Can BI Save Me Gas Money: The Sequel
A few months ago, I wrote about the MPG gauge in my Honda FIT and Fuelly.com. In the 4+ months since that post, I have made an even greater effort to use the MPG gauge and the Fuelly site to improve my gas economy. (Side bar – Fuelly has since updated their main site to allow additional dashboard customizations, new metrics, and display capabilities; as well as updated their mobile app).
So what are the results of using those BI tools? Well, by utilizing the site, and MPG gauge, my average MPG’s since the post have been 37.9; over 4 mpg higher. Which equates to a savings of about 40 miles per tank, or one gallon of gas (as of this writing, that’s about $3.60). Now – because the car is pretty efficient anyway, $3.60 isn’t a huge deal, but I do fill up about 2x per week (long commutes). So it’s about $7.20 – $8 per week. Which is about a 10% saving in fuel costs.
I’ve also started tracking gas stations I purchase gas from – and while that data set is still small and this inference is probably premature – but Sunoco gas yields the worst MPG’s. While my combined average for Hess/Shell/Mobil (Shell being the clear leader) is about 38, Sunoco is about 34. More to come on that.
What it really boils down to is 3 things:
1. Used correctly, BI helps reduce costs (even in everyday life) – 10% in my case or about $400 annually
2. Charts and graphs alone aren’t enough. Understanding which metrics to review (real time MPG, supporting data – which gas stations, driving style) is much more important.
3. And probably most important (and definitely the most difficult), is knowing how to act on the insights BI provides (buying gas at the right place, driving efficiently). It’s all well and good to collect, report and look at numbers/charts/pivots, but until you turn them into actions, they don’t provide much value (not changing anything is sometimes the right action too!)