Fink, a business intelligence advocate, concluded, “The run-time analysis project has not only enabled us to optimize running times, it has also fostered improved union-management relations by allowing us to target problem areas and resolve issues quickly. Ultimately, our efficiency has greatly improved and there are gains yet to come.”
“Beyond the obvious tangible returns, there is intrinsic value in the mined CAD/AVL data — not just for the purpose of streamlining service, but also for use in future BI applications,” Init CEO Roland Staib said.
The lessons obtained through the run-time project have amplified the awareness of the value in business intelligence. It’s a success story about excellent project management and the benefits achieved through analysis of data. In addition, the agency is using charts and other visualizations of the data as an outreach tool to share with operators how run times are analyzed. This facilitates increased communication based on actual information, building trust in the scheduling and daily operations management practices.
During the project, a change request was submitted to acquire specialized data warehousing hardware and to provide additional time to understand the processes affecting data captured on the road. The changes were approved by the steering committee and were managed through business technology services’ project management discipline. More than 28 staff were involved in the run-time analysis project, including IT developers, business technology managers, data analysts, service and scheduling staff, in-house Init system experts and executive leaders.
In the end, the run-time analysis project will deliver an internal rate of return of 178 percent over five years. The project exceeded its four initial goals with great success. The key to the success of the project was the actual data from the fleet management system.
“Data matters,” repeated Akkerman. “We took the data from the Init system and turned it into insight. With modern management systems like this, agencies can gather critical intelligence, support sound business decisions and effectively streamline service.”
Akkerman continues actively communicating with other transit professionals about the value in ITS data, as well as business intelligence and service analysis, citing the run-time analysis project’s success to really drive it all home. MT
Ann Derby is the director, marketing & events with Init, Innovations in Transportation and Darla Jamieson is a project manager at TransLink.