Fleet management software will develop towards using big data in 2017, says Chevin Fleet Solutions.

The continual development of mobile and automotive technologies, such as telematics, autonomous vehicles and connected cars, means more data than ever is being generated relating to fleet vehicles, equipment, staff and other assets.

And with fleet operations under growing pressure to keep costs down, reduce workloads and reduce deadlines, the potential of using new sources of data is widely recognised, encouraging the trend this year.

'Of course, big data is not simply about collecting volumes of information: the key to efficiently using it in fleet management is to identify what information is most useful and then bring it together for reporting and analysis,' says Chevin managing director Ashley Sowerby.

'Simply asking the question, 'to what end this data can be used?' or 'how could we enhance our fleet operations by bringing existing internal or external information together using fleet management software?' can be a powerful enabler'

Meanwhile, with an increasing variety of data being generated externally by telematics systems, fuel cards, maintenance service providers, parts suppliers and fleet management companies as well as tax, title and registration and driver management solutions, Ashley Sowerby believes ease of integration will also prove to be a key trend of 2017.

'With so much information potentially available ' often coupled with stringent deadlines, administration or cost constraints ' the process of integrating data from third-party applications and service providers into fleet management software should never be difficult or time-consuming,' he said.

He also predicts an increased use of mobile devices to help operational management and maintenance of fleets. They can be used to manage almost any kind of activity, from providing load, pick-up and delivery details and route information to drivers to collecting inspection, maintenance or audit information from drivers, workshops, job sites and more.

He concludes: 'A fundamental capability of our software is to provide a robust solution that functions as a centralised repository of fleet-related data. Chevin's own fleet management software, FleetWave, will undergo continuous development in the coming year and beyond. Our objective is to continue to help our clients harness a wide range of data and allow them to more effectively manage their fleets through information rather than instinct'