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Big data offers big bottom-line potential

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Breaking Down Big Data

What’s the buzz around “Big Data” and why should we care? For those of us less familiar with the term, big data refers to the massive volumes of information organizations generate about their customers, employees, competitors, transactions, assets, and more. Companies who figure out how to mine and harness their big data have the potential to dramatically improve business performance. But simply capturing big data is not enough. You must also be able to store, secure and translate this raw data into actionable, understandable business intelligence.

So why should we care?  Automotive dealerships are among those companies realizing the potential benefits of big data. What’s more, they’re investing in solutions to help them collect and make sense of their data. These solutions include GPS-based telematics for tracking and managing vehicle collateral.

In the world of big data, though, you need a solution that does more than simply track the vehicle locations. You need a solution that captures a rich level of data then serves it up as easy-to-understand and -access business intelligence. Before you choose a GPS vehicle tracking or collateral management system, make sure that solution truly delivers the promise of big data.

Start by asking the solutions provider these key questions.

1. Is my data secure, and will you keep me in compliance?

Remember, you’re the one held responsible for ensuring the security and privacy of your customers’ data. So make sure your solutions provider helps you comply with federal guidelines. Questions to ask:

  • Do you have a sophisticated server set-up, or are you just running a single server in a closet somewhere?
  • What security controls do you have in place to protect my customers’ data?
  • Do you have experienced security experts on staff to monitor and manage my data?
  • Do you regularly update your security procedures to counter the latest security threats and breaches?

2. Will I have instant access to my data when I need it?

Your data’s no good to you unless you can access it. Look for a solutions provider who can guarantee service availability and continuity to ensure you’re continually connected to your vehicles and your information. Questions to ask:

  • Do you have a network of multiple data centers spread out across a wide geographic range?
  • If service at one data center is disrupted, how will you ensure availability of my data?
  • How will you let me know if there are any performance issues and when I can expect them to be resolved?
  • Do you make your performance levels and service availability rates public?

3. Will you be able to keep up with my data demands?

Your solutions should grow with you. When you need to access more vehicle data, will the provider be able to accommodate this increase in demand without impacting service? Questions to ask:

  • Do your servers and data centers have the ability to add capacity remotely, as needed?
  • How many active users is your system supporting? Solutions that can handle more than one million GPS units are more likely to meet your growing demands.
  • Do you have a performance guarantee that includes compensation should your servers go down and I can’t access the service I’ve paid for?

4. Will you be able to respond to changes in the market and technology?

Data-mining technology is constantly evolving, along with the automotive finance industry. Will your provider be able to stay ahead of these changes and take advantage of new advancements? Questions to ask:

  • How much do you invest in research and development?
  • How many software engineers do you have on your team?
  • Is your solution built using open, scalable code that allows you to fix bugs, add features and functionality, resolve security flaws, and make enhancements quickly?
  • Does your solution integrate seamlessly with other commonly used systems and applications?

5. What will you do with all my data?

Your solution should not only be able to capture big data. It should be able to store, secure and manage your growing data — today, tomorrow and well into the future. You should also be able to leverage this data to make predictions so that you can plan accordingly. Questions to ask:

  • How will you collect, store and secure my data?
  • Will I have instant access to all my historical data?
  • How do you help me translate my data into business intelligence I can actually understand and use?
  • Do you have a customer service team who can respond to my questions and requests 24/7?
  • Do you have extensive experience in the automotive finance industry?
  • Will you assign a dedicated account manager to help me leverage my data to make better strategic decisions?

Big data does offer big bottom-line potential. To realize that potential, you’ll need a solutions provider who understands the value of big data, and how to put that data to work for you. At Spireon Automotive Solutions Group, we’re ready to answer all your questions, and deliver your big data as actionable intelligence you can use to grow your business.

David Meyer
Executive Vice President, Sales & Services Automotive Solutions
Spireon, Inc.

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