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Big Data is missing the big picture in Automotive Dealer Groups

Whilst everyone is familiar with hype around Big Data, it has achieved hardly any traction in Motor Dealer Groups. Why? John Hogan will argue that here the holy grail is not so much a Big Data solution but that of a Wide Data solution where the challenge is pulling all the disparate data sets into the one place and re-presenting it to all levels of the organisation in a Dashboard and actionable format. To drive data driven decision making. Not so much Artificial Intelligence, but human Augmented Intelligence.

Automotive data solutions

Automotive Data Solutions - basics

When we reflect on how Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is now built into our daily lives, with the likes of Siri/Google/Alexa anticipating our intentions, chatbots on our websites, and autonomous driving just around the corner, why is it this technology has not been adopted in Motor Dealer Groups? Why is there still a heavy reliance on Excel spreadsheets to pull information together and report on company & people performance?

This is the Wide Data rather than Big Data conundrum, the data sets of the Dealer Group are completely disparate as they come from lots of different sources - DMS’s, showrooms systems, OEM’s, websites, budgets/targets, and third party apps. Excel has been the mainstay tool to pull these together and present in a practical & coherent way. They have done the job, but they come with high collation costs, and it is difficult to distribute the information to all areas of the business.

What about traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools, why haven’t they made inroads?

It’s back to that Wide Data again, it has been difficult to pull it all together without a very large capital commitment with uncertain returns. Most of the heavy investment in Data Analytics has gone into Artificial Intelligence which is wide of the mark for the dealer groups’ disparate data challenges. Many of the Tier 1 Dealer Groups have bitten the bullet and invested heavily in BI software and teams to give them better information to run their business with mixed results.

Enter Software as a Service (SaaS) companies of the modern age. Their job is to solve the industry specific problems and make it available to everyone at an affordable price. That large cost of integrating the Wide Data is borne by the SaaS providers. As is the presentation of information in a Dashboard and in an actionable format, delivered to each business manager according to the job they do each day of the week or month. Not only that, as SaaS providers work on an annual subscription model, the solution continually improves, it is developed with other customers and it is then baked into the solution for everyone. After seeing their data presented in this modern BI format, it is a lightbulb moment for all and there is no going back to spreadsheets.

The actionability of the information and peer pressure means jobs are simply more consistently done properly at the dealer department level. This releases the management teams from much of their firefighting duties & creates thinking time for more tactical & strategic decisions grounded in facts as well as their gut feel. Gut feel comes from years of experience that no computer system could practically mimic. But, arming that same human with the most sophisticated digestible information to do their job then the results flow to the bottom line with much less effort.

For your own lightbulb moment, get your own information represented back to you in the Dashboard & actionable format by reaching out to Real World Analytics today. Email,

Real World Analytics delivers the right information, at the right time, to the right person to make strategic decisions to improve overall efficiency and profitability in the business. Enabling automotive dealer groups to increase their profitability with cloud solutions by unlocking actionable insights using their data.