Data is everywhere. The more of it businesses can acquire, the more insight they have to best measure their workforce, inputs, and outputs and take action accordingly. That’s an invaluable resource for any company—small or large. In the fleet industry, data is as useful and beneficial. Access to the right fleet data, such as vehicle and driver performance information, can help drive profit while improving efficiency and productivity. But what is the ‘right’ type of data, and how are companies using it to drive results?
The most common fleet tracking data available is Geographic Positioning System (GPS) data. This location- and time-based information provides real-time vehicle visibility into a fleet’s whereabouts, which is important for managers and dispatchers who want to track their fleet’s movement. However, locations and event times alone can’t provide an in-depth view into driving habits or inefficiencies—such as excessive idling, vehicle abuse and fuel waste. Losing sight of these key metrics can destroy the bottom line. This is where actionable data can make a huge difference.
Obvious Data Versus Actionable Data
Although obvious GPS data offers location detection in real time, it offers very little vehicle performance detail. Actionable fleet data, on the other hand, provides layers of information.
Actionable data, commonly referred to as drill-down analytics, gives users a magnified look into fleet activity by allowing them to select time frames and metrics to generate custom vehicle stats about their fleet’s activity. With vehicle analysis data, users can see both GPS and key performance data together for a time stamp of when, where and which inefficiencies occur within a fleet. Vehicle information is calculated and broken down on analysis dashboards where users can see an overview of their fleet’s productivity and dig deeper for specific statistics. For example, if a manager wanted to see how much fuel was consumed—and the cost—during a vehicle’s three-hour journey to a job site, they would simply drill down into the overview data for a time and date, including distance and miles traveled, for that targeted trip.
This type of deep data offers more than just typical GPS track and trace technology and can help steer focus towards the most crucial items.
Using Vehicle Analytics to Drive Results
According to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, “The true measure of success for any service function is the tangible representation of key metrics tied to resolution, the customer experience, and profitability.” In other words, the more in-depth data businesses can see, the better the decision-making process. Their study also finds that top performing firms who use analytics to measure their companies have seen significant improvements year over year across several metrics:
• Customer Satisfaction 11%
• Service Delivery/Revenue 11%
• Idle Time 9%
• Speeding Incidents 8%
• Fleet Utilization 8%
• Productivity (jobs completed daily) 7%
• Accidents 6%
• Service Delivery Cost 6%
With drill-down analytics, businesses capture a variety of daily vehicle activity without having to physically reach inside the hood of their fleets to extract info.
The versatility of actionable data helps track and monitor fuel waste and related costs, distances and miles traveled, idle time including power take-off (PTO) time, and driving habits, for single vehicles, sub-group or an entire fleet right on data-rich dashboards. These user-friendly boards provide a full view of all things fleet performance, including the lowest and highest ranking vehicles for each of the metrics, based on information collected from GPS connectivity and the electronic control module (ECM) of the vehicle, giving users a handful of productivity, diagnostics and maintenance data as well.
Overall, actionable vehicle data can benefit even the smallest of fleets. Obvious GPS data can give you peace of mind when you want to ask “Where are my vehicles?” but using drill-down analytics as part of your everyday fleet management gives you key performance data that can help cut down fuel consumption and other inefficiencies, increasing your fleet’s lifespan, efficiency and cost savings.