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The process of data collection is more than meets the eye. When cracked right, there are multiple ways businesses can use it to their advantage.
It starts with analysis, followed by objective-based interpretation, and ends with opportunities for business development and exploration.
In this article, we’ll take you on an insightful data mission, where you will get the chance to achieve actionable business insights through data.
We are here to empower managers and unleash their decision-making powers.
Actionable business insights through data
The data process can seem like quite a mouthful, but let’s break it up into bite sizes.
Data is the information that you collect from your systems. For example, in the fleet management process, you might need data about driver behaviour, fuel consumption, maintenance alerts, and much more.
Insights are the value you derive from the analysed data. You can use data analytics to identify trends and patterns in the information retrieved. Analytics assists to make sense of the data.
Information is a product of refining this data and giving it structure and context. This way, you aren’t staring at a bunch of random numbers on spreadsheets and documents.
Actionable insights are where the magic happens. This is the part where businesses use data analytics and discoveries to take action and improve the efficiency of their operations.
There are many online tools available to make sense of data. In the fleet vehicle tracking industry, software platforms are trending. The advanced tech is already in place, with powerful insights, and integrated analytics – all designed to give you the reports you need.
Let’s dive in a bit more.
What are actionable insights examples?
Fleet management systems or platforms are what fleet managers can use to achieve and harness actionable insights.
These are accompanied by advanced software technology assisting businesses in developing a strategy to make informed decisions.
You could choose Cartrack as a provider and gain actionable insights such as:
Instantly pinpoint challenges. This will allow you to make changes immediately during work hours and in your business overall. While you are quickly putting fires out the business can keep growing with increased productivity levels.
Receive contextualised metrics. Perhaps you want a specific context for a certain reporting requirement, such as the cost per job. The operational, administrative, and financial data costs can be aligned for you to analyse this spec. Receive metrics for all three and can determine the exact cost per job, and make price comparisons. Maybe one outweighs the other creating a cost imbalance, so you might need to make some cost changes there. Also, compare accurate metrics to see whether your routes are optimal and know how other costs impact your margins.
Use comparable metrics. Compare metrics across drivers and vehicles to pinpoint price differences in costs per task, or differences in behaviour and maintenance costs for the vehicles they are driving. If one driver’s vehicle is costing significantly more on maintenance than others, managers can assist their driving behaviours and empower them where needed. Use this to assess driver productivity. Know how much time your drivers spend on the road and how many jobs they complete in the required time.
Get important insights instantly. There might be an urgent concern that needs your immediate attention, prompting a meeting with concerned parties. Say you don’t have time to spend hours analysing data; the platform will give you a visual overview of your fleet’s fuel consumption, unproductive idling, safety, and utilisation on the dashboard, all with one click. You can filter data by time or vehicle for added flexibility and speed in pinpointing challenges. With this, you can be prepared for your meeting without doing much prep.
What are data insights for business decisions?
We know that actionable data can help you make immediate moves and business decisions.
However, we should expand on it, ultimately using it in the best way possible for the business. In other words, use it to drive workforce optimisation, which encompasses admin together with task, team, and change management.
Fleet owners need a solid business structure and strategy behind them to set the foundation for fleet managers, drivers, and all other staff. From there, we can create meaning out of insights.
But let’s start with the base first.
Actionable insight business considerations
Get the right people in your corner
It's important to hire the appropriate people for the job who can understand the data insights. Investing time and energy into finding the wrong people is costly, and not just financially, but for the business flow. For example, fleet managers should be hired based on the fleet experience they have to understand what the system data means.
Communication and team planning
The importance of communication and planning for businesses and teams has proven to be one of the most important task management strategies. With a vehicle fleet, it goes without saying that you will have a diverse team, often distributed all over. As a result, you need to plan, manage, follow up on tasks and create a space for them to excel. One way of doing this is having communication channels in place to improve driver productivity and ensure efficiency. Fleet software apps offer this feature.
Set up KPIs
These are used to assess an organisation’s performance against its goals. They aid in decision-making, assist in setting strategic objectives, and enable effective processes. This will motivate employees and assist with their performance.
Managers and teams need to create actions within their task management, and delegate tasks to team members. Reminders are set and updates are done, once the task is complete – they can move on to the next. This is also part of the communication channel chosen.
Companies should capture, manage and analyse their data to improve their business intelligence. They can then grab the opportunity to jump ahead of competitors by offering great customer service.
How do you convert data into meaningful insights?
Define your goals and objectives
Before even choosing appropriate fleet management software, goals should be top of mind. Goals give everyday tasks more meaning and clarify the reasoning behind company decisions. Without these in place, there isn’t much to work towards causing stagnation and struggle to make accomplishments. Goals are steps to the end result, which are part of every business plan.
Fleet managers can set operational goals such as saving on fuel costs and improving driver engagement. With this in mind, they can go directly to the part of the platform that gives this insight. Maybe the marketing team's goal is to bring in more leads for the business, which will require a higher budget. Saving on fuel costs and working towards that goal, will directly bring in more revenue for the company.
If this does come to fruition, the data indeed will be a meaningful insight that can be measured to the goals.
Now, you will be able to ask the right questions and figure out what questions you want your data to answer. Before you unravel the data, it will ensure that you don’t spend time on the wrong things.
Segment your data
Cutting up data into segments can help you make better sense of it. A fleet software platform works in the same way as Google Analytics. You can customise the platform to suit your needs, and pull up the specific data you require for adequate reporting. For example, maybe you have a management meeting about driver behaviour and productivity. You can create a segmentation for that on the platform, and then relay feedback on that only.
Use visuals to simplify data sets
Visuals are a nice way to represent data in an easily comprehensible manner. Especially when it comes to presentations, you cannot use raw data to relay information, but should rather use visuals to show your findings. The software’s report function will be the starting point before you create the perfect presentation for your meeting.
Discover the context
Without the right context, you’re either not getting the full story or getting the wrong one. Based on your pre-determined goals, you need to get the full picture to create meaning out of the outcome or visuals. You should ask questions like who is responsible for this within your fleet? Or why did it happen? And in what way does it affect the business?
Spot the right patterns
Up, down and zig-zags in between, this is what you commonly see on visual representations. From this, you can determine patterns or trends in the data concerning certain incidents. You can identify when there is an upward or downward trend, visualise a relationship between two factors, and more. They’re all tailored towards uncovering the stories behind the data.
Determine a hypothesis and action plan
You’ve done your research, now is the time to get going with an action plan. Perhaps, vehicle maintenance issues are the common trend of driver misconduct. Maybe you need to delegate this issue to more team members to resolve, where they will dissect this reporting feature in more detail.
6 key attributes of an actionable insight
We understand that you could be on the move a lot. Want a quick rundown of how to achieve actionable insights? Whip these out and take action.
Tie your insights to defined business goals to drive action. Align them with your KPIs to create urgency.
You need background information or comparisons to give data insightful context. Otherwise, there will be more unanswered questions rather than a plan.
Deliver the insight to the right person at the right time and setting. They need to reach key decision-makers for appropriate action to take place.
If you are highlighting actions, then you need to explain them in detail for people to understand. Explain why something happened to develop more action.
Give interesting insights. There’s no need for repetitive insights but rather to give new developments to create more growth and challenges. We switch off to information if we feel they constantly reinforce, rather than challenge and increase our current knowledge.
Insights need to be clear to understand. People need to understand the reason behind it and how it will help them. Visualisations will help the information stick.
Need some meaningful insights? With Cartrack, there are hundreds of reports to boost your business. Speak to us today and receive automated reports to match your workflow straight in your inbox.
Do you know how to generate insights from data? There are many business insights examples available for fleet managers, to make data actionable.