explore

Västtrafik creates a culture shift by democratizing data with Remix Explore

Västtrafik, Sweden

Western Sweden

Population

1.73 Million

Agency Type

Public Transport Services

Annual Budget

SEK 9 billion

Region

Western Sweden

Solution

Remix Explore

About Västtrafik

Västtrafik is responsible for public transport for a region of western Sweden. Every day, over 400,000 customers choose to travel on their buses, trains, trams, and boats. By developing and offering sustainable travel and efficient services, they want to be the obvious choice when people travel. In this way, Västtrafik contributes to “the good life” in Västra Götaland by increasing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the region for both residents and businesses.

Challenge

Västtrafik’s greatest challenge was working with analytics data that was difficult to share across internal and external stakeholders. They needed a solution that would allow users to self-serve and easily access high quality, dynamic data.

Solution

Västtrafik leveraged Remix Explore to drive democratization of data, increased collaboration, and better decision-making.

Results

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Enabled democratization of data for 300+ users in Explore

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Drove better decision-making, backed by facts

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Increased collaboration between stakeholders

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Shifted the organization towards a more data-driven culture

Tell us about your team at Västtrafik.

We have a Business Intelligence (BI) team of about 10 employees including several analysts and data engineers. We manage the BI tools at Västtrafik. We use Remix for our mapping and data visualization tool. 


What were the biggest challenges you faced before having Remix Explore?

We had a lot of geospatial data, and we wanted to make it available to anyone at Västtrafik and to colleagues at the municipalities as well. We didn’t have mapping tools that were easy-to-use or easily shareable-- the data was siloed. Furthermore, if you weren’t an analyst trained on certain geographic information system (GIS) tools, you had to rely on someone else who could pull up the info needed. So we needed a new solution that would allow users to self-serve and easily see high quality data on the map with interactive features. That was our vision.


Why did you join the Explore beta program?

We piloted Remix before purchasing it, and during that time, we saw Remix’s potential through the substantial development and growth of their product. We needed data layers and features that would enable interactivity. When Explore arrived in 2019, it was the answer to many of our problems. The Remix team gave us reassurance that they could deliver on our difficult data layer needs. Therefore, we felt compelled to join the beta program immediately when the opportunity presented itself.

Before having Explore, not everyone in our organization could use the GIS tools that we had to make informed decisions based on facts. That meant that our analysts had to be at meetings to pull up the data. Now with Explore, anyone at Västtrafik can easily access the data and we can share information fluidly.

Jasse Tykkyläinen

Data Analyst, Västtrafik


västtrafik public transit
Västtrafik public transit


You’ve now rolled out Explore to over 300 people in your organization. What value are you seeing?

Across the organization, we are seeing numerous benefits including:

  • User-friendly interface: There is consistency across all Remix products which is great news since our organization was already familiar with Remix Transit. This made it a seamless adoption of Remix Explore. And from the BI side, we strive to make it really easy for the user to see end data, and Explore allows this to happen.
  • Democratization of data: Our vision all along was to have a tool that is always updated with the latest data and allows Västtrafik employees and partners to self-serve. We currently have 300 people with access to Explore. They can now look up the latest data when they need to know something about a particular region. This all feeds into our goal of developing a self-sufficient data culture. 
  • Easy sharing capabilities: It’s simple and fast to be able to send someone a link to specific data, so they literally don’t have to do anything but open the link. 
  • Interactive features: The latest development of Explore brings new capabilities like interactive filtering and drawing polygons on a map-- all of which are very user-friendly and beneficial. 
  • Remote work enablement: Explore makes it easier to collaborate when we’re unable to physically be in the same room together. The COVID-19 pandemic has required a reliance on technology, and having Explore has made it easier and more enjoyable to work remotely together.
  • More informed decision-making: Explore’s functionality helps us make better decisions using advanced data capabilities. We can compare different areas and different alternatives with data and figures. This gives us more concrete evidence to make decisions. 
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Example of Västtrafik’s use of layers about education levels among the population using the new filtering capabilities in Explore.


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Our vision all along was to have a tool that is always updated with the latest data and allows Västtrafik employees and partners to make more informed decisions based on facts. We currently have 300 people with access to Explore. They can now look up the latest data when they need to know something about a particular region. It helps us develop a data-driven culture.

Jasse Tykkyläinen

Data Analyst, Västtrafik

Tell us more about the benefits of moving to a self-serve model with Explore. 

Our BI team used to spend many hours each week answering basic data questions. We still field a lot of questions because as you make more data available, it prompts more questions. However, the quality of the questions has changed-- they’re now smarter and more insightful and often come with good ideas about additional data sources. And now that our team isn’t spending time answering basic questions, we are able to focus more on advanced analytics, data layers, and making even more data available to consume.


In what other ways has Explore been helpful? 

Remix is like a big GIS calculator. It churns out the numbers you’re looking for-- like statistics in geographic areas representing how many people are living in a particular city. We haven’t seen many tools that have made it this easy to use. With more and more users adopting Explore, it is moving towards becoming one of our main decision-making tools. It has the capacity to become a self-service BI tool for all types of geographic data- not just for Transit data. For example, urban planners working for the municipality have already started using it for city development in Gothenburg.

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Example of Västtrafik using several layers simultaneously to calculate statistics for urban areas with hospitals. This shows data for the main hospital in Gothenburg (called Sahlgrenska) within a 2 km radius.


Please describe your partnership with the Remix team. 

We have a great collaboration between us and Remix. They have been very attentive to our needs, and we feel our voice is heard and our feedback is incorporated. We view Remix as being truly development driven on a global scale. The partnership has been very successful- we feel encouraged to give product feedback and Remix determines how to prioritize it. It feels great to have an impact on what they’re developing, not just for our own benefit but for other organizations using Remix as well. 

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What’s next for Västtrafik, and how do you plan to have Explore support your future initiatives? 

The future vision is to use Remix as the front-line tool for all data-driven decisions for the entire organization and beyond. That’s why we are entering all the data into Explore and driving adoption. We envision continuing to use Explore to achieve urban development goals. We anticipate increased collaboration between us, the municipalities, and other stakeholders to reach our shared objectives. Great things happen organically when you have high quality, dynamic data in an easy-to-use tool like Explore. We’re excited to realize our vision.

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