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The power of data insight – just what is self-service?

The process of finding a new car can be seriously daunting
old picture of a car with one of the wheels fallen off
| Robert Hobbs | Performance

I recently needed to buy a car.

Mine was on it’s last legs.. well wheels anyway. I have to say, the process of finding a new one was seriously daunting. The nightmare of facing used car salesman, after used car salesman at a variety of local showrooms, dragging my kids trailing behind me, was about to become a reality for the next 2 – 3 weeks. Or so I thought...

Saviour from this terror came, in part due to the wonder that is self service and the incredible way you can buy a car in todays highly competitive market.

There’s a host of webs sites – exchange and mart, auto trader – some better than others, but mostly all with one underlying very cool capability. What makes them good? Flexibility, ease of use, ability to get what you want, quickly with little fuss… they are the hallmarks of a good sellers site.

Each web site worked in a similar way. They pulled together from a variety of different sources data on cars for sale. This included location, distance from my location, make, model, price, colour, number of seat, engine size, age, fuel consumption, number of doors, insurance band… the list was amazing! Collectively they had created a huge data set, and from this I could “self-service”.

So, I wanted a Ford, a black one, with 4 doors, no more than £10,000 ($15,000US) and didn’t want to go more than 20 miles. This I knew already. But what I didn’t bank on was the insight web sites like would deliver for me.

Each day I went on – I chose the price band I wanted, the age range of the car I thought acceptable, the maximum mileage I was prepared to accept, and out popped the top 15 cars…. I could then sort these based on MY preferences.

  • Low mileage was more important to me than age – so this came first.
  • Secretly being black with a cream interior was really important (I know!).
  • Having TV’s in the back I decided was going to be a life saver.
  • I specifically wanted the smaller engine size.
  • And I wanted a diesel, because someone one told me they were better for the environment (yes I’m also that old!).

And what did it get – well everything I wanted, in my price, except I traded and went petrol.

I’m also confident that I got a really good deal. The price meant I could work out THE best car for me at the cheapest price. I narrowed down literally thousands of cars to just one of 2, and I did it in a matter of minutes.

My analysis means I’m now the proud owner of a nice shiny (not so new) black Ford! And this is what self service can do for your totally non IT savvy staff using InPhase – but in your case, it’s with ANY data type.

Whether you are pointing at a single data source such as finance or HR, or blending and mashing up data from across databases, sites, cloud environments perhaps taking into account geographic referencing, patient numbers or post/ zipcodes you can enable your BUSINESS MANAGERS to find the issues, trends, priority requirements of your business quickly and easily.

So – matching the differentiates on the car web sites I used, I would recommend that you find a vendor who lets you connect to your source systems EASILY (not a cottage industry in itself) and then enables you to create fabulous dashboards, reports and infographics with EASY self service features based on any field added with a simple drag and drop.

...or and you could call InPhase on +44 1753 480480 to save you the job of talking to all those software vendors... we’ve got one that will be top of your search list every time.

Robert Hobbs

Chief Executive Officer

InPhase’s Chief Executive and Founder, Robert has been the visionary leading InPhase to be one of the UK's leading providers of management, governance and assurance solutions, and helping organisations align their actions and goals more easily and efficiently with InPhase's suite of integrated apps.

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