Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Improves Passenger Services and Internal Operations with an Agile Data Fabric
Hong Kong MTR has built on its immense success over the last several decades, evolving into a sophisticated transport system operator, property developer, and customer marketing platform. By diversifying its lines of business, the company also diversified its data, which made data collection vastly more complex.
MTR is working hard to transform itself into "a more environmentally and socially responsible company, one that can successfully take on the challenges of tomorrow and grow symbiotically and sustainably with the communities it serves."1 To take advantage of its data opportunities, the company wanted to streamline its data storage for memberships, campaigns, promotions, and purchases for all its line of business: transportation, property development, and retail marketing. MTR sought out leading technology solutions to enable faster, more accurate data retrieval for better customer insights.
Ted Suen, MTR CIO, shared, "We always want to see how we can adopt different technologies to help us to innovate and provide better customer service. We want to position ourselves as the best transportation service, not only in Hong Kong, but also in the world. To do this, we need to implement leading technologies."
MTR deployed a TIBCO agile data fabric design using TIBCO EBX master data management and TIBCO Data Virtualization software as the foundation for its Data Analytics Hub project. The project promoted data availability and use across MTR's many business domains, such as analytics, operations, and compliance. With greater access to important business data, users could better understand customer behavior and passenger preferences.
Suen noted, "I'm grateful for the insights TIBCO provided us. Before we implemented TIBCO solutions, we understood we needed better data governance. After working with TIBCO services, we began to ask questions like, what is data? How does it relate to governance? How can we make a much more robust platform for the future?"
Within its Data Analytics Hub, MTR built an online data catalog complete with a business glossary and a self service web-based interface for employees. It chose EBX and TIBCO Data Virtualization software because of their out-of-the-box features and highly customizable add-ons. With local implementation support, the MTR data team quickly built a scalable one-stop-shop data solution.
Suen added, "I'm definitely proud that we implemented such a complex project in such a short time. From the initial evaluation, to proof of concept, to tendering process, to actual implementations, it took less than six months. It's one of the most successful implementations that I have seen in the past few years."
MTR uses its Data Analytics Hub for three main use cases. The first enables business continuity with data collection from its massive and diverse data sources, such as customer data from its mobile app. The second reuses components to better integrate data for consumption. The third increases data quality with master data and metadata management.
According to a recent company report, "We are working to accelerate our investment in innovation, using advanced technology and integrated digital platforms for better, safer, and more personalized engagement."2
With MTR's new data analytics hub powered by TIBCO, the company operates as more than just a transport operator, property developer, and customer platform. It can enrich all its lines of business and support one of the largest, highest-stakes transport systems in the world.
MTR employees now have access to a clear data catalog, allowing easy access to trusted, accurate data. Additionally, the platform excels in data governance—tracking data usage across users and domains and fulfilling all data regulatory requirements.
Most importantly, with its new data fabric, MTR can leverage real-time data and analytics for better, faster decision-making. Marketing campaigns are more targeted, based on accurate demographics and purchase habits, and customers gain easier access to real-time data on the mobile app, which has close to one million users.
Suen concluded, “TIBCO definitely helped us implement the first major steps of our data governance platform. With it, users have more robust data analytics and trusted information. TIBCO's data catalog, master data management, and other data features allow our users to understand more about customer and passenger data to make more informed business decisions."