How important is data quality? Learn more about how having high-quality data can affect your bottom line in this week's episode of #UtilimarcFleetFYIs
Fleet Compensation Survey: www.utilimarc.com/take-the-survey
Welcome to the Fleet FYIs podcast, the weekly podcast by Utilimarc that reveals how you can make the most of your data for smarter fleet management. My name is Gretchen, and every week I'll be sharing [00:00:30] with you not only over two decades worth of data insights, but some of the industry's hottest talking points and key metric analysis with the aim to help you better understand your fleet from every angle. Before we begin, if this is the first time you've heard our show, thanks for stopping by.
Once you've finished today's episode, if you could take a few minutes to leave us a review on your favorite podcasting platform, I would really appreciate it. Give us a rating, five stars, I hope, or tell us what you liked or leave us a comment or a question about what you've heard in today's [00:01:00] episode. If we haven't yet covered a topic that you're interested in hearing more about, let us know. We would be happy to go over it in detail in a later episode. Let's dig in.
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the Fleet FYIs podcast. Welcome, if you're new to the show and if you're a regular listener, then welcome back. I'm always so happy to have you. Before I kick off today's episode, [00:01:30] let me first ask you this. Have you ever wondered how much money your peers make? Is it just me or does everyone have this innate human curiosity about money? Maybe it's what benefits your peers' company provides. There's a whole host of questions here that I'll talk about the root item on my agenda for today, and that is compensation.
Here's your chance to gain an exclusive look into these insights if you do wonder this just like I do because [00:02:00] Utilimarc is opening up the fleet compensation survey only for the next couple of weeks, the only time this year that's going to happen. Yes, you heard me right. Only a couple more weeks to go for you to be able to share your input in our once per year compensation survey. All answers are completely confidential, and here's the best part. We'll send you a compilation of the anonymous responses straight to your inbox for free as a survey taker.
So if you're interested in taking part head over to www.utilimarc. [00:02:30] com, U-T-I-L-I-M-A-R-C.com/take-the-survey, to get started. The link will also be included in the show notes below. Now, without further ado, let's dig in
[00:03:00] As one of the major themes for this season of Fleet FYIs is big data and what to do with it, I wanted to steer this conversation towards that topic today. First up, we're talking about data quality because that is, in my opinion, the [00:03:30] backbone to absolutely everything in this industry. Any good fleet manager wants the same of their data sets, to be reliable, understandable, and to provide a return for the company. If these three things aren't true, then what's the point? I mean, why not ask yourself that?
Unfortunately, a lot of fleets out there are still using inefficient and outdated systems and might not even realize it because let's be honest, there's so many sources of data out there. And [00:04:00] honestly, there's just sometimes too much to even be able to know where to start or how to comprehend it. And in these cases, the data that you're actually receiving is likely to be unclear, it might be inaccurate, and it could be difficult to validate because a lot of these systems that a lot of folks use, they don't historically connect to each other.
Now, whilst enterprise resource planning and fleet management information systems are incredibly valuable for organizations and essential to running a fleet, these systems, like I said, they don't [00:04:30] always play well with other data sources. Well, what does this mean then? Essentially, using disparate data systems makes it nearly impossible to cross-reference data and to get a full picture of fleet performance, and this can, as I'm sure you already know, result in errors slipping by super easily. Hello, human error when we're trying to cross-reference these ourselves.
And a lot of fleet managers are ultimately working with data sets that they don't really trust, so sometimes they just go by a [00:05:00] general feel of what's going on or sometimes manual reporting is returned to. And in this case, a lot of fleet data systems end up as a sunk cost when they really should be an asset that generates returns for the organization, in theory. Now starting with reliable, high quality data is the first step for successful reporting, and it allows your organization to have a full view of what's going on inside of it.
You can also share reports with full confidence and make smarter data backed decisions. But to get to this point, data [00:05:30] quality starts with unified data streams, error-free information and appropriate storage. But how can we start? Well, I'm glad you, and by you, I mean me, I'm glad I asked. The first step is simply unifying your data streams. It sounds a little bit too good to be true and maybe a little bit too easy, but in reality, for any fleet collecting data from various streams, having them all under one umbrella makes anyone's job so much easier.
I mean, imagine [00:06:00] if you don't have to remember five gajillion passwords, because I mean, if you're anything like me, I'm constantly forgetting, pressing forgot password, hitting reset, and then subsequently forgetting that one a week later. It's a whole spiral effect. But imagine if you didn't have all the passwords, you could log into one spot and poof, all of your data's there. For larger fleets with diverse assets, this is even more critical. With the influx of new technologies, it makes it easier for fleet managers to seamlessly integrate [00:06:30] a new data source into the mix while still remaining very, very much on top of some of your older assets, some of your older fleet mixes.
Or for example, your internal combustion engines as you're looking to potentially replace them with alternative fuel vehicles or electric, you now have that data that's connected from your older fleet assets to now the newer potential options that you can integrate. The second piece of this equation is ensuring that the accuracy of the information is exact. [00:07:00] The next step of the process, we'll ask a simple question, is the data we're seeing accurate? Well, I feel like that question is extremely loaded, and in fact it is.
As with any statistical variable, there is going to be a distribution of error making it easy to identify outliers. Additionally, with the ability to now cross-reference data sources, discrepancies are quickly flagged, giving fleet managers an opportunity to dig into what went on. Take fuel fraud, for example. With a unilateral view of your data, [00:07:30] it could be really, really, really hard to confidently identify any fuel fraud going on within your fleet. Fuel card data might show that conception is higher than usual, but without another source to check, you can be left without any solid answers.
Now, if you had a data management system that ensured that your data was completely accurate, you could get a full clear picture of what's actually going on. If your fuel card data shows higher consumption and telematics reports higher mileage on vehicles, then you've got a clear explanation, [00:08:00] no worries at all. But if you see a higher fuel consumption with no increase on mileage, you've now identified an internal problem that could be worth looking into. Now, last but not least, proper data management will be key in this whole piece.
So once your data is unified and it's cleaned, data storage is the next factor. Contributing to data quality. Depending on your fleet's goals and what you want to get out of your data, the way it's presented makes a massive, massive difference. [00:08:30] For a manager looking for higher level insights to share internally, seeing a small scale granular dataset can make it nearly impossible. You're looking for insights. You're not looking for day-to-day numbers. On the other hand, fleets that are really looking to dig into their data, for example, those that might have a potential fuel fraud issue, will have the ability to be able to really closely look at the granular data from every single day, and they might not need that bigger picture summary straight away.
So there's a little bit of something in there for everybody, [00:09:00] but really the key to proper data storage is ensuring that it's stored in a way and can be visually represented in a way that it makes it easily accessible for every single person that needs to access it, and it's displayed in a way that makes sense to them.
[00:09:30] So what does this mean for you? Well, ultimately, the payoff of high quality data is accurate reporting that all members of your organization can confidently rely on when making key decisions. Data quality lays the foundation for a fleet that is fully [00:10:00] optimized from operations to cost to performance, but I would love to hear from you. If you have any thoughts on data management, data quality, or how a data overall just fits into the fleet management space, please send over your thoughts, your questions or your concerns. You can reach me through email.
You can tag me on LinkedIn. You can use the hashtag #utilimarcfleetfyis, or you can always send me a carrier pigeon because we all know I love those. Last thing before I go though, if you haven't already, I would love if you would rate and review our show [00:10:30] on your favorite podcasting platform, but especially on Spotify. It really, really, really helps us out, and it helps more folks like you find our show. That's all for me this week, but I am so excited to be back again next week with a fresh episode for you all.
Oh, and make sure if you haven't already, not just the review side, but I want to know from you what do you want to see or I guess in this case, hear covered on Fleet FYIs. If there's a particular topic that is currently tripping your trigger or it really gets your motor running, [00:11:00] please let me know because I would love to talk about it on the show. Or if there's even someone that you would love to see interviewed on Utilimarc Fleet FYIs, drop their names in an email to me below and you'll be able to reach me. I want to hear from you to know which direction this show should [00:11:30] go.
Hey there, it's me again. I think it's time to cue the virtual high five because you've just finished listening to another episode of the Fleet FYIs podcast. If you're already wanting more on all things fleet and vehicle technology, head over to utilimarc.com, which is Utilimarc with a C, U-T-I-L-I-M-A-R-C.com for this episode's show notes and extra insights coming straight from our analysts to you. [00:12:00] That's all from me this week, so until next time, I'll catch you later.