Steves Blog

The Untapped Power of Big Data

31 July 2017

In May’s blog I highlighted how CPC had project managed the design and construction of the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute (BDI).

Managing Big Data is a growing theme across industry with the internet of things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning all taking analysis and productivity to levels never seen before. CPC Systems has its own experienced and innovative team, led by Joe Little and Phil Dubery, delivering benefit to our clients in the transport sector through the capture, analysis and utilisation of big data.

Our team has been fortunate to work with a range of major rail providers who have allowed us to access years of untapped performance data, in one example 15TB. Through collaborating with these client organisations, harnessing their data and developing innovative solutions we have been able to save millions of pounds of capital project and operational expenditure whilst improving the reliability and performance of millions of passenger journeys.

In the field of Condition Based Maintenance, for example, we are currently working with LU’s fleet team on the Jubilee Line analysing 13GB of data a day on the condition and usage of assets and comparing it with the expected asset life, resulting in a reduction of intrusive maintenance amounting to savings in the region of £10m.

Our team has also found innovative and unexpected uses for the many years of data from computer based signalling systems, enabling CPC to analyse how the signalling, rolling stock and operational interfaces function at a protocol level and how minor changes in one sub system can indicate an emerging issue in another. This has been invaluable in identifying root cause of performance issues and determining success criteria for proposed modifications far more accurately than ever before.

Here at CPC, we believe the journey and use for big data in the rail sector is in its infancy and that the capacity and performance potential across our transport networks is vast. The question I pose is whether the rail sector is committed to invest in big data and, more importantly, to invest in people who can understand and use the rich information generated to move away from traditional maintenance and performance strategies undertaken today.

Case studies from a number of these assignments are on the CPC website at: http://www.cpcprojectservices.com/services/project-services/systems-management/

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