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3 New Year’s Resolutions for Data

  • By Ryan Skidmore

1. Start tracking

To start tracking is to start collecting data, at least for fleet-based businesses using a fleet gps tracking system. Futurist and talking heads go on and on about “data” and how the future is all about data intelligence. The value of collecting raw information to make decisions at a later date is hundreds of years old. To actually commit to collecting data is akin to diet and exercise. Its benefits are old as living memory and no one disputes those benefits. People make a commitment to a new regiment because they have deep seated problems that can be quickly and thoroughly remedied with the regiment. But then, 30 years of semi-success, failure, and re-commitment slip by. The original ailment progressively worsens. They may even give way to deeper a quagmire to which even a “Pound of Cure”, so to speak, offers little help.  There is no magic trick. The steps are simple. 1) Purchase a GPS tracking system and install the trackers on your vehicles. 2) Start looking at the data to become familiar with whereabouts of your vehicles and drivers. 

2. Start using data

Once you have data in the palm of your hand, start applying it to your situation to fix your problems. In layman’s terms, systematically paying attention to what is happening in the real world is data. Using it addresses the real cause of problems and fixes the problems. Many a business owner prides themselves on being no nonsense and pragmatic. The Doers, as they see themselves, support all the others too distracted by some other master passion. Yet, many business owners are too attached to the sentiment for the way things have always been done or to their intuition AKA “go with your gut.”  While said small business owners imagine themselves in the Vanguard of the Doers, they are, in fact, not. The miracle of data is not that it is an oracle, bestowing divine wisdom that must be taken and acted on with the faith of a zealot, but it is raw facts, by which one test their assumptions about the problem at hand. If the first assumptions are incorrect, the sliver of correctness that inevitably lives amongst falsities is forged into new assumptions, slightly more correct than the first. Through many iterations we arrive at a solution. The pain of embarrassment and disappointment is worth the end. The end being the Solution. In plain English, this is called Trial and Error. The power is that other small businesses (by another name, competitors) will not go through all the heart ache and uncertainty. A little bit of applied data crowns the user victor of their competition. And to the victor go the spoils of customers, profit, and repeat business.  With a fleet GPS tracking solution, you will have all the data at your fingertips to use to improve your business.

3. Driver Safety program

Simply, it’s feeding your drivers educational information and training, watching what they do, and giving them a limit number of chances to slip up. It is the truest child of Mother Data and Father Action. There is no truer application of the phrase “cover your assets”.  The elements of a Driver Safety program are this: One) Preventatively educating your drivers on the best practices of driving, Two) Setting a limited number of infractions with appropriately escalating consequences and correction, Three) Documentation demonstrating the actions taken if a driving incident should happen. A fully developed Program will “lift all boats”, improving driver performance and limiting the liability of the company in the event of some legal action again it. Shepherding such a concoction through the years can be the ultimate chore, but without one the company may not survive the aftermath of an Incident. Not having or maintaining may also be a significant mark of a business amateur. A business is not simply providing a service, collecting funds, and redistributing them, it is strategy and contingency plans to ensure the business’s flourishing and survival.  With a fleet GPS tracking solution you are able to provide all the reporting needed to develop and run a successful Driver Safety Program for your business.

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