Information Delivery The change in data management at Network Rail

David M Walker
Data Management & Warehousing
Oracle OpenWorld- 6th September 2004

Network Rail Background
Ÿ! Took over the management of the rail infrastructure from Took over the management of the rail infrastructure from Railtrack in October 2002 Ÿ! Responsible for the management and safety of the rail infrastructure
–! –! –!

21,000 miles of track 40,000 bridges and structures 2,500 station etc.

Ÿ! Highly visible to public and political perception which makes timely information a key component of the enterprise

New Strategy & Vision
Ÿ! Network Rail replaced existing Railtrack IT function with a new department called ‘Information Management’ (NRIM) Ÿ! Emphasis placed on the development of reliable information and key performance indicators
–! –! –!

Top down pressure for KPIs from the Executive and external bodies such as the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) Bottom up pressure for managers and staff to have the right information available in a timely fashion NRIM strategy team determined the strategic toolset Ÿ! In general Oracle based with other specialist tools Toolset and build must be affordable, survive change and be robust

Ÿ! Network Rail means radical change to the organisation structure

The tools we have
Ÿ! Strategy says solutions will be Oracle based Ÿ! Database technology based around Oracle 9i moving to Oracle 10g Ÿ! ERP solution is Oracle eBusiness Suite Ÿ! Information Delivery uses:
–! –! –! –!

Oracle Balanced Scorecard for KPIs Oracle Discoverer for analytical reporting Oracle Report for standard reporting Oracle Warehouse Builder to move the data around

Ÿ! Presentation and integration uses Oracle Portal

First Steps
Ÿ! Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) mandated certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Ÿ! Quick Win – Web based delivery using Oracle Balanced Scorecard of the SRA KPIs Ÿ! Eight weeks to develop and deploy Ÿ! Data collected via Microsoft Excel as no consistent automated solution available

Success breeds success
Ÿ! Executive Scorecard leads business managers to require scorecards for their own areas

Area Maintenance

Ÿ!Condition of track Ÿ!Plant Management Ÿ!Inspection Regimes

Financial Management of Projects

Ÿ!On time – to budget Ÿ!Forecast vs Actuals Ÿ!Safety Indexes on projects

Getting the data
Ÿ! Balanced Scorecards fed from multiple sources
–! –! –! –!

Excel import for manual data Directly from operational systems via Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB) From Data Warehouses via Oracle Warehouse Builder Data capture via portal (more on this later)

KPIs sliced and diced

Making data more accessible
Ÿ! Concept of Literal Staging Areas

Taking data from legacy systems such as mainframes and storing it in an Oracle database Ÿ! Oracle Warehouse Builder gets data overnight i.e. the data is not fed real time Ÿ! Use Oracle Discoverer to allow ad hoc end user reporting Ÿ! Makes data more freely available Ÿ! Reduced cost of producing reports Ÿ! Helps analysis of where the truth lies Ÿ! Web based deployment using Oracle Discoverer Plus Ÿ! Avallino analysis of data quality

Discoverer LSA Reports

Portal Deployment
Ÿ! All this new data can not be hidden on systems Ÿ! Need a framework to deploy applications and information Ÿ! Oracle Portal used to provide front end integration
–! –!

Single entry point and single sign-on Role based access

Ÿ!‘Applications I need to do my job’ concept
–! –!

Integrates applications at the front end Standardised look and feel

Portal Applications
Ÿ! Growing number of small portal applications Ÿ! Replace existing MS Access and MS Excel methods with web based applications Ÿ! Relatively quick and cheap to deploy Ÿ! Change the quality of the data by introducing validation and centralisation

Author & Publish concepts

Consolidating Data
Ÿ! Three areas for Data Warehouses

Maintenance (Asset Data Warehouse)
Ÿ!The maintenance and management of track, signals, etc


Operations (Train Data Warehouse)
Ÿ!The planning and running of trains including timetabling, punctuality and management of delays


Business Services
Ÿ!The management of money, projects, HR etc.

The Yellow Train Story
Ÿ! New ‘yellow trains’ travel around the network collecting measurement data on track quality Ÿ! The data is sent to the Engineering Support Centre or ESC in Derby who load it via Oracle Warehouse Builder into the ‘Asset Data Warehouse’ Ÿ! Data is then available via the portal Ÿ! Reference data, e.g. track type is managed via a portal application

The Yellow Train

The team and approach
Ÿ! About 20 people based around the UK Ÿ! Composition
–! –! –!

Network Rail staff Domain Specialists Oracle Consultants

Ÿ! 18 months of work and only now reaching 20 people (4 people initially) Ÿ! High degree of Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach and interaction with the business

The future
Ÿ! More of the same Ÿ! Spread the technology, tools and techniques out to an ever wide audience Ÿ! Upgrading tools to latest versions to take advantage of new features Ÿ! Not specifically looking for any new products