Why becoming data driven helps transit agencies move people safely and reliably
Asset and work management is a rigorous practice across all industries, yet has never been more important in transit and transportation. The ongoing need to do more with less, as well as emerging challenges around health and safety protocols has created unprecedented demands for agencies around the world.
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Our blog post series reviews ways to rethink applied transit asset management (TAM) methods and practices to meet a new level of standards and expectations in the transit industry. This week we’ll look at how businesses can adopt a data-driven response to emergency situations.
Learning from every experience
In the early weeks of the coronavirus response, there was much discussion among infrastructure managers and policy-makers about the opportunity to “build back better”—to put a premium on economic recovery investments that made systems and communities more resilient in the face of future emergencies. It’s a principle that transit agencies already know well, and it calls for a data-driven response.
To understand an agency’s status when disaster strikes, document its crisis response, assess its current position, and maximize future preparedness, managers must painstakingly track every asset, process, and procedure. In years past, those essential functions produced volumes of hard copy operations logs and manuals that were difficult to integrate into a seamless management plan. Now, an integrated enterprise asset management platform makes the whole process much simpler and encompasses assets beyond vehicles—from underground drains to pressurized gas lines, to signs, signals, and switches which are all equally important in keeping a system running.
Agencies will be able to conduct after-action assessments, anticipate future problems, react to changing expectations, and understand obstacles to improve performance. These are all key priorities in the aftermath of any emergency, when it’s crucial to collect every available insight and lesson learned from the experience.
Dig into the data
Any emergency is an important moment to identify gaps in service and pursue a commitment to continuous improvement. To do this, organizations need to adopt administrative and IT systems that can gather and capitalize on a full repository of maintenance data, including maintenance schedules, checklists, certifications, staff experience. Since it is simply not possible to gather all the information for every asset manually, technology is an important part of this process. IoT tools, automated data collection, business intelligence, and cloud-based solutions can all support long-term asset performance management.
By implementing mobile technology, you can allow staff to input data in real-time while collecting work checklists and conducting monitoring. Those same mobile capabilities provide key data on workflow, staff qualifications, and certifications. What’s more, these technologies help ensure that agencies are always audit-ready, which is especially important in an era of enhanced safe-and-clean protocols and practices.
To be data-driven, business users need immediate access to data and analytics so that they can use these to drive their decision making. Without this access, decisions tend to be made by gut feeling or experience, neither of which are truly reliable in today’s fast-moving operating environments.
If you find the themes covered in this blog post relevant to your business, we invite you to download our best practice guide on Moving people safely and reliably
Read the article from last week - Ensuring transit agencies are always ready for the next emergency
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