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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analytics, data is often collected at certain intervals and by the time it is looked at, it is often already outdated and too old to be of any help.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Piles of paper have now been replaced by cloud-based solutions that collect, record, and analyse everything automatically.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 short, when looking at fleet management systems, one recent study from Berg Insight showed that “the number of fleet management systems in active use in Australia and New Zealand will grow at a CAGR of 12.5 percent from about 1.3 million units at the end of 2021 to more than 2.3 million by 2026” (1). 

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 New Zealand

Although there is an obvious digital transformation taking place, many OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries are still having problems with low productivity. New Zealand is one of these countries. 

There could be many reasons for this, one being that economic statistics do not totally capture the advantages that come with digital technologies. Another reason could be that these technologies are slowly being accepted and “therefore it is too early to notice any real productivity growth”.²

The Government has big plans for New Zealand and “aims to make the country home to the most digitally engaged small business sector in the world” (3). In order to make this a reality, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) introduced the Digital Boost program for small businesses in 2020 and it is still ongoing. 

Industry experts helped put together this plan to ensure it caters as well as possible to small business owners. MBIE “wants to not only help these businesses adopt more digital technology into their business processes, but also support them with learning new skills and understanding their business better through the data that’s generated”.(4)

How smart data can help you 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.(5)

Here is some of the smart data that GPS 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
2-3. OECD (2022), OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand 2022, OECD Publishing, Paris,https://doi.org/10.1787/a4fd214c-en OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand 2022 | READ online (oecd-ilibrary.org)
4. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/business/support-for-business/digital-boost/#
5. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/dmsdocument/18693-nz-business-digital-lan

Find out how our platform gives you the visibility you need to get more done.

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, Vehicle Maintenance, Team Management

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