What’s the difference between a fleet analyst and a data analyst?

Michael CarrJanuary 21, 2022

Data analysts play a key part in the operations and planning of any organization. At a closer glance, they are in charge of pulling, processing and making sense of raw data so that it can be scrutinized for general trends, shortcomings and opportunities. But when it comes to bigger picture, data analysts are needed to validate any major decisions within a business.

The role of a data analyst

With so many moving parts within a fleet (no pun intended), a data analyst has numerous data streams to take in and countless metrics to track. At a basic level, data can be used for benchmarking purposes; to see how your fleet compares to its own past performance as well as how it stacks up against other fleets industry-wide.

This can mean pulling together basic metrics like average unit age, productivity, cost per gallon (by class) and average purchase price. Data analysts can put together these reports with the help of telematics, fleet management systems, fuel cards, drive cameras and more.

Being a data analyst in a niche like fleet management can come with its own set of challenges, however.

The challenges

  1. A system that is working against you. Many data analysts working for a fleet are often stuck working with an outdated, legacy system. This makes their jobs even harder, as they must worry about navigating unreliable data reports to draw uncertain conclusions. Without a clear and definite trust in their data, there is only so much any analyst can do to receive positive results.
  1. Wasting time processing instead of discovering. Similar to the previous point, outdated systems can lead analysts to waste hours a day simply retrieving, scrubbing and standardizing your fleet’s data. This is an inefficient use of analysts’ time, as it leaves less time for them to make the observations that they are trained to make and that would ultimately drive change within the fleet.
  1. A lack of industry expertise. Data analysts are professionals at working with what they know best – data. This is why they are entrusted with companies’ confidential information and reports and able to draw actionable insights. However, the fleet niche has a plethora of nuances and background industry knowledge that simply come with the domain. This can be a challenge for a less experienced data analyst who has little to no background in fleet and makes it much harder for them to draw a bigger picture from the individual data points.

What makes a fleet analyst different?

There are two ways someone can gain the status of a true fleet data analyst. One way is to have spent years or decades working in the fleet industry, naturally garnering deep domain expertise or “fleet cred.” These industry veterans know fleet because they’ve seen how it works firsthand. The greatest advantage to this is the immense value that can be brought to the table. In addition to data insights, a data analyst with a strong background in fleet can bring a different point of view and make more relevant suggestions to the management team.

Another way to gain fleet data analyst status is by utilizing business intelligence as your secret weapon and most powerful tool. Business intelligence combines powerful data processing capabilities with highly customizable data organization that turns any data analyst into a fleet expert. By cutting out hours of time spent processing and organizing data, a good BI platform helps analysts skip to the point of the process where real value can be created.

The bottom line

Utilimarc’s Business Intelligence platform is the best of both worlds, combining years of industry research and fleet cred with a comprehensive platform. The platform seamlessly integrates your fleets’ various data streams into one place for easy management and helps you to easily navigate daily data points with our custom reporting and customizable daily dashboards. This makes it as easy as possible to see where your fleet stands, take steps toward optimization and share accurate information with all levels of fleet management.

Ultimately, the results are clear savings in time and costs, and an unmatched level of confidence in your data. Our team is committed to building out your fleet’s goals into custom metrics to be tracked across time and across the industry. Essentially, if you have the data, we can put it to work for you.

If you’re interested to see how our platform and team of analysts are driving fleet success with telematics data, schedule a demo with us today.

Michael Carr

Michael Carr is an account manager at Utilimarc, previously attending Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. If you can't find him on a golf course, watching documentaries or a Formula One race, you can count on him being in the northern Midwest with a dog or two by his side. See more from Michael

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