change++ has worked with NSL for several years on a range of Business Intelligence projects; a Penalty Charge Processing system, the monitoring and reporting of parking enforcement services for local councils and a reporting solution for Transport for London’s (TfL)’s TOLA. TOLA is the name of the case management tool used by NSL in the delivery, maintenance and management of the licensing and inspection test service for taxis and private hire vehicles operating in the Greater London area on TfL’s behalf.
Since September 2016 all licensed operators have been required to provide the details of the drivers and vehicles used to fulfil private hire bookings the preceding week. This could result in 1700 – 2000 emails with attachments to record up to 65000 vehicles and drivers each week.
Data was filtered, stored and analysed by a team of 11 licensing administrators in a largely manual process involving Microsoft Excel and Outlook. TOLA could not store the data or allow it to be viewed. A solution was required to allow more efficient data collection, security and storage, especially as personal information is involved.
The ‘Operator Upload’ solution is an online tool that allows operators to submit vehicle and driver information on a weekly basis via their approved account. This not only eliminates the need for manual data handling by the TfL team, it also provides greater flexibility for the user, full compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), increased accuracy of the data provided and swifter analysis. Cross-matching of uploaded data against existing vehicle and driver records is facilitated by the solution, improving data validation.
According to Simone Oyekanmi, Licensing Manager, London Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles, at TfL, an overarching objective for the project was to ensure public safety in London. “As the solution delivers a much quicker, easier and more secure process for operators to share data, for TfL to have greater visibility of compliance and, most importantly, for us to be able to quickly identify and take action against non-compliance, we believe the travelling public will be safer as a result.”
Oyekanmi lists the significant benefits of the solution delivered to TfL by change++ as follows;
• Reports highlight non-compliance so action can be taken quickly to ensure public safety
• Reduction in the number of full-time employees needed to monitor licensing
• Team members are now focussed on analysing, verifying and recommending licensing action rather than simply processing data
• Greater visibility of all elements of licensed operator behaviour and overall compliance
• Self-service facility for operators and greater flexibility for sharing data
For NSL, TfL’s partner in the management of the licensing and inspection test service, the integration of the ‘Operator Upload’ solution with the case management tool, TOLA, means improved reporting options. NSL utilise tools from IBM Cognos Business Analytics to deliver business intelligence across many of its contracts. In this particular situation the IBM Cognos reporting structure is used to interrogate actions in the back-end system.
“We’ve been really pleased with how collaboratively the parties in this project have worked together. Communication has been good, issues have been resolved jointly and the project was successfully delivered on time. We’re very pleased,” confirms TfL’s Oyekanmi.
For NSL, Tommy Doyle, Account Director, comments, “it is imperative as a service provider that we strive to offer our clients innovative ideas and change to improve service delivery, enhance end user experience and reduce costs to the benefit of all stakeholders. This particular initiative is a prime example of our continuing efforts to support our clients in achieving their goals.”