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Colorado 811: Streamlining Damage Notification Process to Achieve Higher DQI as 811 Center


Colorado 811’s DQI is among the highest for 811 centers. While mandatory damage reporting in Colorado drives a large quantity of damage data, Colorado 811’s high data quality is also due in large part to its emphasis on logging accurate, complete damage data from excavators. When an excavator calls Colorado 811 to report a damage, the call center employee is trained to glean as much information from the excavator as possible. This is done through Colorado 811’s improved damage data collection process and form, which was recently reconstructed to capture the most pertinent damage information that the excavator can provide, based on the fields of the DIRT damage submission form. Colorado 811 uses an automated (XML) process to enter this information into DIRT, which saves the center staff time that would be required to enter the DIRT data as a separate step. With the well-constructed form and a staff trained to make the process as streamlined as possible for the excavator, this process adds only about 30-35 seconds to the call.

The data is then used by Colorado 811 to help target its marketing and outreach efforts to the trends that are happening in the field. Because it allows the 811 center to track damages from specific efforts over time, Colorado 811 has used its data to work with large state natural gas providers to provide educational resources for excavators with frequent damages. Colorado 811 also refers to the data’s overall root cause trends to support legislation. It also provides counties with “report cards” that assess the area’s public awareness efforts, damage prevention efficacy and a composite of both components to evaluate damage prevention trends at a more local level.

DIRT Analyst Perspective: Colorado 811 improved its DQI from the low 60s in 2018 to the low 80s in subsequent years. The largest area of improvement was in Part I - Root Cause, where the 811 center increased from a “known” root cause in less than 30% of reports to nearly 80% in 2021.

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