Big Data in Ticketing: The Key to Unlocking Customer Growth

14 March 2023

Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Group Business Development Director We recently sat down with Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer, to get this thoughts on how operators can harness the wealth of available data to better understand and improve their offerings and operations.

Never one to shy away from a chat, Richard shares his thoughts below…


What’s the importance of data?

TOTO AnalysisData – it’s a big talking point. How is it useful? How can it help your operational efficiency? How can you understand it? That’s only scratching the surface. Data enables you to look at your present position but it also allows you to plan and even visualise the future. For operators, there’s so much data available – actually too much! It’s time-consuming, sometimes expensive and laborious to get to the specific piece of data or insight an operator needs. What’s certain is that data is underutilised in the industry and so much more can be done to unlock the value of the vast amounts of data available in operators’ systems. It can be pivotal to help them overcome many of the challenges they face.

What’s the main barrier to using data?

Put simply, there’s so much of it but it is so often hard to access. To do in-depth analysis often takes operators hours to download reports, put into pivot tables and produce graphics to make sense of the sea of available data. With our latest developments, all of this and more will be accessible within seconds. Operators have told me how powerful greater access to data insights will be for them. Being able to give them that access – at the click of a button – it’s transformational.


With our new solution the Ticketer Insights Hub, there will no longer be the need to do lots of spreadsheet analysis to get to the piece of data an operator wants. You’ll soon be able to drill down with a few clicks to see all of your information and answer any kind of questions or queries. It will be unlocking a gold mine of insights for operators and local authorities, accessible both quickly and easily and, most importantly, at no extra cost.

You can watch our demo video below to get more of a taster on how this will work…


There’s so much that operators can see with the Ticketer Insights Hub. But, I’ve got four particular favourite benefits which I think our customers will love:

1. Interrogate the data however you like. Starting with the basics of boardings and revenue by day, you can drill down by multiple variables, including customer types, route, time of day, ticket types, all the way down to individual bus stop level. Whatever you want to find out, the answers are there in the data for Ticketer Insights Hub to uncover for you.

2. Historical data. You can choose the time period you want to review and compare to the last week, month or year. Finding trends, comparing numbers and seeing the similarities and differences will help operators get the analysis they need to make useful business decisions.

3. Ease of use. You don’t have to be a data guru to make use of the tool. It’s designed around a simple set of drop downs and filters, a bit like you would see in your online banking. It helps your teams focus on getting meaning from the data, rather spending the time manipulating it.

4. Understanding passenger travel patterns. With Tap Off Readers, operators can really understand their passengers – where they get on and off the bus, seeing their travel distance all the way through to looking at the travel behaviours of individual passengers. Operators can see service interchanges to understand the passenger’s entire journey, even being able to select a single bus stop and see where people have gone from there and on what service.

What does the future look like?

There are many further developments on the reporting and visualisation of how customers use bus networks which can be unlocked with Ticketer Tap Off Reader data. The key information and insight from the Ticketer Insights Hub will help operators understand where the money is coming from, with a deep insight in where customers get on and off the bus, where and when they travel. A focus on fraud detection is also being created to help operators to protect and maximise their revenue streams. Understanding performance to schedule is another development on the horizon to help operators better understand and improve their offerings. What takes hours, days or weeks today, will soon be uncovered within seconds – that’s a pretty bright future!

Some of the things we have won


Received 'Most Innovative Public Transport Technology 2022' award, by the UK Transport Awards.

Winners of the 2022 Euro Bus Expo Innovation Challenge Bronze Award.

Winners of the 'ROSCO Silver Award for Contribution to Safer Driving' 2022

Profit Track 100 2021

Ranked in The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, acknowledging the impressive performance and contributions of the featured companies to the economy and society during the pandemic

Transport Ticketing

Winner of the Transport Ticketing Awards 2021 'Digital Champion' Category

Ticketer Award Megabuyte

Listed as 3rd in the Megabuyte Emerging Stars Awards which recognise the top 25 best-performing scale-up Companies of the Year in the UK, for industry-specific software

Ones to Watch award

Named as “One to Watch” in the European Business Awards

Ticketer Award Thames Valley

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year & High Growth Business of the Year

Gold Winner of the Coach and Bus Innovation Challenge 2019 for our passenger app Kazoot

Read more on our press page

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