National Rail Provider & Urban Big Data Centre Workshop


10th October 2019

Lead institution:
The University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow Business Boost Engagement Lead, representatives from the rail provider, Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) and the wider The University of Glasgow Social Science community attended a workshop to discuss UBDC analysis findings and explore future areas of collaboration. Two research funding applications are now in development.

The challenge

A large national rail provider required support to analyse their complex data sets and better understand the drivers behind their pressing business challenges. The University of Glasgow’s Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) was given access to the rail provider’s data-sets in order to leverage their research expertise and provide valuable insight to address issues the business was facing.

The solution

We organized a workshop for the UBDC to relay their initial findings as well as uncover additional areas of collaboration. The workshop was used to convey the data findings but also challenge assumptions the rail provider had made and design and ongoing plan of collaborative work.

The outcome

The workshop lead to a greater understanding of the goals of both the rail provider and the UBDC, with three main topics for business and academic research collaboration identified:

  • Impact different types of disruption have on passenger demand
  • Internet access influences on current and future passenger choice to travel by rail
  • Impact of the first and last mile of door-to-door journey in decision to travel by rail

Research funding applications are now in development to progress resulting collaboration opportunities. Research funding is just one part of continued engagement between the Rail Provider and the University. Ongoing collaboration also includes product development and creating research on railway infrastructure. The long-term aspiration is steering policy recommendations which can derive economic and social benefit for Scotland.

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