Harnessing data-driven solutions to deliver fleet and network insights
In this interview with Global Railway Review, Swaraj Verma, Product Manager at Nomad Digital, explains how the company’s data-driven solutions deliver up-to-the-minute fleet and network insights, that can be key for operators in enhancing, and improving, the passenger experience.
To what extent do you think the pace of innovation today is continuing to accelerate rail transformation?
Whilst the pandemic has impacted the industry severely, it has also provided opportunities to introspect and evolve.
The rail industry has always been perceived as slow in its adoption of technology, largely through the rail industry being overshadowed by seemingly more dynamic and agile transport sectors. However, I feel rail’s transformation has increased in pace recently. Whilst the pandemic has impacted the industry severely, it has also provided opportunities to introspect and evolve.
A recent survey released by the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has revealed that people in 2021 feel increasingly confident about how innovative the rail industry is becoming, compared to those questioned in 2019. The industry has realised that there has never been a better time to get involved. Operators have taken this opportunity to:
- Improve their carbon emissions
- Enhance their rolling stock
- Pursue cost savings to minimise the impact of COVID-19 with practices such as predictive rail maintenance
- Introduce green technology, such as vibration powered sensors
- Incorporate eco-friendly rolling stock
- Monitor on-board air quality
- Develop sustainable stations.
Nomad is at the innovative forefront, making efforts to offer innovative upgrades for passenger experience, on-board internet availability, fleet management and maintenance.
How does having insight into fleet management help to harness the full potential of rolling stock and networks?
I strongly feel that fleet management itself is an extremely broad aspect, and there are so many avenues yet to be explored within the industry.
Just considering rolling stock alone, there are several elements to explore, improve and harness, such as collecting and using data for failure mode analysis, condition monitoring, analysing trends and managing repeat defects.
While continuously monitoring fleets, teams are better equipped to anticipate, and manage, incidents that might impact the whole system. They are better poised to identify and analyse holistic patterns in a click. Fleet management also provides avenues for predictive rail maintenance, business continuity management and cost savings.
With Nomad Digital’s systems, we monitor the availability and quality of networks across fleets, helping operators to make informed data-driven decisions to enhance the overall passenger experience.
How does real-time reporting work, and how does it support improved decision making?
I define real-time reporting as a business intelligence (BI) practice that consists of gathering up-to-the-minute data and relaying it to be viewed on custom-built dashboards. Its precision makes real-time reporting vital to the current landscape. With so much uncertainty generated by the pandemic, operators need to make decisions on the go, and can’t solely rely on systems trained on historical data.
Continuously updated reports provide operators the ability to address issues and make decisions, as they happen.
Thanks to the astonishing amount of real-time data being collected, real-time reporting allows organisations to monitor activity as it happens on-board – a significant benefit for operators. Continuously updated reports provide operators the ability to address issues and make decisions, as they happen.
Analytics based on real-time data streams enable immediate action, allowing operators to identify patterns, proactively seize opportunities, and even prevent problems before they happen, avoiding costly disruptions.
What more can you tell us about your Network Management System & Fleetview software?
The Network Management System (NMS) and Fleetview are two data-centric products that sit under Nomad Digital’s ‘Insights’ solution range. Within the two products, we are constantly looking at how we collect, analyse, interpret data and explore avenues to improve efficiency for our customers by tapping into more data points.
NMS is Nomad Digital’s interactive visual platform to monitor a fleet, in particular real-time fleet status and location. It supports operators with performance monitoring and fault management.
…we are constantly looking at how we collect, analyse, interpret data and explore avenues to improve efficiency for our customers by tapping into more data points.
NMS is fitted with customisable real-time alarms which alert teams about any irregularities in performance. Along with monitoring, NMS also provides insights into the past performance of the fleet through configurable KPI driven dashboards. Operators feel better equipped to make informed decisions thanks to the granular level data-driven insights provided by the NMS.
Fleetview, on the other hand, is a dedicated reporting platform with a multitude of features ranging from KPI dashboards, data logging, trend analysis to predictive, Natural Language and AI/ML powered reporting. It is designed to help operators gain a competitive edge through data-driven decision making.
The intuitive dashboards based on trusted and governed data help operators gauge performance, and fault patterns, and stay on top of the KPIs that matter the most to their business. The reports also reflect passenger behaviour and usage patterns, which are vital for enhancing passengers’ on-board experience.
How does Nomad Digital plan to adapt to meet the evolving requirements of your customers in the years to come?
With a diverse product portfolio, we are the world’s leading provider of integrated connectivity solutions for the rail sector, active in North America (NAM), Europe and APAC regions and serving millions of passengers daily. Our data-driven solutions are currently adding value to major operators globally, helping them provide a passenger experience of the highest quality.
Aligning organisational performance to customer-oriented goals is perhaps one of the toughest challenges, but Nomad Digital has always identified itself as a customer-centric organisation. To ensure our solutions deliver the maximum value, we constantly measure the product impact of our releases, as we strive to continue learning.
On top of this, we have several processes that help us meet the evolving requirements of your customers. As an agile organisation, we believe in adjusting to the changing landscape. To capture a customer’s perspective, we regularly place ourselves in their shoes through user experience studies and testing.
Leveraging a cross-channel customer journey has also been key in mapping required improvements, as well as gaps in the customer experience.
In addition to understanding our customers, we also track key customer experience metrics that help us measure customer expectations and experience to industry standards.
Swaraj Verma is Nomad Digital’s Product Manager for the Fleet Management, Data Factory, Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics products. He joined Nomad after recently completing his MBA at Durham University. Swaraj has several years of experience working in Product Services with international and Fortune 500 organisations, heading up product development and product strategy across e-learning and e-commerce platforms, handling and analysing technical Product Roadmaps across several sectors. His Bachelor’s in Technology at KIIT University, with a degree in Computer Science & Engineering indicates his love for innovation and process optimisation.