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The route to smart infrastructure

Network Rail has created the perfect route to digitally transform the UK railways, one of those stops is smart infrastructure. The ticket to smart infrastructure is data, insights, AI, machine learning, to ultimately transition from being a reactive industry to a proactive one, making data-driven decisions. The idea is strong but can often become lost on leaders when they try to put an action plan around the concept.

The terms data, information and intelligence may seem synonymous, but they are actually very different. The mere existence of data doesn’t translate to actionable intelligence, nor does it automatically lead to progress and efficiency. Data is a snapshot of an event; it is factual information with a lack of context around it and is often described as the fuel for analytics. Information is a step up where data becomes structured and now has specific purpose or context, but this alone doesn’t make the information reliable enough to make ‘data-driven decisions’.

Information lives in every system in rail, including safety systems, maintenance systems, signalling systems and passenger information systems to name a few. The information coming from each of these systems is specific and only coming from the one source, this often creates duplicate information and becomes confusing when users don’t have access to a holistic view.

Intelligence is the product of combining all of this information from disparate systems to create something greater than the sum of its parts: insights.

KeTech’s Universal Information System (UIS) starts with data, handpicking quality data sources to ensure accurate information, which in turn, results in reliable intelligence. Data alone is meaningless, KeTech’s UIS was developed with complex algorithms and rules that ‘ask’ the data the right questions, creating a picture from all of the systems that are integrated. KeTech’s experts work closely with customers, tailoring the system to solve specific challenges. Through this KeTech can ensure the correct context is placed around the data, so the information can be translated into usable intelligence/insights for future action; this provides the context we need to complete the continuum.

KeTech’s UIS centralises the information collected from the disparate systems, creating a single location for analysis, eliminating duplicate sources and providing a holistic view of what’s going on across the railways. The system analyses this information in real-time, translating information into intelligence/insights and identifying the relevant outputs for distribution.

The intelligence provided by KeTech’s UIS is dynamic and will therefore change in real-time if any more information becomes available. The intelligence generated by KeTech’s UIS is centralised, allowing a free flow of intelligence across systems, databases and user interfaces; increasing operational efficiency to aid things including predictive maintenance, historical fault analysis, real-time status and future timetabling. These in turn, enhance passenger experience through providing accurate, dynamic information in real-time through the correct channels.

KeTech’s Universal Information System bridges the gap between analysis and action, resulting in positive, consistent results on numerous fronts. The systems real-time analysis and provision of intelligence empowers both staff and passengers to create a safer and more efficient railway.

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