Revealing new insights from existing data
To get the most out of their infrastructure and improve services to travellers, transport operators need to develop a deeper and more complete understanding of the way their networks are used.
Business analytics – uncovering patterns and trends hidden deep inside large quantities of data – plays a vital part in revealing these insights. To benefit from business analytics without undertaking a steep learning curve, transport operators need an expert partner who understands their business requirements and is capable of delivering real added-value insight.
Thales’ Business Analytics
Thales delivers business analytics as a service, providing transport operators with an intuitive tool-set, including a web-based interface
Our approach is to work alongside the customer and help them develop a deeper and more data driven understanding of their business
and user-friendly data visualisation, to extract knowledge from the wealth of data generated by modern transport operations. Insights gained can be used to boost passenger revenues, enhance customer satisfaction and improve service levels.
“Effective marketing depends on a better understanding of passenger behaviour,” says Isabelle Mancel, Thales’ Innovative Business Solutions and Services Director. “Business analytics allows us to understand the way passengers travel, their travel habits, how they spend their money, their expectations and their needs.”
Privacy is a key factor. “This is about profiling passenger behaviour en masse, not profiling individuals,” emphasises Ms Mancel. “We ensure the right processes are in place to anonymise data prior to analysis.”
As well as passenger profiling, business analytics provides insights into the way networks are used, revealing patterns that cannot be detected by conventional means. These help operators to understand travel flows – which routes are used most, who uses them and at what times.
“Clearer insights make it possible for operators to make better decisions about infrastructure provision,” says Ms Mancel. “This applies at every level, whether you are choosing the location for a bus stop or planning a new metro line.”
Leverage the wealth of operational data
Thales’ Business Analytics makes use of the huge volume of electronic data created by modern transport networks. Fare collection systems, for example, provide granular detail about ticket purchases and validation patterns – including details of where and when passengers swiped in or out at stations.
Operational systems are an equally valuable source of information.
Log data from supervision systems on metro networks provides detailed performance records, including station-to-station run times and incident data.
“Our differentiator is being able to understand the data and also the context,” says Ms Mancel. “We can do this because we design fare collection and supervision systems, so we know exactly what information and insights can be extracted.”
As well as analysing data, Thales offers mining tools that allow operators to obtain insights from social media streams, such as Twitter or web forums.
“By correlating the opinions gathered from the web with the facts provided by our systems, you enrich the analysis and get a much better understanding of customer behaviour,” says Ms Mancel.
This approach can be used to investigate the causes of phenomena such as unexpected peak flows. Analysis of ticketing data pinpoints the time, location and movement of the surge; social media analysis shows why it happened. Approaches of this sort will play an increasingly important part in the evolution of the smart city.
Insights made easy
To make the advanced business analytics techniques as simple as possible for the user, Thales provides customers with a web portal which includes user-friendly tools, dashboards and visualisations that bring insights to life.
“Our approach is to use proven tools, based on advanced data analysis techniques, which we have developed to be flexible and easy to use,” says Ms Mancel. “It’s not a software product approach. What we offer our customers are services and expertise. This approach is based on the work we have already done with some of our customers, for example in Oslo.”
|THALES' BUSINESS ANALYTICS AT A GLANCE|
• Deeper insights – correlate facts and opinions
• Optimise operations – increase revenue and customer satisfaction
• Easy to use – user-friendly web interface
• Secure – all data is anonymised
• OPEX model – business analytics delivered as a service
Download brochure: Business Analytics