PwC with Network Rail

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

MCA Awards Finalist 2024Without Network Rail, the country’s trains would grind to a halt. Without accurate and timely data, Network Rail can’t reassure the country that its rail infrastructure is safe and reliable. With labour intensive, manual processes for both collecting data and compiling reports, the organisation’s reporting processes were time-consuming and error prone. PwC were commissioned to deliver a modern and scalable cloud reporting platform which would remove manual data manipulation, standardise and simplify reports and be a trusted source for multiple stakeholders.

Given the huge scale and complexity of rail domain data, the integrated AIS/PwC project team worked closely with data owners and report users, to build a deep understanding of their existing processes and define the organisation’s requirements for the ‘to-be’ state of its reporting platform. Monthly customer forums gave stakeholders regular opportunities to ask questions, understand the project’s progress and give feedback, which subsequently ensured a smooth transition as the new reports were implemented.

To make the best use of public money, the client was keen to maximise the value from its existing licence fees for Microsoft data tools, so the Power BI product was adopted as the foundation of a scalable, cloud-based reporting platform. PwC specialists then provided the expertise to integrate and automate the collection of data from several disparate data sources, and deliver timely, reliable and flexible reporting.

From a single project manager for the initial engagement, the PwC team grew to 20 over six months, including specialists in Consulting and Managed Services, and the firm’s Kolkata delivery centre. The team’s agile, Scrum-based approach included daily check-ins, integration of automation and reporting activities, and regular communication across the organisation. Working in three-week sprint cycles, the team facilitated ‘show and tell’ sessions at the end of each sprint, to showcase development and solicit feedback.

PwC’s approach enabled each new report to be prototyped, iterated and released in seven weeks, resulting in clear, sophisticated and customisable visualisations of Network Rail’s assets and operations. In total, the team implemented 60 such reports, automated all the underlying data collection processes, and established robust data quality disciplines. The firm supported users with training, certification and documentation, to deliver a smooth rollout with sustainable benefits.

The project has saved significant manual effort, and restored its confidence that it has the information needed to manage its assets. PwC’s implementation engagement has now transitioned into a managed service, which allows the firm to support continuous improvement of the client’s insights, as a trusted technology partner.

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