PTE interview: The power of real-time data

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Marc Mullan, vice president of data and analytics at daa plc (Dublin Airport Authority), reveals how real-time data can drive airports to even greater performance, in advance of his presentation on this subject at Passenger Terminal Conference 2019.  

What will your presentation be about?

The airport environment presents a unique and diverse set of business challenges. Dublin Airport will share how it has created analytics capability across this landscape, and will discuss the impact of doing this. This overview includes how data science is used in the planning process, the role real-time data plays in improving operational and commercial decision making, and why IoT is playing an increasingly critical role throughout the airport. The presentation will also outline the airport’s approach to creating a data culture, from the C-suite to the front line. Finally, my presentation will provide an overview of where Dublin Airport will go next, and of what use cases there are for artificial intelligence.

How has real-time data improved decision making at Dublin Airport?

Airfield analytics has provided the ability to view stand utilization in near real time. It has also allowed us to track all movements across the airfield, as these are captured and tracked by our transponders every two seconds. Doing this allows us to easily review performance for each day and to optimize our airfield operations through continuous improvement.

In the security screening process, we also use near-real-time data, which we compare every two minutes against forecasts to immediately understand how we are performing against our plan for the day. This strategy allows us to make immediate decisions to optimize performance every day. To do this, we bring together data from every step of the process, including PAX forecasts, lane plans, live queue times, live x-ray throughput and live throughput of the automatic tray return system – to create dashboards that clearly show the actual performance against the plan for the day.

What advice would you offer any airport regarding data analytics?

Senior executive sponsorship and ongoing support are critical to becoming a more data-driven organization – embedding data and analytics is as much a cultural challenge as it is a technical one.

Equally important is engaging staff at all levels. We have created a community of data analysts across our business, we are investing time in training and organizing events to share best practice. These efforts have played a key role in enabling self-service analytics and the democratization of our data across the organization.

Marc Mullan, vice president of data and analytics at daa plc, will present ‘Data and analytics: the insights that drive high performance’ at this year’s Passenger Terminal Conference, which takes place during Passenger Terminal Expo, 26, 27 and 28 March 2019, in London. Register here for your delegate pass.

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About Author


With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Passenger Terminal World), one of the UK's fastest growing publishing companies, Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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