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Using data to transform business

Business intelligence tools have become necessary for dealers to maximise the wealth of data generated daily in the motor retailing.

At Automotive Management Live 2019 on November 7 at Birmingham NEC, Real World Analytics automotive data scientist Neil Murphy will help dealers and carmakers learn how to turn data into insights and intelligence.

Real World Analytics' dealer masterclass is set to demonstrate how business intelligence tools can give automotive managers the entire business picture from piecing together data collected by a number of different systems, so they can make informed decisions based on evidence.

Murphy said: "Even a small group would spend time and/or money on extracting data from the DMS and other systems and bring it into Excel, or a database application. We have seen a number that build a SQL database and run SQL queries. We came across a dealer that specialises in commercial vehicles that built a point solution around their CRM needs. It was doing some pretty cool things to measure the effectiveness of their marketing spend, but they didn’t attempt to scale this out to other elements of the business."

In fact, Murphy maintains it would have been far too costly and complex to do so making the building of a bespoke business intelligence or data analytics system beyond the means of businesses with annual sales of less £2 billion.

He added: "This is an extremely complex solution, it will tie up management time during the scoping stage, it will take many months to deliver, and often the final delivery falls far short of expectations. Complex IT projects have a high failure rate. It is paid for up front and more than likely is a seven-figure cost, it is costly to keep going and unwieldly to adapt as business needs evolve."

Once a system is in place working alongside internal KPIs, insights might be impressive but often are not applied effectively to make a real difference to the business.

"To be actionable, the data needs to be presented to the people responsible for delivering the KPI performance. For example, an external KPI might show that your margin on new cars is not as good as other dealers. It may show that your leasing option upsell is the problem, but unless you can identify which outlet and which salesperson, in real time, is not performing, it is difficult to turn this insight into money,” said Murphy.

The session at Automotive Management Live 2019 will illustrate how the ability to see the whole business in one place allows issues to be identified and acted upon. Dealer groups with five or more sites whose representatives visit the stand or attend the masterclass can take advantage of a free, no obligation, data audit to assess the viability of its tools.

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