Understanding Your Dealership Data Sources

Originally published January 31, 2020. Updated April 5, 2024

Getting user-friendly insight from company data is a game changer for dealerships in the heavy equipment industry. At last, the data locked away in your core operational systems —DMS and ERP — can be combined and presented in clear reports and data visualizations that make it easy to make business decisions.

Unfortunately, most heavy equipment dealers base important decisions on dated reports. If it takes a week to pull a report, that data is no longer fresh. But that’s better than nothing, right? Otherwise, decision-makers have nothing to go on except experience or gut, and these options will only get you so far. It shouldn’t be this way.

Today, there are business analytics and reporting solutions designed to give heavy equipment dealerships near real-time access to data. This “new way” of transforming your data is powerful, and it shouldn’t stop with your core operational systems. 

In addition to your DMS and ERP systems, there is a wide range of other data sources that can shed new insight into your everyday reporting and analytical needs. Imagine how confident you’d feel making decisions based on insight from other data sources such as Excel spreadsheets, weather data, or market data on top of your internal company data.


What's the Difference Between Internal and External Data?


Before we proceed, let’s take a quick step back to understand the differences between internal and external data sources. When looking at internal data sources, you are looking at lagging indicators — in other words, the “what happened?” 

When you can pull and align external data sources into your reporting and analytical solution, you are now looking at leading indicators. That’s the “why it happened.”

Expanding the level of insight and offering different angles to analyze your data will provide a clear path to improving your business. When you can see what caused a trend, you can correct it or build on it to advance your bottom line.


What Does That Mean for Your Dealership?


Dealerships use internal and external data in various ways to increase performance and boost their businesses. But the problem with this huge array of data source options is that it’s often hard to know where to even begin. Great, you have access to this data, but how do you make sense of it all?

That’s why, in addition to pre-built integrations into DMS and ERP products, you should look for an enterprise solution with experience tapping into all the software products designed for dealerships in the heavy equipment industry.

The right enterprise BI solution for the heavy equipment industry joins all these separate data sources and transforms data into digestible information you can act on without sending a firehose of data overflow.

Through decades of our own heavy equipment dealership industry research and experience, we put together a list of the data sources that we commonly found our customers utilizing and why they would matter to your business. 


TARGIT's BI Solution for Heavy Equipment Connects To...


Internal data sources

  • Payroll: Analyze HR and payroll data directly from sources such as ADP. Compare absentee days against performance and motivate technicians to improve their numbers. Get automatic notifications if technician numbers fall below a particular threshold so you can increase training or find a replacement. 
  • Google Analytics: Arm your marketing department with better information on website visitors to help improve campaigns and audience reach. 
  • Social media channels: Analyze data from Facebook, Google Ads, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see how effectively your marketing campaign is reaching your audience, connecting with potential customers, and creating new leads.
  • Telematics data: Analyze machine sensor data across your entire fleet. 
  • And many, many, more...

External data sources

  • Weather data: Pull in data from NOAA, CDO, or NDFD to see how the weather affected construction projects and agricultural seasons and how that affected your sales and rentals. 
  • UCC filings: Study data compiled by the government between lenders and debtors. Help your salespeople develop new leads by focusing on active buyers in the industry. 
  • EquipmentWatch: Import and analyze equipment costs, values and prices, year verification, and rental rates across the market to see where you stand and how you can price equipment better. 
  • Rouse Services: Import your appraisals, used equipment sales, and other stats and analyze them against accurate and reliable information in the rental and construction industries.
  • Dodge Report: Identify, prioritize, and act on key project opportunities based on comprehensive market research and forecasting for construction projects.
  • MyDealerService/MODERN: See the fuller picture of service and financial data and drill down into the gritty details to improve your services using industry-leading service and financial reporting. 
  • Foresight Intelligence: Know where your fleet is and measure how well individual pieces are performing with real-time access to financial and telematics. 
  • And many, many, more...

CRM systems

  • Microsoft Dynamics: Microsoft's customer relationship management platform. Facilitate open lines of communication with your customers, prospects, and team members by having visibility into all the marketing and sales activities. 
  • Salesforce: The world's No. 1 CRM platform. Get access to your CRM data instantly and compare it against any other data for better insight into the lifecycles of your customers.
  • SalesLink: CRM designed for Caterpillar dealerships. View all your business activities in one place to avoid information silos.
  • And many, many, more...

More data. More answers. 

Access to more data means access to more answers. If you have a question about your dealership performance, forecasting, or financials, business intelligence and analytics can help you get to the bottom of it. Take a look at some sample dashboards, important KPIs, and efficiency tips for your heavy equipment dealership in this free eBook: Better Insight into Your Entire Heavy Equipment Business

Discover the Top KPIs for Your Dealership

Originally published September 7, 2018. Updated April 5, 2024