Crossrail Ltd and Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) – part of Transport for London (TfL) – is delivering the Elizabeth Line, a new railway for London and the South East. It connects 41 stations and will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of London.
With this high-profile and complex railway moving from a project stage into testing and then on to becoming a fully operational railway, Vendigital was approached by the Sponsor to support with the development of a reporting strategy and, subsequently, to create a central hub for business management reporting. There was a danger of information becoming siloed, with inconsistent reporting across the different business units and inefficient manual processes in place for extracting, collating, processing and presenting information.
People within the business were primarily focused on getting the railway ready for operation, often trying to juggle multiple priorities and deadlines, which meant they had limited capacity to look at improving existing reports. While the business was pushing for dynamic, interactive reports to be made available, they lacked capacity internally to be able to build the reports, and do so at pace in time for the opening of the railway.
The 8-month engagement set out the vision for reporting and kick-started the development of a central report hub. The work involved:
• Understanding the requirements: To ensure that the business had the information it needed to make informed decisions
• Identifying efficiency opportunities: To consolidate, simplify, and automate reports
• Developing optimal solutions: To create a set of central reports to provide insightful information to decision makers
• Integrating into the business: To incorporate existing reports into the hub (so that information is more readily available) and to develop a roadmap for improving reports, upskilling resource and creating a centre of excellence for reporting
The project required engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to understand existing reports, assessing the processes for maintaining reports and reviewing the requirements to build a picture of the current situation. A reporting strategy was then developed along with the implementation plan.
After identifying some areas of opportunity where reports could be automated and improved, a central report hub was proposed and proof of concept delivered using Power BI. A series of interactive reports were built covering a scorecard for Business Management and high level reports for Engineering, Safety, Operations and Maintenance.
• After discovering that there were inconsistencies across the business when it came to reporting, a set of branded templates were developed to ensure consistency and speed-up the development of reports
• Included in the delivery of the central report hub was a data repository, containing aggregated and common data sets that can be used by the business for further analysis, combining data and building new reports
• Training sessions were provided to help with upskilling so that people could get as much value out of the reports as possible
• Power BI champions were identified and given guidance and training on building reports to ensure momentum, as part of the drive towards self service analytics
Vendigital brought excellent consulting skills together with valuable reporting and analytics capabilities to help us on this complex programme. They integrated well into the team, navigated the internal challenges of getting hold of the right source data, developed a working proof of concept and helped us in building the client capabilities to sustain momentum.
Michael de Voil, Technical Director & Professional Head of Railways, Mott MacDonald
• A clearer vision of how reports are developed and maintained within the business, with clear data owners
• Improved outputs using interactive reporting and automated methods
• Efficient, streamlined reports that had previously required manual input and the gathering of information from multiple individuals (which had been arduous to produce)
• Effective, regular reports that enable business units to focus more on providing complex reporting requirements, conducting root cause analysis, and solving the issues highlighted by the reports
Vendigital brought strong digital and data skills to the team, together with insights and good practices from the range of other sectors they have worked across. Although relatively new into the infrastructure market, Vendigital’s skills and capabilities were readily transferrable.
Martin Stuckey, Operations Business Manager, Elizabeth Line within Transport for London