Rail image, via Istock

Insight-rich and value driven: A new vision for rail

The rail sector has a history of lagging behind with digital modernisation, when compared to its customer-focused, service organisation counterparts, with an often-cited ageing workforce that can’t compete with the more digitally native staff that exist within other industries.

As the world becomes more digitally focused, a dream of a railway integrated within a modernised way of life, with ticket machines in our pockets; maintenance planned by algorithms; and operations continually optimised in real time, can become a tantalising reality. This potential new normal requires us to ask – why is the rail sector still mired when it comes to realising values from data, rather than being mobilised by it?

To identify the areas within the rail sector that can be optimised through improved data management, Rail Technology Magazine have recently partnered up with PA Consulting, to produce a survey of over 150 people working across the rail industry – from freight companies to TOCs, and from infrastructure owners to those across the wider supply chain – with the results clearly identifying four key areas of focus that can act as the building blocks to catalyse growth and how rail leaders can better recognise the value of their data.

The results of this survey produced three key stats to note, being:

  • Over one third of rail organisations (39 percent) say the way they manage their data needs to improve. Just one fifth (20 percent) say their approach is extremely effective.
  • The main barriers to deriving value from data are insufficient specialist staff (43 percent), siloed data (37 percent), legacy issues (36 percent), and prioritising day to day delivery (34 percent).
  • Operations is the area most effective at realising value (70 percent), and also the area that could improve decision-making the most through better use of data (70 percent). Conversely, respondents identified Human Resources (HR) as being one of the least effective (two percent) areas.

To find out more from the results of this survey and better understand how the rail sector can further improve its relationship with data management and the values that can be realised from it, read this ‘Insight-rich and value-driven’ whitepaper that has resulted from the partnership

Want to learn more? Download Rail Technology Magazine’s latest whitepaper report on an Insight-rich and value driven railway, then please click here.



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This issue highlights the latest topics within the rail industry, from decarbonising the Midlands, improving rail safety, meeting the future priorities of Scotland's Railway & more!                                                      


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TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

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