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Putting the digital future on rails

Björn Lorenz09/04/2017

For two days Berlin was the Mecca of German rail traffic. At the Railway Forum, held from 30 to 31 August 2017 at the Hotel Estrel, more than 1,000 experts, technical staff and executives discussed the future of rail transportation. COSMO CONSULT and Qlik, provider of the leading visual analytics platform, presented their solutions together. Visitors to the stand were able to learn how easy it is to process data in a decision-oriented manner and to make it available for mobile devices during these times of digital transformation.

In addition to topics such as internationality and competitiveness, the focus of the Railway Forum was on the digital transformation. For COSMO CONSULT it was a great opportunity to present its ideas for the digital future of urban transport. "For two days, the entire industry was gathered in one spot. For us, it was the ideal setting to present our solutions for going digital," explained Beate Kirschbaum, consultant at COSMO CONSULT BI GmbH, a business intelligence expert for public passenger transportation. One of the most important questions: How can we us digital technologies to craft more attractive offerings for rail customers?

Developing mobile apps live

Using existing knowledge efficiently is one of the key aspects of the digital transformation. But this is often easier said than done given the high volume of data in rail transportation. COSMO CONSULT, together with Qlik, demonstrated how to tap into the treasure trove of data using simple means. Traffic data from several Excel tables were merged together in an app that was developed live. A smartphone or tablet is then all you need to retrieve information about capacity, utilization or deviations of individual lines. "The scenario shows how digital technologies break down existing information barriers. If access to the data is easy and convenient, then the data is actually used for making decisions," said Beate Kirschbaum.

The future is digital

In a second app from the field of "predictive analytics", the idea was to gaze into the crystal ball. "We provide an example that let visitors simulate how changed parameters affect future forecasts. For example, how weather data affects future driving behavior. That was very exciting," explained Kirschbaum. The fact that the Qlik BI platform can also quickly analyze large volumes of data is an feature that is important for the industry. "Every day more than 30 million people use public transportation. This is not just an interesting big data scenario, there is also a huge potential hidden in that data. If it is possible to capture movement data comprehensively, analyze it quickly and draw the right conclusions from it, local transport can target the needs of people with greater accuracy," said Uwe Bergmann, CEO of the COSMO CONSULT Group, adding that this way, digital technology helps to protect the environment, to keep metropolises clean and to ensure a higher quality of life.

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