Ideally, soon after your new car share opens you’ll find yourself swimming in data points, all of them helpful for planning and growing your CSO.
You’ll have a range of reservation information (how many trips, what days of the week, average trip length, among a small sampling) and plenty of member information, too (home address, demographic information, and more). You should also have data about trip disruptions, including staff time per incident, causes of incidents, and many others regarding usage. Adding cash flow on top of all this makes for some really useful and intersectional operations insights.
If you’re running a CSO and you want to ensure you’re maximizing your data utility, here are three ideas you might find useful:
1.) Automation. Unless your software already shows your data in easy-to-read graphs that update in real time and are designed to be compared to analysis in the past, talk to your software provider and see if it’s possible to get a large daily (or multiple times daily) “snapshot” of your data. If you can procure such a “data dump”, build or hire someone to build your own small database that can automatically pull the new load each time it’s available. Through this custom database, you’ll not only get the realtime updates you crave, but you’ll save yourself hours of manual analysis and Excel work every month. The investment should pay for itself quickly.
2.) Measure Your Impact. Even for-profit CSOs can and should brag about their positive impacts on the communities they serve. This can include fewer VMT (which is easily tied to fewer carbon emissions), delayed personal vehicle purchase or selling of a vehicle, and changes in members’ transportation habits (walking instead of driving, etc.). You’ll be unable to actually see these changes unless you establish a baseline, so you must ask! Find a place on your application forms to ask questions about your applicants’ current driving habits. On your subsequent annual member surveys inquire about the same topics and contrast them to measure your impact.
3.) Share share share! While everyone fears vital information getting into the “wrong” hands, we think it’s even more vital to get the word out about your accomplishments as a company. This is true not only for the obvious medium of external marketing but also internal marketing. Your entire staff should be trusted enough to hear last month’s numbers at least, and this is doubly important if they have make some measurable improvements. Trust your staff with knowledge and you’ll be rewarded with their insights and creativity.
Happy analyzing! And do be in touch with us if you require assistance sorting through your mountain of data. We’d love to help.