Leveraging Predictive Analytics in the Rail Industry

Predictive analytics uses historical data to make predictions about events in the future…

The Rail Industry is gathering actionable data at an unprecedented rate.  As an example, consider the evolution of Positive Train Control systems that leverage devices and systems across a diverse network (truly a functioning Internet of Things (IoT)).  PTC not only generates real-time data, but ultimately, this information is stored as valuable historical data enabling better insights and more informed business decisions for the future.

Added to the information generated from deployed PTC systems is the considerably large historical data stores already maintained in railroad industry databases.   These data stores can be accessed through effective data mining, data modeling and statistical software tools to significantly impact operational efficiencies.

A thumbnail survey of areas in the Rail Industry where predicative analytics can help include:

  • Safety and inspection processes
  • Railcar, locomotive and rail maintenance cycles
  • Fuel and labor cost management
  • Traffic, scheduling (e.g. bad stops) and rail network management
  • Environmental and health management actions

The challenge with managing big data and in using data analytics effectively, according to many IT executives, is complex.  In particular, the multitude of available data sources calls for an IT analytics architecture that supports a more agile “presentation side” system backstopped by a robust, service oriented middle layer.  This, many feel, is key to building an analytics platform that is integrated (fully) and flexible, and at the same time, technologically agnostic.

In the end the goal is worthy for predictive analytics – –  to provide Rail Industry managers with the information needed to make proactive rather than reactive decisions.

” I would like to discuss your strategy for using predictive analytics and share with you our ideas for building a successful internal Predictive Analytics practice in your organization. “

 

Rob Lyon is COO, Business Development & Operations at RailcarRx & Primus Global Services. Please email him at rlyon@railcarrx.com or call at 972-753-6500 x117 for any questions or comments. 

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