Three Things to Do Now So You Can Start Using Data Like a Boss - AutoSuccessOnline

Three Things to Do Now So You Can Start Using Data Like a Boss

How do you think Wal-Mart decides to build a new store? They don’t just toss a dart at the map. They use data to analyze population projections, proximity to existing stores, property value, competition and a laundry list of other data points that make sure each store is successful.

If you spent any time walking the floor at NADA this year, you couldn’t miss every DMS and CRM company pushing their new version of “data-analytics” on dealers. The reason dealers are seeing this push to use “big-data” is because every other industry has been leveraging data for years. It’s not about fancy dashboards; it’s about making better decisions.

How do you think Wal-Mart decides to build a new store? They don’t just toss a dart at the map. They use data to analyze population projections, proximity to existing stores, property value, competition and a laundry list of other data points that make sure each store is successful.


​Unfortunately for dealers, implementing a data-driven strategy isn’t as easy as launching the dashboard in your CRM every morning. You have to start with a data-driven mindset, and you have to be ready to make decisions based on data, even when your used-car manager’s gut keeps telling him that purple Aztek’s are coming back in style.

To get you started, here are three things you can start doing to get better use out of your data today:

1. Trash Your Existing Reports, and Build New Ones
The first thing you can do is start looking at data in a new way. I feel like every dealership has a sales report that starts with “Deal Number,” “Stock Number” and “VIN.” Why not make the first three columns “Total Gross Profit,” “Days in Stock” and “Total Commission”? Whatever is important to you, make that the first column and work your way back from there. If you keep looking at data the same way, you’ll never get any further than where you already are.

2. Use Data to Answer Questions
Probably the most important thing you can do is use data to answer a question. The all-stars of the analytics world don’t look at a dashboard and say “our Extended-Warranty penetration is down this month — better make a change!” Before even looking at the dashboard they would ask, “How can we sell more Extended Warranty’s this month than ever before?” and then identify and connect the best customers, cars and salespeople to make it happen.

3. Prove People Wrong
This is the most fun. Find a way to prove someone wrong at least once a week with data. My personal favorite: “We can’t maintain positive gross on Hybrids with these incentives!” Give me a dealer’s data and I’ll prove this wrong all day. And if I can’t, I’ll use the data to show them how to squeeze every dime out of those deals as possible.

Building a data-driven culture is about more than just building reports and debating over cause-and-effect in weekly meetings. When you use data like boss, there is no debate — there is only data.

Jim Douglas – Founding Partner at FrogData

You May Also Like

Unlock New Customers Using Cloud-Based Digitized Auto Lending

Today’s consumers don’t necessarily compare different lenders or dealers anymore; they compare experiences.

By Will Holleman, sales director, auto verification services on the Equifax Workforce Solutions automotive team

In a recent survey1, nearly 40% of dealers said they still are not investing in more digital resources for their retail and lending processes. Of these groups, approximately 31% said they don’t have the resources to invest more, 40% said they do not feel comfortable with the technology and 29% said they are actually comfortable with the digital business they’re currently getting.

Retain Staff with Career Development Training

If you are serious about recruiting top talent and improving employee retention, create a career development program.

Does Embedded Auto Insurance Impact Customer Spend at the Dealership?

Insurance marketplaces incorporated within the car-buying experience present buyers with competitive pricing.

An Unlimited Source for Pre-Owned Inventory: The Service Drive

Why are used vehicles in higher demand than other pre-owned vehicles in the market?

An Unlimited Source for Pre-Owned Inventory: The Service Drive
Don’t Let Stubborn Economic Beliefs Drive Your Advertising Strategy This Time

The advertising industry is smarter and more competitive these days. Dealers need a trusted advisor to navigate and succeed in this complex environment.

Other Posts

The Benefits of Google’s GA4 Update

Learn about what’s changing with Google’s incoming GA4 update, and also about the benefits that the update provides for dealerships.

google analytics
10 Ways to Increase Show Rates at Your Dealership

Utilizing these 10 strategies on a regular basis will increase show rates at your dealership.

How Does an eVault Transform Dealer and Lender Digital Operations?

It takes more than just a website to successfully purchase a vehicle online. There is an entire system working behind the scenes that also must be digitized, and it involves several parties including the dealer, consumer and lender.

You Aren’t Doing Enough to Prevent Fraud

Dealers need to implement technology that can help them spot synthetic identity fraud before it happens.