Modernising data analysis: knowing your customers’ needs
For a long time in public transport, it was enough to have experienced staff who knew their business and their customers’ needs, but today there are considerably more elements to consider. Thomas Kritzer, Head of Tramway Operations Division at Wiener Linien, explores how refined data analysis can lead to a more seamless transport system, and in turn, a better customer experience.
The Viennese tram network – developed over more than 100 years and with a network stretching over 28+1 lines – is an important backbone in the city’s public transport system. In light of the evolution of data science, it is clear that developments in and reflections from data analytics can also have an impact on operating a tram system in a stable and continuous manner.
Systems and data landscape
Operational IT systems, those on vehicles or those that are part of the infrastructure, have a very long lifespan, and were largely not built with data collection or analysis in mind. Terms like ‘data warehouse’ and ‘business intelligence’ did not exist at the time and, as a result, public service companies with limited resources face a difficult path to achieve data insights from such systems. The basic questions are: where is the data, what can we get out of it, and what do we really need?