Benefits of Coaching with Advanced Analytics



In the second part of our series, we focused on the value of expert analysis and measurement in the coaching process. Continuing on the coaching path, we’ll now zero in on analytics, its role in coaching, and impact on a fleet’s safety culture. 


A managed service program provides the information necessary to run an effective coaching program. However, there are times when fleet managers will want—and need—to take coaching to the next level by leveraging additional, prescriptive data available from the most advanced video-based safety program. But raw data alone is not enough to measurably impact driver behavior. When data is contextualized with video and delivered in a visually compelling format that depicts trends and areas of concern, managers and company executives can better understand what actually happened, where and why it happened, the driver’s role, and the likelihood of it happening again. By answering critical business questions about the fleet’s performance through purpose-built dashboards and analytics applications configured for the needs of each fleet, data allows fleets to determine coaching metrics that will influence overall safety performance.

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Analytics programs, like SmartDrive SmartIQ®, provide the data—and smart insights—necessary so each part of the company can focus on key areas of importance. 

Executives can focus on:

  • Identifying what employees at their top jobsites are doing to maintain a low safety score and whether those same steps can be implemented at low-performing sites
  • Top observations across jobsites, such as:
    • Are there policy violations?
    • Do they require additional coaching?
    • How will improvement be tracked?
  • Deeper analysis of jobsite safety scores in addition to other metrics such as fuel usage and speed

Regional managers can:

  • Review program results, KPIs, and align goals for the next quarter
  • Identify top drivers contributing to the safety score
  • Ensure top performers are recognized amongst their peers
  • Determine the top observations that need to be addressed over the coming quarter and solidify an approach to improve in problem areas

Site-level managers can:

  • Review program results, KPIs, and understand and adapt goals for the next quarter
  • Observe QoQ/YoY safety score improvements
  • Assess whether the riskiest drivers continue to improve and determine if the coaching approach is conducive to improvements
  • Pinpoint the most prevalent observations and track improvement by driver

Ash Grove Cement Company, a SmartDrive customer, manufactures the cement for ready-mixed concrete that’s used to construct highways, bridges, commercial and industrial complexes, and single and multi-family homes. The company’s management realized it needed to do more to reduce the potential for vehicle crashes, rollovers, and close-following events and decided to deploy the SmartDrive program.

Some of the immediate benefits of installing SmartDrive included: a 90% reduction in call-ins from the public reporting poor driving; near complete elimination of windshield replacement costs due to drivers maintaining a longer following distance; and corresponding reductions in fuel use and wear and tear on brakes and tires as drivers decreased driving speeds and hard braking.

Building on this, Mike Petersen, operations manager of Ash Grove’s Material Transport Division, was adamant that the SmartDrive program be used to coach drivers, not to discipline them. He said, “If we can teach our drivers to be better, our company will be better.” Because of this mindset, Ash Grove experienced very little pushback from its drivers. 

 “The drivers quickly realized that the program was a coaching tool and was not going to be used to jeopardize anyone’s job,” Petersen continues. “It was particularly appreciated when video evidence proved that the driver was doing everything properly when a collision occurred. When our driver was exonerated, he did not lose any days of work, and word spread quickly among his colleagues of how the video helped him.”


Proven by Ash Grove and many other customers, analytics provides the essential data to build a strong safety culture, helping to develop and retain better, safer, and more professional drivers. With the proper data insights in hand, fleets can identify risky driving behavior, coach drivers to eliminate specific behaviors, monitor results, and retain and recognize good drivers.

To ensure fleets get the most out of advanced analytics, it’s important to use an enhanced coaching workflow, which optimizes the coaching process and time spent while maximizing the impact on driver behavior. In addition, an enhanced coaching workflow provides:

  • Integrated contextual performance metrics, which put KPIs front and center for coaches
  • Driver scorecards with trended performance data, coaching history performance, and peer benchmarking that pinpoint areas for improvement and facilitate productive coaching sessions
  • “Prep mode,” enabling coaches to add notes for review by colleagues, if necessary, or give kudos for outstanding driving performance
  • Skills-based or event-based coaching options for the flexibility to individualize sessions to the needs of the coach or driver 

To finish the series, we’ll provide tips you can use today and take to the bank tomorrow!


To gain more insights into coaching and download SmartDrive’s eBook, “Coach Your Drivers to Safety and Success,” visit


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