European Railway Operator

Transportation & Logistics

Ataccama enabled reliable capacity, route, and financial planning via a centralized reference data management solution, providing data automatically to all key consuming systems.

The solution in numbers:

  • 400+ tables
  • 500+ relationships
  • 1.2 million records
  • 15 consuming systems
  • 260+ users

Business objective & project requirements

As part of company-wide digitalization efforts and revamping IT infrastructure, this freight transporter required a reliable way to manage their reference data. In addition to a central repository of reference data that would serve as a single source of the truth, the organization’s solution had to provide high-quality data to users through a user-friendly interface while removing the manual steps in maintaining and propagating reference data.

Initial data challenges

Before implementing a solution with Ataccama, managing and maintaining reference data involved significant manual work: merging updates from multiple Excel spreadsheets, updating the central storage via SQL scripts, and generating duplicate files for each consuming system. At the same time, several other systems maintained and used their own sets of reference data.

This setup resulted in several inefficiencies:

  • Hours spent manually merging updates to the master Excel and the master database
  • No way to enforce referential data integrity across related codebooks
  • Lack of input validation which increased errors
  • Simple tasks such as adding a column to a codebook meant changing scripts for all consuming systems

Solution & benefits

Ataccama ONE now serves for the railway operator as an organization-wide, mission-critical application, providing reference data from more than 400 codebooks to consuming systems (like SAP ERP), which are then used for managing day-to-day operations and financial planning. The solution is set up with coexistence-style MDM, where most data is authored by data stewards in Ataccama ONE and other data originates in alternative systems.

Solution benefits include:

One source of reference data for the whole organization.

Data is validated by business rules and approved by data stewards while referential data integrity is maintained.

All changes to reference data are automatically propagated to the consuming systems.

Unlimited scalability: the number of codebooks maintained in Ataccama ONE grew from 100 to 400+ during the life of the project, while the number of consuming systems grew from 10 to 15. All are updated automatically.

Client Use Cases

Capacity planning

The organization manages highly granular parameters about the available freight cars and locomotives (as such dimensions, type of cargo supported, loading capacity, weight) to plan the delivery of orders. Having such data available and actively governed gives the freight transporter a clear idea of where each car or locomotive is used and aids in assigning them to the right transport order.

Route planning

The freight transporter also manages wide tables of available locations (stations), their parameters, available equipment (such as cranes or side-loaders, etc.), and information about connections between stations. This lets the organization plan optimal routes when delivering cargo, be confident that trains do not interfere with each other, and ensures they stop at stations with the right equipment.

Online freight car catalog

The freight transporter has implemented a client-facing online catalog of available freight cars, powered by Ataccama ONE. The catalog is available in 3 languages and allows potential or existing clients browse through freight cars, including their dimensions, technical parameters, and photographs.

Product

The organization utilized the Ataccama ONE platform module for Reference Data Management. Ataccama ONE RDM serves a range of data challenges, including reference data scattered across multiple source systems and manually-managed Excel files. Centralize ownership, enforce business rules and data quality standards, and maintain consistent, valid, and available reference data across your entire enterprise in one place. RDM is an important step in any MDM solution.

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