Advanced analytics is reforming public transport
Smooth information flow results in smooth public transport flow. The new reporting platform of LMJ, an IT procurement and service company operating in 21 urban areas, gives public transport planners more efficiency and access to previously inaccessible data.
Developing public transport is a complex process that requires the consideration of many variables. In order to make the right decisions, up-to-date and reliable information is needed on issues such as the utilisation rates, load and profitability of different lines. The challenge is often not the lack of data but its coordination and utilisation. Traditionally, a great deal of manual work was required for the calculation, decreasing not just the efficiency but also the meaningfulness of the work. Monitoring and anticipating trends is particularly challenging. In order to change this, LMJ decided to harness the potential of modern cloud technology and reporting together with CGI.
Managing data masses
In public transport, events such as purchases and the validation of tickets can amount to tens of thousands per hour, and volumes can vary considerably. In practice, the data collected from public transport consists of three basic components: ticket sales, the validation of tickets, and usage events, such as variation in passenger numbers per stop and over time. Thus, both scalability and computing power are required of the reporting platform. LMJ uses Azure as the data warehouse, and the reporting solution is Power BI, which allows data to be visualised and combined from almost any source.
The role of CGI is to optimise the use of data masses so as to support LMJ’s reporting models as well as possible. The best user and passenger experience is created when the data is presented in a form that is useful to traffic planners – that is why development work is done using agile methods and stage by stage.
“CGI took control of the project confidently. They provide us with expert insights and clearly justified development proposals on how to make the data visible for a sufficient period of time, how different data sources can be combined, and how details can be more easily accessed, for example. The cost structure of using the system has also been considered to ensure that it does not get out of hand,” comments Jari Paasikivi, CEO of LMJ.
New insights from data
LMJ’s new reporting platform allows traffic planners to look at variables deeper than at surface level and from several different perspectives. The solution also helps in financial planning, such as calculating key figures and profitability. It also allows us to influence passengers’ customer experience and create more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.
“We will continue to test use and systematically develop the reporting platform together with CGI. I hope that as many city representatives as possible will hear about the new opportunities and participate in the development of this important service,” says Jari.
- Utilisation of data generated by public transport and efficient use of data warehouses: the best starting points for optimising public transport.
- Cost-effective and scalable cloud service: capacity as needed, no need for in-house maintenance.
- Time savings and efficiency for traffic planning: manual work is reduced, resources are freed up, and costs are reduced.
- Customer-oriented development of public transport: better passenger experiences and increased customer satisfaction.