CDK sees data as an integral part of its business going forward, an approach that also will guide the company as it updates software, develops new tools and increases use of its Fortellis open network development platform. CDK CEO Brian Krzanich said last month on the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings call that Fortellis can use data insights to help third-party software developers produce new applications for dealerships that can work whether they're using a CDK or third-party system.
Harnessing insights from the billions of data transactions that will flow through the Neuron platform will help dealers and automakers make better decisions about their businesses not only today but also as digital retailing advances and connected, electrified and autonomous vehicles are deployed, said Mahesh Shah, CDK's chief product and technology officer.
It also can allow them to provide a simplified experience, he said.
"Our dealers are very data-rich but information-poor," Shah told Automotive News.
"More and more, this industry is going towards the generation of data from cars, from the dealers. Consumers are generating it, and more and more third parties are interacting in that whole ecosystem.
"And this information highway has really been more like a bunch of dirt roads all over the place where these things haven't connected."
With a better view, Krzanich said, the data analysis gleaned through a platform such as Neuron could help turn individual data points into actionable items that can solve some of the auto industry's pain points.
For instance, he said, dealers could gain more ability to predict which customers are more likely to buy a vehicle or to identify the greatest probability for upsells.
"That's really helpful because that makes the dealer much more efficient, and it makes them be able to service their customer better," Krzanich said on the earnings call.
CDK's volumes of service records could inform dealers in the Northeast that many customers may want to change their brakes in the fall — even if it's not a scheduled service — to make sure their vehicles are ready for the first snow, Shah said.