Spread the ideas, not the virus: finding certainty in data

Now more than ever, access to data is critical. The mainstream media and global citizens have been inundated with data and reading curves over the past weeks in our collective effort to “flatten the curve”.

Data and analytics are tools that when wielded correctly offer objective and decisive clarity. Predicting a surge of post COVID-19 digitisation, German Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer described how organisations currently leveraging fleet data were in a far more advantageous position than those not.

But these digital insights and advantages extend far beyond the individual fleet. Now, with only essential services operating across most of Europe and embodying the very lifeblood of entire countries and continents, their fleets act as a socio-economic barometer. As such, governments, policy makers and businesses alike are desperate to assess, understand, and relieve the various stresses and pressure points their systems are under.

We need to get medical and food supplies to the people then need it as rapidly as possible, and data is a key variable. Essential deliveries from the largest courier, medical and food delivery companies are today leveraging data to route and enforce contactless deliveries in today’s environment. This will certainly continue to evolve and filter to all fleets in the future. Companies like Europcar and Enterprise and providing vehicles for the frontline to support these efforts. Data is a conduit to these activities and the digital economy will become even more important post COVID-19.

This level of informed decision making can only be achieved when the data is there to be used. With a large connected vehicle base of over 2 million vehicles, combined with the use of advanced aggregation and anonymisation techniques, we at Geotab have already started to analyse and understand the COVID-19 impact on border traffic, essential services, and overall fleet vocaton activity. Essential services have naturally seen a sharp increase in demand but are now stabilising, while overall vocational fleet activity dropped as much as 80 percent in the space of one week in countries such as France and Spain.

Safety and wellbeing are paramount
Provisioning the correct resources in response to times of crisis like these - be they on a business, local, or even national level - is vital, not only to ensure the wellbeing of the end customer or citizen, but also to protect the front line in terms of exposure. Longer, increased, or even unnecessary journeys must be carefully managed if not eliminated and every efficiency squeezed out. Assets (including the vehicles themselves) must be mapped, and their state of service known.

Each government and businesses’ response, deployment, and supplied support of these essential service fleets aims to be as proportional and informed as possible, drawing on data to provide unbiased, objective analysis of the situation as well as highlighting any particular points of friction. Safety and wellbeing is and should always be a first priority of any organisation, and only through informed decision making can this be achieved. As such, we will be updating our impact reporting weekly as we believe this data can and should be combined with other sets to support government response, fleets, and the general public. You can also access anonymised and aggregated data on the impact of COVID-19 for free by registering to ignition.geotab.com, with further datasets to be updated in the near future.

Edward Kulperger, Senior Vice President Europe at Geotab

With the Blog 'Spread the ideas, not the virus' we aim to support the fleet & mobility industry at times of the global spread of the coronavirus. We give the opportunity to our community to express their opinion, their ideas, their support in the format of a letter of max. 500 words to our community. It’s your personal insight to share with your peers and partners in the industry. Send your letter to Steven Schoefs, sschoefs@nexuscommunication.be