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Using Predictive Analytics to Optimize Equipment Utilization

Overview of Use Case

Swift Transportation Company is a Phoenix, Arizona-based full truckload company; providing the full complement of truckload and logistics services throughout the US, Mexico, and Canada. We are exploring using predictive analytics techniques in order to maximize equipment utilization.


Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve
We needed to maximize the utilization of our inventory on three different levels:
  • Maximizing utilization of mileage
  • Maximizing utilization of time
  • Maximizing proper utilization of miles and time together

Improvement on each level corresponds to increased savings. The least savings is on miles, the next is on time, and the greatest savings is on miles and time together.

Describe your working solution

In December of 2017, I was doing a six month certification on predictive analytics through Udacity, and Alteryx combined with Tableau was a major part of that program.


Using Predictive Analytics to Forecast Value

I used this as linear regression training data. I put data that we had from previous experiences into the model and selected variables that were relevant. I had to clean the data, remove duplicates, and then pass unique values to the model in order to build my linear regression object.


The object or output is exported and saved. In the Browse tool, I can evaluate the statistical qualification of the model; anything over 0.7 would be considered a good model. I can see all variables and the confidence intervals, and they are pretty good.




Simulate Date & Miles to Calculate Next Month Value
Model variables blocked due to privacy. I bring in the output results from the previous step and use them as input data for the simulation. I manipulate values to simulate date and time, and project miles. The model builds the results of the next 12 months, and once I have that, I dynamically create labels.





I pulled data from different places, and for some, I had to execute specific queries with multiple tables and do some calculations. Basically, the data are miles and time. So, I had to format, clean, transform and categorize the data.3.png

Dynamically Rename Month Year Column Names & Save File

Once I have the columns from the previous step, I rename the columns. Once those are saved, other departments take care for the rest.




I am already looking into refining this model with an ARIMA model of the classification of multiple lines of business. With that, it is possible to get a more accurate model and utilization prediction.


Describe the benefits you have achieved

I’m very enthusiastic about Alteryx. I have used it a lot and have so many workflows that saved me so much time. For example, an accounting procedure that needed to be done at the beginning of each month, which used to take a couple of hours, is now handled automatically. That’s the beauty and advantage of Alteryx!


In addition, of providing an equipment utilization for miles and value forecast, the workflow can provide recommendations of equipment that needs intervention in order to maximize its usage.