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Smart data to achieve your fleet sustainability goals

By Verizon Connect Team July 22, 2022

Smart data is when intelligent algorithms identify and extract signals and patterns from data. When it comes to traditional analytics, data is often collected at certain intervals and by the time it is looked at, it is often already outdated and too old to be of any help. 

This is why smart data is the way forward. But how does this tie in with fleet management and how can smart data help your business achieve its fleet sustainability goals? Read on to find out.

What is smart fleet data and why is it so important?

Gone are the days when fleet managers had to rely on spreadsheets and printed documents to analyse their fleet’s performance. Thanks to digitisation, fleet management has been facilitated beyond belief. 

Piles of paper have now been replaced by cloud-based solutions that collect, record, and analyse everything automatically. This analysed data can then be used to make future plans for better fleet efficiency and sustainability. 

In just a few clicks, it’s possible to find out when a vehicle next needs servicing, how much fuel it consumes, and with proactive maintenance, you can know when a vehicle is likely to need a repair before you’ve even noticed any signs of wear and tear. 

By helping to keep vehicles roadworthy, this can prevent unnecessary downtime and costs by reducing the chance of a vehicle breaking down.

With smart data, such as that collected from telematics software solutions, fleet managers are able to access relevant and important information in just a few clicks. This includes their fleet drivers’ behaviour, traffic problems that require a vehicle to re-route, and unauthorised fuel usage. Using smart data really is the best way to help your fleet be as productive and efficient as possible. 

In the future, this software will become even cheaper as more companies implement it into their daily business. However, fleet managers may find themselves having to brush up on their IT skills as smart data provides so much information on your fleet that it’s imperative to know how to use it to your full advantage. 

Smart data really is revolutionary for the industry, making processes more efficient than ever before and helping your fleet stay sustainable and profitable.¹

Current use of big data in Australia

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia could really benefit from increasing their digital capability and using big data. These benefits include increased profitability and more time saved for the company. The Australian Government has even introduced incentives to encourage businesses to embrace digitalisation.

Here is the plan to boost the digital economy:

  • Australian Data Strategy with the aim of creating a data-driven economy by using data to its full potential
  • $111.3 million budget to speed up the Consumer Data Right rollout
  • $40.2 million to launch the Digital Atlas of Australia, a three-dimensional digital atlas of Australia’s geography
  • $16.5 million to realise a pilot program with the aim of making the Australian Government’s data assets more transparent and supporting whole-of-economy reuse²
  • $12.7 million to provide 17,000 small businesses with access to cheap, but high-quality advice regarding digital solutions³

The Australian Government has identified “four priority areas that should be focused on in order to boost Australia’s position as a leading digital economy and society before 2030”. These areas include “digital SMEs, modern industry sectors, dynamic and emerging tech sector, and digital government and services. By digitalising SMEs, this will help them become more profitable”.⁴

Digital SMEs and the COVID-19 pandemic

According to the Small Business Digital Taskforce Report 2018, many SMEs weren’t aware of the benefits of adopting digital technology and how it could lead to growth and better productivity if implemented properly. 

Despite company “websites being one of the first steps to digitising a company, only around 50% of SMEs had one”. Even fewer used cloud services and only a small percentage claimed cyber security as a priority.⁵

When the pandemic hit in 2020, it forced many companies in Australia to get acquainted with digital technology so they could adapt better to the constant changes. Just “under 90% of companies in Australia embraced new technology to help their business keep afloat during the trying times. A lot of businesses admitted that these new digital channels provided them with more opportunities and allowed them to grow”.⁶

This new-found appreciation for digital technology meant that in just one year, Australian SMEs experienced a higher number of websites, increased use of tools for digital payroll, and a rise in digital stock control processes than they had seen the whole previous decade combined. “37% of the companies that are more digitally advanced noticed either a slight or significant increase in productivity in this time period”.⁷

With more and more SMEs jumping on the digital technology bandwagon, “it isn’t a surprise that the gap between connected and not connected companies has grown bigger. The type of company most reluctant to let new technologies into their daily business is micro firms, which are 75% less likely” (8). 

As of now, less than “40% of micro and small businesses make use of digital tools to support their planning or marketing processes. The reason could be that they are unaware of how these technologies can actually help. Although the Australian Government is doing a lot to promote its data strategy, many SMEs are still unsure or too sceptical”(9). The Government plans to continue focusing on the adoption of digital technologies over the next ten years “to facilitate business processes and increase profits” (10).

How smart data can help us hit fleet sustainability goals

The numerous benefits of smart data help your business not only to be productive, but also to be sustainable by reducing fuel wastage, unnecessary journeys, and optimising fuel efficiency to name but a few. 

All these behaviours can lead to increased emissions and a greater carbon footprint. Fleet managers can use the information they’ve collected from smart data to help extend the life of vehicles and prevent unexpected downtime through proactive maintenance.(11)

Here is some of the smart data that fleet tracking systems can deliver:


  • Fuel efficiency report: Measures vehicles’ fuel efficiency by comparing fuel purchases against speeding, harsh driving, and idling.
  • Fuel purchased report: Overview of fuel purchases for each vehicle.
  • Lost fuel report: Reveals if a vehicle wasn’t tanked up despite its fuel card being used or shows when more fuel was bought than the vehicle’s tank can hold.
  • Carbon footprint report: Measures a vehicle’s carbon footprint.
  • Distance travelled report: Calculates the distance travelled by your fleet during work hours over a certain period of time.
  • Vehicle maintenance report: Displays the due date of a vehicle’s next service and highlights any services that are overdue to keep the fleet in best condition.

Idling duration

Idling is when a vehicle’s engine is running, but little or no movement is detected. Managers can set the amount of idling that they find acceptable and will receive a notification in the results if this is exceeded. 

Wasted fuel

Idling time is compared with estimated costs for the vehicle to work out how much fuel (and therefore budget) is wasted through idling.

Harsh driving

This includes quick acceleration, hard braking, and taking corners too fast. These are all displayed in the results with the worst behaviour preceding the rest. 

High speed

What counts as a speeding event can be determined by the fleet manager. Each time such an event is recorded, it will show up in the results, classed by its severity.

Route optimisation

Route-planning software helps calculate the most cost-efficient routes. Changes and updates can be seen in near real time and can therefore be responded to more easily.


1. https://thefutureofthings.com/13114-heres-why-big-data-is-the-future-of-fleet-management
2. https://digitaleconomy.pmc.gov.au/fact-sheets/data-and-digital-economy
3. https://digitaleconomy.pmc.gov.au/fact-sheets/sme-digitalisation
4. https://digitaleconomy.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-05/digital-economy-strategy.pdf
5. https://digitaleconomy.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-05/digital-economy-strategy.pdf
6. https://digitaleconomy.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-05/digital-economy-strategy.pdf
7-8-9-10 https://digitaleconomy.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-05/digital-economy-strategy.pdf

11. https://reveal-help.verizonconnect.com/hc/en-us

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Verizon Connect Team

The telematics industry is moving at a fast pace. With new developments, use cases and feature sets emerging every day, it can be challenging to make the right decision for your fleet business. Verizon Connect Staff is conceptualized to be a partner for your business and help you make smart choices based on useful content.

Tags: Dispatching & Scheduling, Field Management, Productivity & Efficiency, Team Management, Vehicle Maintenance

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