Data is one of the most powerful tools a fleet can use. Advances in technology and analytics mean that we’re able to generate, collect, process and utilise more of it than ever before. At Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, we’re putting that data to work for our customers as part of our Business Intelligence service. I detailed this in two previous posts, here and here.
To extract the full potential of all this data, it has to be handled correctly. Our expert Business Intelligence team takes care of most of that process. We begin by gathering it from a range of sources. Most of it comes from our own internal databases; some of it comes from telematics systems on the vehicles themselves; some of it comes from third parties, such as tyre suppliers, garages – and others. All of this data is constantly analysed to find ways of making your fleet more efficient.
One of the most important sources of data, and one we didn’t mention above, is you, the customer. You will have your own processes for recording information about your fleet – information that we might not otherwise have access to. This is vital to providing a complete picture of your fleet, as Business Intelligence aims to do.
That means that you have an important role to play. It all hinges on consistency. Business Intelligence wouldn’t work without consistent outputs – you need to know that apples are being compared to apples, and oranges to oranges, when you read the reports we produce. But consistent outputs require consistent inputs. The quality of the data we gather has a huge impact on the quality of the job we can do.
Even the simplest improvements can make a big difference. For example, when a spreadsheet uses both ‘2017’ and ‘17’ to refer to the same year, the whole thing will need to be reworked to make it consistent. The two versions may mean the same thing to the reader, but they could be treated differently by the system. The same goes for when empty cells, ‘N/A’ and ‘–’ are used interchangeably. Organisations should have a clear data strategy and companying controls in place, so that their staff know which option to use and when.
This isn’t about making life easier for the number-crunchers at Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions. It’s about improving the service that we can offer to you. Data scientists spend roughly 60% of their time cleaning datasets. It’s about the same for our Business Intelligence analysts. Imagine if that time could instead be spent extracting insights from that data – and putting them in your hands.
After all, you don’t want nicer spreadsheets from us. You want a better, leaner, more efficient operation. Working together, that’s what we can achieve.
To find out more about Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions’ Business Intelligence service, please contact us on 0343 351 9073.