Quartz

We have made data led improvement a reality for Network Rail; enabling their staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys for millions of people per year.

Legacy monitoring approaches to capturing delays in minutes rather than seconds led Network Rail South East (NRSE) to have minimal understanding of the full impact that small within their network. With 500 million passenger journeys per year serving the South East, these delays impact every part of life. NRSE required a better understanding and visibility of small minute delays and their knock-on impact.

Within this context at NRSE, we investigated a wide range of pre-existing but under-used data sources at NR and turned this data into actionable insights.

This project covered the full agile lifecycle. Discovery of operational user requirements Our analytical discovery led to an understanding of operational user requirements which enabled us to identify data insights that could enable improved decision making. During the Alpha stage we created offline analytical reports for station staff to experiment with – enabling us to track benefits of operational performance actions and refine business change actions in a controlled environment. In the Beta stage we developed a proof-of-concept cloud-based data processing and storage solution in which we process internal train movement data in real-time and display the resultant information on an interactive web platform. The platform we call Quartz is now deployed nationally with full user support with continuous delivery.

The agile delivery ensured frequent reviews and allowed for the implementation of immediate changes, maintaining continuous improvement at pace. We have been able to create a new breed of operational data staff within Network Rail able to use analytical outputs to identify previously invisible performance bottlenecks.

Through our continuous delivery we support tens of thousands of pages of analytical output delivered to thousands of users across the rail sector every day. The product continues to evolve thanks to constant collaboration with operational and analytical staff from stakeholder organisations such as Network Rail and train operating companies while meeting the stringent service-levels associated with an operational platform.

The outcome of this project exceeded the initial expectations of Network Rail and demonstrated the possibilities of significantly improving the performance and operations of trains. 50% of Network Rail users use Quartz for analysis at least 1 to 2 days a week. This success can be seen in the changes taken place at East Croydon station. Quartz enabled Network Rail to identify issues with dispatch during peak hours. Increased staffing at key times and locations resulted in a 40% decrease in delay minutes, saving NR £3.5million over the next 5 years.