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Finding and analyzing the right data remains a struggle

Survey finds that while real-time data is considered the “holy grail” in many business circles, it also can be an “Achilles heel” if the accuracy or accessibility to the data is not great.

We all know trucking is in the midst of a digital transformation, whether we like that idea or not. And with such a transformation comes the need for ever-more data – especially real-time data – so freight efficiency across a range of metrics can be maximized.

Yet such an increasingly reliance upon data means accuracy and accessibility must be maximized as well – something that’s proving to be a challenge for many industries, trucking included.

A recent global study conducted by Pitney Bowes Inc. provided some insight into such “data challenges,” noting that nearly half (46%) of business professionals purchase third party data to make business decisions because they find it valuable (85%) and have confidence that it is up to date (83%).

Yet that study, entitled Digital Is Driving The Next Generation Of Data Marketplaces and compiled by Forrester Consulting, also found businesses are finding it difficult to effectively use it.

When asked what the biggest challenges were to using the data, the 800 participants in the study cited improving the quality and accuracy of data (70%), maintaining the quality of data as it changes (69%), and improving the ability to detect and track changes in data (69%) as their top challenges.

“It can be the ‘Achilles heel’ if the accuracy of the data is not great, or the accessibility of the data is not great; accuracy and accessibility are critical,” stressed one respondent to the Pitney’s survey, a vice president at a financial company.

“As business leaders begin to incorporate [more] data, it’s imperative that they … access the most accurate and precise data to achieve their business goals – and to avoid millions in lost revenue from dirty data,” noted Bob Guidotti, president of Pitney Bowes Software Solutions, in the report.

He added that 96% of participants in Pitney’s survey said they also find data difficult to acquire, with the high costs of licensing reliable data sets from third parties (55%), along with the timeliness and reliability of open data sets (54%), and finding the right data products in the open market (50%) the most common “pain points” for organizations looking to acquire this data.

In order to achieve their business priorities, participants in Pitney’s poll said they believe it’s important to maintain the quality of data as it changes (82%), improve the quality and accuracy of data (82%), and expand the ability to source external data (81%).

Just goes to show you that good data management, like good preventive maintenance practices for trucks and trailers, will be essential to the development of solid information and technology strategies for motor carriers large and small in the months and year ahead.

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