The Challenge of Siloed Data
Companies in the mobility industry increasingly recognize the significance of data analysis in making well-informed business decisions. Nevertheless, extracting and using data from diverse mobility assets and data-generating sources can pose challenges. Disparate data sets, commonly referred to as “data silos,” are housed in different applications and systems managed by various stakeholders, including finance, operations, third-party vendors, and partners.
Data silos make it difficult to access, analyze, and utilize scattered data sets efficiently and securely. These barriers hinder parking operators from gaining a complete and accurate understanding of their business. Consequently, businesses fail to capitalize on opportunities to monetize the valuable insights and information derived from data, thus missing out on data’s true potential–profit!
Integrating Data as an Art Form
How can parking operators effectively integrate their disparate data sets into a unified whole?
In this undertaking, we can draw inspiration from the art of Kintsugi, an ancient Japanese technique. Kintsugi, which means “to join with gold”, is the art of bringing disparate, broken pieces of pottery together using precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum. The philosophy of Kintsugi emphasizes that while each fragment has inherent value, by carefully joining them together, they form something entirely new and even more valuable that has new meaning.
Kintsugi is about creating strength from imperfection. Similarly, think of the broken, imperfect pieces as your data silos. They contain valuable information individually, but by seamlessly connecting those pieces, you can gain a more valuable, cohesive whole– a robust 360-degree view of your business.
Joining Data Silos
With advancements in technology, parking managers can now use new tools and methodologies to streamline the collection and analysis of data and implement data sharing practices among parking systems and vendors.
Interestingly, Kintsugi’s restorative process resonates with the integration of fragmented parking data. Here are four steps involved in Kintsugi’s intriguing journey of reparation and value creation which apply to joining your data silos..
1. Gather the broken pieces
To start integrating data silos, the initial step is to identify the disconnected data and its respective locations. These data sets are found in a variety of sources such as parking meters, PARCS systems, garage cameras, vendor databases, municipal databases, and more. It is crucial to carefully identify all parking data sources and understand their distinctions and the information contained therein.
2. Understand how the pieces fit together
Deriving value from data goes beyond simply gathering it; it requires the ability to connect the dots. To leverage the full potential of integrated data sets, it is crucial to understand how they work together.
When developing an understanding of diverse parking datasets it is crucial to tackle questions such as:
- Who owns the data?
- How and where is it stored?
- What purposes does it serve, and what narratives does it foster?
- How can we make the data coherent and organized?
- What are the associated costs of utilization and integration?
- What outputs are we aiming for?
By addressing these critical queries, you can gain a deeper understanding of the data and unlock its true potential. Once you have that information, you can determine which fragments of data can or should be interlinked and prioritize the data that needs to be integrated. This understanding ensures that the most valuable data becomes immediately available for decision-making.
Interestingly, Kintsugi finds beauty in the imperfect and regrets when something is wasted. In the context of data integration, this implies that you shouldn’t discount data just because it doesn’t fit into preconceived notions. Remember, sometimes, the most valuable insights come from unexpected places. Therefore, taking a holistic approach to joining your data sources enables you to unlock insights that would otherwise remain hidden within data silos.
3. Choose the right “glue”
Just like the art of Kintsugi, there are various platform options and methods available to connect your data sets and create a harmonious whole.
When selecting a parking data integration platform, it is crucial to choose one that can seamlessly incorporate all your data sources into a powerful and cohesive system for data sharing and analysis. When assessing the ideal solution to unify your diverse data silos, consider the following key factors:
- The platform’s ability to align with your business KPIs
- Simplicity of data contextualization and translation across various sources
- Wide-ranging integration capabilities across silos
- Streamlined and cost-effective integration process
- Flexibility to accommodate new data-generating sources, such as changes in your tech stack.
- User-friendly workflows, reporting, and monitoring for different stakeholders and user types
- Capability to aggregate data from multi-sites and across disparate systems
- Ability to combine off-street and on-street data ecosystems
Ultimately, opt for a platform that weaves the strongest “gold seam” through your disjointed data sets, filling any cracks or gaps in your business knowledge and analysis.
4. Accept change in your art form
One important aspect of Kintsugi is being open to the acceptance of change. In the mobility business realm, this translates to the willingness to adapt operations and systems as new data emerges (think of connected cars) and new insights are uncovered. One of the biggest benefits of integrating your data silos is that it gives you a more flexible and agile approach to decision-making. As new data becomes available, your business can leverage it to make even better decisions in real time.
The Beauty of Integrated Parking Data
By coherently integrating data silos, mobility operators can unlock substantial service optimizations, cost savings and revenue benefits. This strategic approach leads to the creation of additional value and ample opportunities for increased monetization.
Reduced manual labor
Parking operations face a significant challenge with the enormous volume of occupancy, transactional, camera, support call and other data that requires manual analysis. The current manual processes of extracting data and generating reports are tedious and time-consuming, often taking weeks or even months to complete. Manual inputs are also prone to errors. As a result, operators miss valuable opportunities to increase revenue and decrease costs.
Leveraging technology for data sharing can alleviate the burdens and cost of manual labor. Through seamless integration and real-time data analysis, information can be shared and processed automatically, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.
Rapid sharing of data accelerates and amplifies the exchange of information. This nearly real-time process not only saves time but also enhances collaboration and communication across departments. It enables the collective identification of patterns, trends, and correlations that may go unnoticed in separate data sets. For instance, multiple vendors and departments can leverage shared information to collaborate on creating an optimal parking experience and streamlining operations to minimize customer wait times.
Improved business decisions
The objective of analyzing parking data is to enhance operational decision-making and strategic planning. Just as a Kintsugi-repaired bowl gains strength and value, integrating and sharing data across multiple systems provides parking managers with a more comprehensive view of the business. This holistic perspective enables them to identify patterns, gain valuable insights, and make well-informed decisions. Through data analysis, opportunities for revenue growth can be identified, the parking experience can be improved, and resource utilization can be optimized.
Art Meets Science to Make a Masterpiece of Value
The convergence of art and science emerges when it comes to parking operations in the modern era. Comprehensive sharing of data and information through technology plays a pivotal role in maximizing efficiency, revenue, and ultimately, value. When implemented correctly, shared data creates a masterpiece of value, aiding in reducing manual labor, enhancing operational effectiveness across various locations and assets, and improving business insights and decision-making. It’s the golden glue that creates the masterpiece.
Umojo is a leading platform provider of mobility technology, omnichannel contact center operations, data analytics, and network security to drive operational excellence and superior customer experience for the Mobility Industry. The Umojo Nexus Platform powers the core of all Umojo solutions, and harnesses deep expertise to allow municipalities, parking operators, and businesses to better serve their customers and citizens. Using the most accurate camera AI, and integrations with everyone in the industry, Umojo can provide unmatched insights and controls to on and off-street parking and mobility.