There’s no doubt that the real-time data collecting capabilities of telematics provide fleet managers greater insight into fleet operations. Data collected can help spot problems, identify opportunities, and allow for more informed decision making. The end result is greater efficiency and improvements across key areas of operations, including fuel consumption, safety, maintenance, and productivity.
But, for all the positives that telematics data can provide, the quantity of data collected by devices can be so large that it has the potential to become overwhelming, with fleet managers scrambling to organize and interpret it all before they can take action and make it meaningful. Considering the numerous responsibilities fleet managers must keep up with on a daily basis, this is hardly the most productive use of a fleet manager’s time and expertise or the most effective way to get the greatest ROI from a telematics system. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Making Data Manageable and Meaningful
Data overload is a common concern among fleet managers and upper management, and, as telematics continues to evolve, the amount of data available is only going to get bigger and bigger. Just as too much of a good thing can become a not-so-good thing, too much data can lead to missed opportunities and a vulnerable bottom line, as safety, maintenance, and other initiatives take a back seat to managing the vast quantities of data that telematics devices collect.
How you can avoid data overload and get the most from your telematics investment is by being smart with how you use your data and your time — which can be accomplished by following these simple key tips.
Set Clear Goals
Start with as few goals as possible, and ask yourself, “What is it that I want to find out?” This will help narrow down a focal point to help you better reach your end goal.
Focus on one goal at a time, and when you are comfortable with the information, move on to the next. Consider breaking large amounts of data into subsets that are easier to work with.
Work with Your Provider
Your telematics provider can develop dashboards that are user friendly and tailored to your goals, have summary reports scheduled to pull automatically and alerts emailed or sent via your preferred communications method.
Manage Time Wisely
To avoid getting distracted, set a specific amount of time when going through data so you stay on track with your current goals. If you have not been given a specific deadline, give yourself one, so you stay focused. Force yourself to make quick decisions in order to simplify the process. With so much information, this will make you consider what you feel is best and move forward from Point A to B.
Take immediate action where necessary. For example, if data shows a driver is excessively idling on a regular basis, don’t let it fall through the cracks — handle it immediately, and make sure you have a consistent plan that outlines the procedure for doing so.
Data and the data-driven fleet are here to stay, with the number of data points and sources only growing. Making this information actionable, rather than overwhelming and distracting, requires knowing what you want to measure, extracting the right information, and then utilizing it correctly. That’s how you overcome hurdles, reap the benefits, and run your fleet more efficiently.
Are you interested in learning more about telematic best practices? Check out our Fleet Telematics white paper here.