Ongoing innovations in technology have transformed the way the world operates. For example, the ongoing evolution of telematics from simple positioning and routing technology to an essential fleet management tool has delivered a wealth of data for decision makers at every level of an enterprise. On the flipside, the potential for information overload can be paralyzing without a comprehensive data management strategy.

Data strategy begins before you implement a telematics solution. To prepare your business to leverage telematics insights by following these tips to make the most of your investment:

Start with the Basics

Big Data can give you a big headache if you try to assemble and process more feedback than you can manage. The following can set you on the right track from the beginning of your telematics implementation:

  • Start by choosing several metrics you want to measure to address your most pressing operational issues.
  • Implement alerts that will provide near-real time data about how that metric is performing, giving you insight on how to improve safety, reduce risks, streamline operations and elevate your bottom line.
  • Set up reporting features that will offer insights into longer-term trends so you can see where further training, preventive measures or corrective action could be taken.
  • Set benchmarks for evaluating progress; once you have experienced success in the areas you chose to address first, move on to the next step and implement features to address additional metrics.

This will be on ongoing process as the fleet industry continues to be impacted by the technological revolution, so it pays to establish roles and methods for applying telematics insights within your organization now. Check in with your provider at each stage to make sure you’re tapping into the full potential of what they offer to meet your fleet’s changing needs.

Review Data Regularly

Collected data should be assessed by professionals who can make decisions about how to interpret the information and take action based on it. This job is made easier by predictive analytics that combine historical and current records to make informed short- and long-term operational decisions.

Regular reviews are necessary for measuring how well plans have been implemented and executed, as well as what needs to be adjusted in order to increase efficiency and profitability. Set up reporting to focus on important performance indicators, then direct insights to the appropriate managers within your organization to be analyzed for use.

Communicate with Drivers

The most immediate — and perhaps most productive — use of telematics data is to adjust driver behaviors that impact safety, fuel usage, vehicle maintenance and other factors that impact the bottom line. Regular communication with drivers about performance goals and progress can transform fleet operations, helping you uncover hidden costs, improve driver morale and elevate your organization’s reputation.

Relay pertinent data to drivers through regularly scheduled email updates, daily texts, group meetings or a company newsletter to keep everyone apprised of how their actions are affecting the fleet’s productivity. Individual and group training sessions offer a valuable avenue for discussion and can be tailored to address specific operational issues revealed by telematics data. Fleet tracking systems can provide features for communicating easily with employees across multiple departments, as well as scorecards or other driver benchmarking reports that can be used to motivate and reward good driving behavior.

Make Profitable Changes

Data is of no value unless you translate it into actions that can help you make improvements to efficiency and drive down costs. Discovering a problem or opportunity is one thing, but best-in-class fleets are transferring insights into changes that fix problems and maximize opportunities.

In a May 2018 interview, Niranjan Manohar, an automotive technology specialist at market research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, said that cars today have more than 200 data points, with at least 140 viable business uses. According to Manohar, a minimal number of these data points are being used to make money right now, but the potential for growth is vast.

Big Data is being used by your competitors to drive change, a trend that is picking up pace as fleet management becomes an increasingly reliant on technology. Keeping up is essential to the survival of your organization in the coming years. The worst mistake you can make during the technological revolution is to do nothing. Business as usual will turn into no business at all unless you tap into the expanding amount of actionable data available through fleet tracking technology.