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How to Start Collecting Data: Part 1

  • By Ryan Skidmore

Closer than You Think

You’re already doing. Every time a cash register records a transaction, data is collected. Every time a customer sends an email, data is collected. Every time a vehicle logs a trip in your Fleet Management software, you get the idea. Any and every interaction in your company is data collected. All businesses collect data because all businesses have interactions with their customers and between their staff. It can be on paper, in a spreadsheet, or in Fleet Management software. Recorded information is the beginning of data. All data is good. Recorded information, positive or negative, can yield benefits. Data only speaks truth and fact. It has no agenda and no secret slant, serving and abiding only by the parameters that framed it. Information collected from Fleet Management software will show owners a wide range of stats, like how drivers are performing and where they have been.

More Important than You Think

Data levels the playing field. At the start, certain businesses may carry an advantage in their market, while others may carry a handicap. Data presents an opportunity to truly “know thyself,” by seeing opportunities and stumbling blocks in acute detail and then recording the effectiveness of actions taken to harness them. Every business can do this no matter the size, funding, or experience. Plus, your competition is probably already doing it. There is no good way to divine what new practices the competition is capitalizing on. Are you behind the curve? Can you risk the chance that you are? Inaction is the greatest risk in this equation. Implementing that Fleet Management software, at the very least, negates the gamble of doing nothing. Lastly, the only way to squeeze more out of your business is collecting data. Most mature businesses have fixed every low hanging hindrances. Collecting data, put another way, is both thinking outside of the box AND crunching the numbers. Each an excellent stand alone, combining them creates a formidable tool.  All businesses need to start with this collection of data before drawing conclusions and developing plans to address those conclusions.

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