This article originally appeared on the BeyeNETWORK.
Transportation related logistics organizations know that guided business decisions based on customer value will increase net profits and customer retention. However, it appears that most of their operational data is typically stored in disparate data sources. In some cases, agencies will have multiple operational source systems or functional data marts which do not allow for the kind of detail-level analysis that enables true insight into passenger and transit operations analysis and/or profitability.
Over the past two years, advances in enterprise data management and information reporting have continued to mature. With proven applications for creating and managing transportation agencies’ financial, operational, fleet logistics and security meta data, it is now possible for transportation companies to manage their agencies from a measurable and efficient perspective. From storing revenue, passenger behavior, safety and customer services, transit can now perform complex analysis across all operational data sources and make real-time decisions on trusted and accurate information. The ability to segment and analyze vendors and passengers by industry, commodity, geography and service requirements can contribute to operational efficiencies and profitability.
Enterprise users can access data from their ERP, financial and operational systems to leverage business intelligence technology, reporting and analysis capabilities with extraordinary speed and accuracy.
The benefits include:
- A valuable understanding of passenger management
- Improved operational, regulatory, and administrative decisions
- Operations strategies that support value optimization
- Alignment of revenue resources
- Value-based customer acquisition and retention strategies
- Measurable marketing campaigns
- Improved fare box management and collections
- Allocation of resources based on vendor management and passenger requirements
Today, more then before, transit organizations can ill-afford not to implement processes and applications that will enable them to manage their agencies efficiently. Business intelligence manufacturers are developing rapid marts, content and metadata logic that transit organizations can deploy across their operational platform, enabling users to make trusted and guided decisions. My recent discussion with several C-suite and IT managers in the transportation industry has confirmed that data management, data accuracy and information dissemination are a high organizational priority. As per a respected industry analyst, “The transportation sector will see moderate growth in business intelligence applications and solutions that can be easily deployed and managed.” Tier I to tier IV business intelligence providers will offer solutions specifically designed for this segment. From client/server to zero client footprint , there is something available for everyone. Security, FTA regulations, financial reporting, executive and end user requirements will dictate the solutions agencies will deploy. I don’t expect a wide-sweeping industry standard for one application versus another.
Given the fact that, for example, mass transit agencies are already hosting many of their fleet management, AVL, financial and operational systems, the challenge is compounded because in most cases, these operational systems are disparate and designed on different data and operational platforms. Thereby, data integration and accurate information is either very difficult to find or nonexistent. With the ability to design and deploy virtual data management strategies, transportation can now pull data from their disparate data sources, regardless of hosting location, data or operational platform, into one single data repository – essentially providing a window of opportunity to clean and profile data, apply business metrics and track key performance indicators (KPIs), and add an enhanced comprehensive security model across all data modules.
In conclusion, trusted and guided decisions achieved through analyses have long been a dream of transportation organizations. But this has been an elusive dream, one often frustrated by an inability to gather the appropriate data and subject it to the type of analysis that enables accurate and quality business insight. The dream is no longer elusive. Companies now can transform the vision into a reality. Both physical and virtual data management strategies that contain a transportation logical data model with pre-built content and analytics can now enable transportation to take full advantage of business intelligence applications for a single view of their enterprise. With that capability well in hand, transportation logistics companies will increase quality revenue, reduce costs, improve efficiencies, drive increased profits and ultimately, improve their agencies’ performance.