easier for reviewers and clients to evaluate information. Our transfer to Quire has brought about discussion among different groups within Nova, which is an improvement in communication for the company. Nova has also increased communication and training with Professional Associates in part due to the transfer to Quire. The change has also called for us to review report templates and make global changes, so our reports are more consistent between account managers. We have even seen a decrease in the number of templates being used, which is helpful to our authors and reviewers in terms of time and consistency.
The Quire app allows authors to take photos and add captions to those photos while in the field. It allows the author to upload photos directly to the photo log either from the field or when they return to a wi-fi connection. There are also tools available in the Quire app that scan documents and convert them to PDF documents (single or multiple page), which can also be uploaded directly to the correct appendix. Additionally, authors can change salient data in the report tags section in the field. These functions allow reviewers to glance into a report early in the process to see how the report is progressing and what has been identified at the site inspection. As Quire improves its platform, it will allow more data to be added to the report from the field.
For a multi-site portfolio, Quire allows management to provide real-time findings to a client rather than waiting for all the reports to be completed or submitted for review. Various spreadsheets can be generated for any type of report and can include table breakdowns or RECs/findings encountered during the assessments. The portfolio view also allows management to change report tags or standard language across multiple reports with a few simple steps.
Quire has allowed Nova to streamline report content and make text more consistent across numerous authors and reviewers. Each author/reviewer comes with a unique writing style and knowledge that has been obtained since becoming a professional. Prior to Quire, the report writing process required extensive paragraphs that were time consuming to write and read. Especially for portfolio work, the same information may be presented in numerous ways, which makes reports appear inconsistent. Optional language has been created that is catered to specific client needs or preferences desired by the reviewer. Standard language and the use of word banks decrease the variability in how an author might present information. Because of this, reports appear consistent, especially across a portfolio.
There is a learning curve when first using Quire; however, the company offers numerous online training sessions that are recorded and can be viewed at a later date. It is strongly suggested that all Nova employees attend training with Quire, join training provided to our Professional Associates, or watch videos through Nova University, which explain the Nova standards and our process for report-writing in Quire. We also have three Quire “super users” on staff to help with any questions or concerns that may arise: Jennon Lewis, Casie Permenter, and Cheryl Campbell. Quire is highly responsive and always available through its chat feature or via email as well. Quire is always open to suggestions to improve its platform and to make it easier for the end-user.
Quire is always working to improve its product, and as a result, it is consistently releasing updates. Currently, the company is working on improving the Quire app so the functionality is better from the field. Nova has already made several suggestions that Quire is working to include in the near future, so please notify us of any changes you would like to see!