Speaking at Google’s Big Data event in London last week, Jason Price, Isotrak’s sales and marketing director, and Terry Skelton, group fuel manager at Turners Ltd, shared their views on how big data is helping transport companies to streamline their planning operations and drive competitive advantage alongside the more traditional ideals of cutting fuel costs and reducing their carbon footprint.
It's a fact that Big Data is revolutionising the transport industry in general and the retail sector in particular, where the ever advancing focus of Home Shopping to the door as well as the store means data is plentiful.
With fleets of vehicles reporting status updates every few minutes, fleet managers could be overwhelmed by the avalanche of data that is almost incomprehensible without it being filtered into some kind of meaningful intelligence.
Gone are the days of tracking devices being regarded with suspicion or as “spies in the cab” that plotted a vehicle’s position on a map and reported a driver for speeding. The latest innovations in telematics mean that transport executives can reduce miles on the road and add £’s to the bottom line.
While the industry realised that telematics was a tool that could help to optimise fleets, monitor and regulate driver behaviour and consequently reduce operational costs, the mammoth task of sifting through all the data to extract specific information was a job best left to management reporting software.
For a company like Turners, with 1,000 vehicles on the road covering 116 million miles per year, each vehicle being “pinged” every five minutes, this adds up to more than 650,000 updates every day, each one containing valuable information that can help the savings efforts.
Enter Isotrak – a company with the capacity to analyse these messages and extract the required data to produce meaningful and usable intelligence, such as KPI reports for customer service departments, exception reports for driver training purposes, remote diagnostics for fleet maintenance staff, or route deviation reports for planning and scheduling staff.
All told, Isotrak analyses millions of updates every day and billions every year, generating customer-specific reports for the right people to enable them to resolve issues, identify trends and optimise their transport resources.
In a nutshell, Isotrak converts big data into meaningful intelligence to help transport companies like Turners operate more efficiently, reduce costs, comply with regulations and monitor their impact on the environment.
Every so often an IT buzzword like "Big Data" comes into mainstream usage, and with companies like Turners and Isotrak demonstrating huge savings by using it, the time has come for transport executives to sit up and take note.