Big Data in Ticketing: The Key to Unlocking Customer Growth

14 March 2023

Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Group Business Development DirectorRichard Blackburn-Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer, gives us his insights on how operators can harness the power of data following his recent appearance at Transport Ticketing Global.

In case you missed it, we asked Richard to share what he spoke about at the conference on how operators can better understand and improve their offerings and operations using the wealth of available data.


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 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.

Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer, presenting ‘Insights to Improve Public Transport Operations’ at Transport Ticketing Global.

How is ticketer unlocking the value of data?

Operators can use any data collected. It all has potential to be useful. It’s all available. It’s just finding a way to drill down into what’s there – that’s the challenge. With our new Ticketer Insights Hub, everything is available from driver performance through to revenue, from passenger boarding points through to vehicle occupancy and beyond.

It opens up a new world of data analysis for operators at the click of a button. Enhancements to the existing portal will provide easy access to data and can offer new insights. Operators will be able to visualise their data in graphs, charts, heat maps, and so much more. It brings what currently can take specialist teams hours, days or even weeks to analyse and surfaces the answers within seconds.

We’re unlocking the value of this raw data which the industry has been sitting on. It can be analysed, fast. It can be turned into valuable insights, simply. The hub will help deliver better value for bus customers, improve operational efficiency and support better decision making.

What key insights can operators get?

There’s so much that operators can see with Ticketer’s Insights Hub. My four favourite benefits are:

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.

Transport Ticketing

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

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

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

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

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

Join the Ticketer journey

Let's go!