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Why Measure

The Case for Analytics and Business Intelligence
Transit agencies must measure performance to satisfy a wide range of constituencies-customers, politicians, federal, state, and local government regulators, internal boards, commissioners, managers, etc.  With daily mountains of data to mine, how an organization compiles, reports, and subsequently makes decisions based on that data plays a vital role in the strategic direction of the organization.  In today's real-time information-based society, transit agencies that do not improve their business intelligence run the risk of falling behind their peers in other communities and raising discontent amongst their stakeholders.
What is Analytics and Business Intelligence?
Traditionally, business analysis is conducted utilizing static standard reporting tools developed by IT departments or delivered with Custom Off -The Shelf (COTS) software solutions.  These solutions can be slow to run or have to run after hours in order to not disrupt regular business activities.  Adding new data measures and reports is often labor intensive and dependent upon the availability of IT resources that may be committed to other priorities.   As a result, organizations using these static reporting methods have to get by with dated or insufficient information to make critical business decisions.
Analytics and business intelligence is designed to remove much of the noise from your data.  It is based on a pre-built dynamic architecture that can answer real-time questions about your business operations, service levels, revenue streams, etc.  Dashboards can quickly reveal potential issue areas, drilldowns provide the ability to locate the root cause of the issue, and filters allow on-the-fly views of the problem in order create additional insight.  Further, business intelligence can be configured to alert you of problems in their early stages, giving your organization adequate time to develop a proactive solution.  And reports can be customized to provide a high-level and detailed view of your transit agency's performance from the perspective of differing audiences: regulatory, public, and internal.
What's the Return on Investment?
Analytics and Business Intelligence leads to better reporting and management, while reducing costs attributed to data collection and cleansing, errors, and manual reporting.  Building a custom solution can take months, even years to complete and requires extensive ongoing maintenance.  A pre-built solution, such as ASTRA, can be implemented in as little as six to eight weeks, and adding new measures and reports is point-and-click-based.  That means payback within months, not years.  Plus, with better decision making capabilities, transit agencies achieve better results leading to improved customer satisfaction which in turn builds ridership and generates additional revenue.
TCRP Report 88: A Guidebook for Developing a Transit Performance-Measurement System
Read about transit performance measurement through analytics and business intelligence, and how ASTRA's real-time, pre-built solutions can answer real-time questions about your business operations, service levels, revenue streams, and more.
ASTRA Transit Analytics
ASTRA is a complete business analytics solution for transit agencies, containing over 100 pre-built dashboards.  Read about ASTRA performance measurement categories and see sample dashboards of ASTRA in action.