A Place for Big Data in Parking
Big Data is instrumental for many businesses as they drive their operational excellence and make efficient and even innovative uses of their findings. So, what data can a car park management partner collect, analyse and use for the benefit of their clients?
Data is instrumental, if used correctly
In processing 4 million pieces of data every single day (1.5billion per year), Parkingeye are no strangers to the concept of Big Data.
Big Data is instrumental for many businesses as they drive their operational excellence and make efficient and even innovative uses of their findings. They can use this data to analyse trends and push for business developments. Surprisingly, the often overlooked car park can provide a number of rich insights which are already helping businesses make best use of data that comes into play even before their customers, clients and service users make it through their doors.
Through the use of ANPR and the operational reports it can generate for clients as either a snapshot in time or trends over a set period, big data can be mapped out into several ‘families’ of information-type. Each of those families can provide a huge support in helping businesses to unlock their car park’s potential. For businesses who provide car parking facilities for their service users when they come to work, attend sessions, or visit them onsite – such as hotels, hospitals, restaurants, universities and entertainment venues to name just a few – the car park is the first and last impression that a visitor will have of that business and their brand…
You can see how important this might be in building a good reputation and why you should take any reporting you can access so seriously.
So, what data can a car park management partner collect, analyse and use for the benefit of their clients?
ANPR reports can provide data about everything that’s happening on your site from hourly to annual occurrences; tracking the volume of traffic, entrance and exit points of vehicles, and, as standard, instances of contraventions taking place. This is often an eye-opener for businesses, because the concept of enforcement is only the start of what can be done for them as they look to improve the usage of their sites.
Whilst it’s nice to know that you may have lots of visitors to your site, it’s important to look at duration of stay. If visitors only stay mere moments because they’ve made the wrong turning onto your land, or because they can never get a space, or because they don’t have the means to pay via the only method available, then it’s a sign that further investigation into those quick turnarounds needs to be done. Reported data can easily calculate the average length of stay within a defined period, whilst also giving insight into the longest and shortest stays, so that you can start to understand your car park’s true usage. This is a great way to look at turnover on your site, and to ascertain the level of experience your users may be facing from the point they drive in – to the point that they leave.
Big Data can help you look at how full or how empty your car parks are on any given day and at any given time, and this data can be used to maximise your turnover and revenue generation. It’s a great way to approach the future ‘levelling out’ of your site’s usage, so that you’re not left with wasted space in the quiet points – and a backlog of circling vehicles and complaining motorists in the busy ones. This can make life easier in terms of your day-to-day operations, because the data can give you the prompts you need to incentivise your customers or service users to move away from parking in the busy periods – and instead make better use of the quiet times.
YoYo demonstrate some great ideas for their retail clients to run time-sensitive campaigns and to advertise them straight into their customers’ hands, for example. It can also help with your business operation planning, whereby you may look to change your opening hours or event times. The result? More revenue from formerly quiet periods, and fewer complaints and backlogs from previously busy ones. It’s levelling out your car park – figuratively speaking.
For an instant insight into establishing your car park’s current usage and future developments in your long-term car parking strategy, you can use revenue as a good indicator of how well your site is performing. In addition to the amount of revenue, however, this data can probe deeper. You can explore how that revenue is being generated, like whether visitors are using apps to book/pay ahead of their parking, or using cash at kiosks on site. It’s a great way to explore the behaviour and needs of your visitors, so you can make sure the experience is as positive for them as possible on your site. As new technologies are adopted, you can use this data to show how behaviours are changing over time – especially as we move towards a cashless society.
Using the millions of pieces of data available through ANPR, you can explore scenarios and trends when it comes to your repeat visits from your car park users. Note that all data is anonymised, and so you’ll be working with data keys that simply follow trends, rather than recognisable VRN data. This is peace of mind if you’re worried about GDPR. Some parking partners will often work with their clients to create loyalty programmes that enhance customer experience. At Parkingeye, we use good2go, which makes effective use of visitor data to allow auto-payment. This saves time and hassle for the customer as they seek to park and pay with ease, but also improves space turnover for your business in the process. Though anyone can sign up to this service, it still rewards loyalty as it just makes things so much more convenient for your users. Cheaper, safer, quicker – a positive customer experience all round.
When we talk about trends in car park management data, you can explore everything from types of contravention (time to tighten up on the sanctions), peak times for usage (including times when the cark park is being used but charges don’t apply), and trends on your site in comparison to what’s going on at the sites of your competitors (benchmarking is a fantastic way of getting ahead of the game). Observing changes over time can really help with future planning; for example, exploring whether the time has come to consider installing electric charging points on your site – and if so, how many? In using this kind of data – and exploring the trends it depicts – you really can work to make life much easier not only for yourself, but for your customers as well. As any good business owner knows, in planning the future of your operations, you first need to explore what’s happened in the past. There’s no reason not to start that homework in the car park.
We know ‘Big’
Though we appreciate that for some clients, tackling instances of parking abuse and generating revenue along the way will be the biggest indicators of success and improvement, at Parkingeye, we’re focused on the infinite possibilities that can be achieved through the use of big data. 3500 ANPR car parks, 600 clients, working across every sector including 3 of the Big 6 supermarkets. 5x bigger than our nearest competitor. We know ‘big’.
We’re well-positioned not only to capture the data with our technology, but also to use it to advise you – through the support of our highly experienced team – on making effective decisions and implementing positive changes so that you can really benefit in the short-term and grow in the long-term. When it comes to a long-term car parking strategy, we’ve got the stats to show why we’re the UK’s largest provider of ANPR – and why we’re the UK’s most trusted parking partner in the process.
If you would like to find out more about our services, please head over to our car park management page for more information, and get in touch with us today!
Read more on our blog...
The technology transforming the face of parking
Car parks, at least on the surface, seem like reasonably low-tech places. It's easy to think that a car park...Read more
How to make a good car park great
It’s easy to look at a car park and assume that it’s simply a place for staff and visitors to...Read more