Have you heard of the term “business intelligence?” You may think this is an obscure industry term, but it isn’t. It very much applies to running a successful fleet and most transportation professionals will tell you, business intelligence (BI) is vital to running an asset- or non-asset based business.
Still, how the term is defined depends on how it applies to your business. For some, BI represents a set of benchmarks and goals tied to key performance indicators. It could be a backend process through which data is collected and utilized to support and enhance business operations.
How It Applies to Transportation
For a large (and growing) number of fleets, BI sits at the vanguard of a new way to do business. Through its utilization, an enterprising fleet can understand hundreds of disparate variables that otherwise would have all been independent data sets meaning nothing without each other.
In reality, BI can help your organization increase profitability and give you a competitive edge in the marketplace. Without it, all the data your fleet gathers could wind up more useless than a truck without tires.
Transportation companies have access to A LOT of data. By analyzing this data in an interactive manner, Trucking companies can better understand the needs of the fleet, can optimize operations and streamline effectiveness, whether it’s in the cab or the back office.
Trucking companies can use BI to move beyond simple spreadsheets and guesswork. They can use these modern tools to get a much deeper understanding of the business.
Even those who work within the BI industry will say that – although its implementation may still be in the early stages – BI will ultimately revolutionize the way they do business. By analyzing the data in terms of volume, variety and velocity, they can make decisions faster, more efficiently and more effectively.
The Ladder of Business Intelligence
While it’s easy to talk about business intelligence in big, hifalutin terms, in reality it is more than just an esoteric concept. The “Ladder of Business Intelligence” model focuses on specific levels of organizational competency and a specific information management fluency.
It comprises of six specific levels:
- Facts are disorganized, disparate, irretrievable or unreconcilable.
- Data is organized in a way that it can be utilized and put into specific context. It is made accessible.
- Information is compiled and leveraged to impact specific projects.
- Knowledge is information used to uncover specific operational inadequacies and address them.
- Understanding forms and business modeling and strategic planning begins.
- Enabled Intuition is a highly-developed process that drives increased performance on a real-time basis.
By evaluating your operations through this lens, it’s easy to see how unrelated facts and information can come together to form a coherent picture.
Why You Need It
The fact is, we are moving into a future where your competitors will be utilizing advanced new tools to enhance their operations. If you aren’t doing the same thing, you could find yourself at the wrong end of the market.
By using BI to gain a deeper intelligence into your operations, complex factors are combined to create a better picture of potential growth and profitability. By using the data, you have in an intelligent fashion, you can use past performance to measure future growth.
This is called managing through the windshield, as opposed to managing through the mirror. You want to make sure your operation is looking forward, ahead at what’s to come and not behind you. By using BI, you can harness the power of data to build a fleet operation to carry you far into the future