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Case Fintraffic

Fintraffic builds the world’s smoothest, safest and most environmentally friendly transport – with data and analytics playing a key role

Fintraffic controls traffic on land, sea and in the air. The company’s goals are high – Fintraffic develops intelligent services that create the safest, smoothest and most environmentally friendly transport in the world. Digia and Fintraffic are developing modern analytics and reporting solutions that enhance operations and knowledge-based management. New kinds of AI-powered solutions are also in the works.

Fintraffic is a unique company in the world. Only in Finland is the management and control of all modes of transport centralised under one operator. Fintraffic offers and develops traffic control and management services for all modes of transport and responsibly ensures the safety and smoothness of traffic.

Fintraffic’s position creates unique opportunities. “The goal is to use smart services to develop the safest, smoothest and most environmentally friendly transport in the world”, says Senior Specialist in data and analytics Juha Smalin at Fintraffic’s rail traffic control business development team. Fintraffic aims, for example, to create digital systems and ecosystems to predict and control traffic flows more intelligently.

Fintraffic also invests in knowledge-based management. “Knowledge is the enemy of assumption. The more information one has, the better decisions one can make”, Smalin says.

Digital solutions boost work efficiency and leadership

Fintraffic and Fintraffic Railway Ltd., which is responsible for rail traffic control, have been working with Digia since 2017. A couple of years earlier, the company separated from the state railway company VR, which meant many systems had to be developed from scratch. Smalin says that the systems certainly produced a vast amount of data, but it was hardly utilised at all.

Business decisions often had to be made on the basis of knowledge passed from one generation of employees to another and employee experience, because there was no accurate information.

“We wanted to incorporate knowledge into the process to support decision-making, which is why we started systematically storing and using data”, Smalin says. Digia has been a key partner in this, and the work was expanded with the centralisation of the control and management of four different modes of transport under Fintraffic. As a result, Digia has implemented several different analytics solutions for the group.

What we did

  • Data and analytics

What we used

Cooperation has been smooth. It has been easy to collaborate with Digia, and the results speak for themselves. I’m sure our cooperation will continue.

Juha Smalin, Senior Specialist, Fintraffic

1. Reporting system that boosts the efficiency of human resources work

Smalin says that previously HR had to collect data manually from a wide range of sources and then combine it into Excel formulas. The data sometimes included errors and was not necessarily up-to-date. The Power BI reporting system developed by Digia eliminated these issues. The system automates both the collection and processing of data and creates real-time visual reports from it.

“In many situations, this reduces the workload of HR management a lot”, Smalin says. In addition, the company’s management and various units receive real-time information on, for example, the number of employees, competence development and other staff matters to support decision-making.

2. Reporting and analytics that improve the efficiency of rail transport operating centres

Fintraffic’s rail transport operating centres are responsible for monitoring the electric railway and, for example, safety and fault management. The reporting system developed by Digia provides precise information on, for example, the number of faults, the speed at which the faults are being repaired and the operations of various contractors. This helps lead and develop the operation of the rail network.

3. Pilot project on smart prediction of rail network failures

In autumn 2021, Digia and Fintraffic carried out a pilot project to develop intelligent fault prediction. It combined fault information with data concerning factors such as weather. The aim was to predict how weather and temperature affect the failure of rail network components.

4. Reporting system improves the challenging process of staff resourcing

Digia has also developed a system that helps Fintraffic in the exceptionally complex process of staff resourcing in the area of rail traffic control. Fintraffic has almost 400 traffic controllers, and controlling each separate section of the rail network requires specific expertise and rights. Smalin explains that, because of the complexity of resourcing, the company has not yet been able to systemically optimise the process.

The reporting system created by Digia improves the efficiency of shift planning and helps avoid the need for overtime as well as under-use of shifts, which would result in not using the full work effort of the staff. Reporting also helps distribute the workload between the operating centres, allowing for optimising the number of centres in operation at any given time.

Flawless, continuous cooperation in a multi-vendor environment

The cooperation between Digia and Fintraffic is continuous development work carried out as agile development. Smalin says that the cooperation is close, and Digia’ specialists are contacted daily. “The cooperation has worked really well”, he says.

Development work at Fintraffic is carried out in a multi-vendor environment. Smalin says, however, that the cooperation between Digia and other partners has worked seamlessly and impeccably in all respects.

Fintraffic is very satisfied with Digia’s work. “It has been easy to deal with Digia, and the work has been good”, Smalin says. The aim is to further expand the cooperation, which already has many years of history.

Fintraffic has also been very satisfied with Digia’s expertise. Smalin says that even according to comments from outside specialists, Fintraffic’s development projects are technically very challenging. For example, data is retrieved from numerous systems that differ from each other greatly and have been developed over the decades for Fintraffic’s four subsidiaries. Smalin says that the expertise of Digia’s specialists has been reflected in solving such challenges. In addition, he praises the good documentation and the design of the reports created, among other results.

Smalin says that Fintraffic’s goals in developing analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are high, and knowledge-based management is also being taken further. “I thank Digia for the great cooperation of the past years”, says Smalin. “Our cooperation will certainly continue fruitfully in the coming years with new development work.”