Fintraffic Railway

Fintraffic Railway is on a data journey towards the most advanced rail traffic in the world

In a partnership programme, Solita and Fintraffic Railway are using data and analytics to develop world-class rail traffic. The goal is to meet the demands in safety, punctuality and efficiency even more precisely and effectively by means of data. The data and analytics cooperation between Solita and Fintraffic Railway is broad, covering everything from strategy development and service design to change management. “This is a comprehensive and shared journey towards a data-driven organisation. Our learning and development will continue every step of the way.”

Results:

  • Implementing a cloud-based scalable data warehousing and architecture solution at Fintraffic.
  • Utilising data and analytics in decision-making has been integrated as part of the corporate culture.  The awareness of the potential of data has greatly increased in the organisation.
  • Better decisions through data.
  • Data is also being efficiently shared with various stakeholders.
  • Fintraffic Railway’s data strategy is implemented throughout the entire organisation.
  • Smoother and smarter rail traffic with continuing comprehensive development.

Shared insights and learning

The cooperation between Solita and Fintraffic Railway has continued for nearly twenty years. In addition to its broad and deep expertise in technology and data issues, Solita has accumulated considerable sector-specific expertise. The cooperation concerning data-driven solutions and capabilities started approximately three years ago.

How can the data perspective be integrated as part of an organisation’s culture? How should an organisation with effective data strategies operate? How can the utilisation of data and analytics be integrated seamlessly into how we think about business? These are some of the questions that Solita and Fintraffic Railway’s cooperation seeks to answer on their journey towards the most advanced rail traffic in the world.

“We partnered with Solita to start developing a cloud-based data and analytics environment from scratch. The cooperation with Solita has been smooth from the very beginning. We’ll continue on this path towards our ambitious goals.”
Juha Smalin, Senior Specialist at Fintraffic Railway

“This is not a project, but rather a shared and comprehensive data journey towards a continuous improvement – we are developing some very different segments related to data. We also don’t have an endpoint in sight, as this continuous development work will carry on in the spirit of our partnership,” says Mikko Varjos, Solita’s Strategic Account Director, Transport.

Solita has been part of developing and providing insight for Fintraffic Railway’s data strategy, which the partners are putting into practice according to a jointly designed roadmap. What makes the partnership special is the comprehensive nature of the data cooperation. The cooperation covers everything from developing data warehousing to master data management, service design, and change management.

“We help our client to find insight and we learn together. We hope that in the future we’ll know a lot of things that we don’t know today,” says Mika Alatalo, Project Manager at Solita.

“Solita’s work is important for the development of the entire transport industry. The people at Solita are always looking at the big picture, and they understand that all traffic data must move seamlessly between the different operators. The data must also be of high quality,” says Timo Nieminen, Director of Business Development at Fintraffic Railway.

“Solita’s work is important for the development of the entire transport industry."

Timo Nieminen, Director of Business Development at Fintraffic Railway

Starting from scratch and aiming for the top

The long-term goal is to develop the most advanced railway traffic in the world with data and analytics. However, the journey towards an increasingly data-driven organisation does not happen all at once. The smart utilisation of data and analytics aims to add value both in the short and long term.

“Our first goal was to make data available to people through modern data warehousing. We want decision-making at Fintraffic Railway to be based on data, so we are moving towards a more data-driven business,” says Fintraffic’s Smalin.

The cost-effective data warehousing solution developed for Fintraffic Railway collects data from a wide variety of sources. The smart combination of different data sources also produces significant added value from a business standpoint.

“Data operations seek to serve the needs of safety, punctuality and efficiency even better than before. We want the results of our work to be visible to all railway passengers by mitigating and reducing traffic disruptions and providing improvements in areas such as punctuality and predictive capabilities. Our goal at the national level is to also share and utilise data between different organisations in a more comprehensive and innovative way,” says Solita’s Varjos.

One of the most significant and challenging goals is seamlessly connecting how we think about data and business so that data-driven operations are no longer considered a separate function of an organisation, but rather part of new comprehensive and data-driven creative operations.

“This is not a project, but rather a shared and comprehensive data journey towards a continuous improvement."
Mikko Varjos, Solita’s Strategic Account Director, Transport

Cutting-edge solutions to support the implementation

The implementation of the data solutions makes use of cutting-edge technology. The completely cloud-based environment is based on AWS technology, and the database is based on Snowflake’s modern Lakehouse data solution. The visualisation tool used by Solita is Power BI.

The entirety is managed with Agile Data Engine (ADE) product, developed by Solita, and huge volumes of data from a variety of source systems have already been transferred to the data warehouse.

“The data platform implemented by Solita was later introduced for group-wide use. Basic reporting is now largely automated, and the development focus has shifted to analytics,” says Nieminen.

“The reporting development work has been conducted in very practical and close cooperation with the users and various stakeholders,” says Solita’s Varjos.

“There’s been a clear change. Our personnel use data and know how to utilise it."

Juha Smalin, Senior Specialist at Fintraffic Railway

Decisions are driven by data

The partnership between Solita and Fintraffic is a kind of joint research expedition. It is not only about technology, but also about a change that requires new kinds of expertise and practices. Solita is serving as the interpreter between data development and business, as well as consulting on matters of change management and practical implementation.

“We started from scratch with our development of a cloud-based scalable data warehousing and architecture solution, and we’ve made quite a lot of progress at this point. It’s been great to see that the entire group has quickly adopted Fintraffic Railway’s vision of data utilisation. The data strategy has been received well, and it has also been adopted in other subsidiaries,” says Fintraffic Railway’s Juha Smalin.

Indicators are also being developed to provide clear values for the monitoring of the business benefits of data and analytics.

At Fintraffic, data is genuinely becoming a part of the capital managed under business operations.

“There’s been a clear change. Our personnel use data and know how to utilise it. It’s been great to see how people are already able to utilise data for different kinds of reports and figures. Of course, we still have a long way to go, but the attitude and course are correct,” says Smalin.

“The most important result is integrating data and analytics as part of the entire organisation’s culture and operations. We are already utilising data in decision-making, and it’s not separate from all other operations. That’s very important,” adds Fintraffic’s Nieminen.