What exactly is data management with regard to business intelligence? The two are intimately linked. Most owners and operators would agree that business intelligence is a constantly sought-after prize. Within parking, particularly in the last five to seven years, it’s been data analysis that has played a larger role in optimization.
Recent reports have identified increased opportunities in parking management through improved data analysis and research. And cities, moving forward in their never-ending quest toward smart cities, have directly benefited from prioritizing parking data in urban planning. For example, installing sensor technology in a popular surface lot has allowed the city of Santa Cruz, California, to analyze more than 100,000 parking events and gain insight into everything from utilization patterns to impacts on public safety. Santa Cruz displayed a high level of data maturity to be able to successfully derive information and actions from its analysis.
What Is Data Maturity?
Data maturity is the gauge of sophistication, uniformity, and structure with which your collection, analysis, and utilization of data follow. To have a low level of data maturity indicates that you don’t have the systems or procedures in place to make sense of your data—or you might not even be collecting it. Conversely, a mature data system means that your information can be neatly utilized to gather insights.
A good data maturity checklist and audit will help you determine your level of data maturity and find room for opportunities.
What Are the Core Pillars When Measuring Data Maturity?
The checklist below falls within three pillars of assessing your data maturity: access, analysis, and infrastructure.
Access checkpoints deal with ensuring you’re able to reach and measure all of the data you’re collecting. If your access is compromised, you aren’t getting the best information from your operations.
Analysis checkpoints focus on determining if you’re processing information without obstacles in your way. The better your analysis, the easier it will be to gather business intelligence.
Infrastructure checkpoints indicate any needs for ensuring your systems are set up and protected in a way to keep you secure and future-ready. Having a solid infrastructure will keep any headaches away that may lead to higher capital expenditures.
Data Maturity Checklist
❏ Have you identified your key data points?
Determine what data points matter the most when making decisions. These may include: monthly vs. transient revenue, average transaction duration, lost revenue, and more.
❏ Do you have easy access to your data platforms?
Are you able to easily log in and see your data, or are there hurdles for access?
❏ Is there a specific person or team dedicated to lead analysis and insights?
Ideally, there should be a person or team in charge of overseeing data. If this doesn’t exist, you may be ignoring valuable insight.
❏ Is there one central location or platform that displays dashboard data?
❏ If you’re an enterprise, can you review multiple-location data from one source?
If you have different locations for different data, chances are you’re not getting the full picture. Determine if you can see all your key data points in one place, so it’s easy to make decisions.
❏ Is your data “clean”?
Check to see if you have any duplicate or unneeded data, as this can skew your findings. Ensure that you have marked any variables in a data point that may impact your findings, so that you know which information is skewed and why.
❏ Can you group certain data points or variables?
Rather than disparate pieces of information, determine if you can categorize data in a way that makes analysis easier.
❏ Have you set up data review checkpoints?
Determine a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly review of data that would offer insights and actionable items. This way, you’re able to ensure that everything available to you is used efficiently.
❏ Do you have a communication pathway for delivering results, optimization recommendations, and next steps?
Create a process for collecting, sharing, and presenting data that makes it easy to sign off on next steps.
|❏ Are you logging or archiving data?
|Ensure that all your data can be accessed, including previous data, and that any actionable items are logged. This will grant you a clear vision of your data journey.
|❏ Are your platforms linked, or collecting the right data?
|If you are using different systems for different purposes, check to see if you can distinguish and centralize data for each.
|❏ Is your data secure?
|Your information consists of customer data such as credit cards and other personal information. Do a thorough check to ensure your systems are up to date with the latest compliance and security.
|❏ Is your hardware and software up to date?
|If your systems are out of date, you are likely missing out on new capabilities and new ways of capturing and analyzing information. Ensure that you’re up to date on the latest versions.
Why Good Business Intelligence Matters
As with the case of Santa Cruz, smart data and good business intelligence can lead to opportunities that might not have been found otherwise. As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. In the context of parking, a lack of intelligence is like driving without a wheel, unable to control where it is you’re going. Data can take you even further with machine learning and artificial intelligence. With a mature data system, your software will be able to optimize automatically and learn based on customer patterns.
All of this starts with good parking technology that delivers you the best information. FLASH is equipped with all of the hardware and software to provide you with valuable data and to ensure your own checklist is accounted for. Let us help you get your business intelligence on track and contact us to learn how we can help.
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