Data is abundant, and fleet managers get information from so many sources that it can be overwhelming, especially when data is not shared across the organization. When that happens, the fleet manager does not have the complete picture of what is occurring, which can lead to less-than-optimal decision-making.
In addition, raw data alone can be difficult to digest. For it to be useful, fleets should use business intelligence to transform data into actionable insights on which fleet managers can base both tactical and strategic decisions.
A key part of business intelligence is the creation of reports that synthesize all the data and often present it in the form of dashboards that make the data easy to understand. Basically, it provides the fleet manager with visual data to better understand the performance of the fleet’s assets.
See also: The data integration dilemma in trucking
Applying business intelligence to data allows the fleet to go beyond things like total revenue to the more granular revenue per asset. This can be valuable information when looking at asset deployment and asset replacement or when making decisions on equipment investments.
Business intelligence also facilitates a move to predictive analytics. Because it integrates information from outside the company with internal data, the fleet gets a more complete picture of how it is performing. Outside data can include things like interest rates, cost of fuel, and new equipment costs.
Data does not have to be dizzying. It can be a valuable tool for fleets to become more adept at cost modeling and forecasting return on investment for each individual asset, leading to increased efficiency and profitability.
Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for the company's fleet offerings. Gaskins joined the company in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. He leads a team that works with a supply base of more than 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet-related spend.