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Why user-friendly data will drive the telematics market

Posted by Phil Van Wormer on Nov 4, 2014, 6:00:00 AM

analytics-trendAlthough poised for growth, only 20 percent of the fleet market in North America currently deploys a telematics solution, well below the 40 percent observers say is needed for the technology to reach critical mass and speed up the adoption rate.

While potential end users like yourself tend to be well aware of the undisputable benefits of data-driven decision making, surveys indicate some organizations do not effectively leverage the data or are wary of drowning in pie charts and numbers that they don’t have time to interpret.

A passage in a recent study by Accenture sums up the analytics challenge:

“Only 20 percent of organizations claiming to have a good performance management capability have any proven causal link between what they measure and the outcomes they are intending to drive.”

However, the same study also points out:

If you expect to surpass competitors in the race to keep up with change in the marketplace, you want analytics on your side.”

The demand for user-friendly data is likely to increase as the telematics market grows, fueled in particular by investments in prognostics.

Although interest in telematics technologies related to safety alerts and regulatory compliance remain high, fleet managers rank remote diagnostics and prognostics as those with the most growth potential, according to Frost & Sullivan, a global consulting and market research firm. By 2017, the number of vehicles with a prognostics application in North America is expected to exceed 1.2 million, up from today’s 230,000.

With advancements in prognostics – named by Fleet Owner as the next wave in telematics - fleet managers will be able to monitor not only the tires and engine, but nearly every part of the vehicle. More data gathering points mean more data to process, taking us back to the challenge of data management and data-driven decision making.

As a recent report by Telematics Update shows, telematics providers should bag their sales pitch in favor of presenting the data in a digestible, actionable format to alleviate the concerns of potential users. Effectively applying analytics may require, as Accenture points out, “changing long-established business habits and processes.”

And further:

“Establishing clear causal links between data and the insights, actions and outcomes flowing from the data all depends on making certain you have the relevant data as your starting point, and recognizing what is relevant today may become quite irrelevant tomorrow.”

Scalable by design, users can choose to start small, selecting only to monitor a couple of key metrics. For example, you may decide to install tracking devices on a select number of vehicles and, once you feel comfortable applying the data, expand to cover the entire fleet.

Small-scale adoption may be your ticket to big gains.

Topics: fleet management, telematics, equipment monitoring