How Big Data Can Make Trucking Better

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Now days every industry on the planet uses big data. Due to internet and computer technology, we can assemble data faster than ever before.

We live in a world increasingly driven by data. Big data is a technical term that shows all of the information collected about you and every other driver. This information, such as driving history and drug test results, assembled and analyzed to look for patterns. With all these, data analysts can try to prevent accidents or other problems.  It’s simply much easier to use big data than it is to independently interview and monitor every single trucker to get this information.


The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have been working on ways to collect and analyze data for a while now.  One such project is the FMCSA driver drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse, which will be one massive database where all screening results are collected. They was recently put into action, therefore it will take some time before we can learn anything  from this big data.


E-log books will be the kick starter of the big data gathering campaign. Due to e-logs, the trucking industry will have all kinds of data to play with.


The CSA system is one of the top ways that the FMCSA analyzes big data in the trucking industry. As the CSA stands now there are too many circumstances, mainly the accessibility of scores and lack of transparency for those who are getting scored, that prevent the scorecard from being a good source for big data. If the FMCSA could correct some of the validation points, such as offering more transparency for incident reports, this has the potential for being a major source of data for trucking. Hopefully this is one of the situations being addressed by the new Presidential administration.


The main reason for gathering big data is to use this information to understand a large group of people in a short amount of time. While it is not possible, for example, to ride along with every truck driver in the US all day long, we can use data points from different drivers to help gain an overall perspective of truck drivers. This is sampling, and it’s the same thing that is used for surveys and other data gathering techniques.



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