Taking a dive into Big Data

As railroaders adjust to an increasingly digital world, they're looking for ways to sort through and interpret massive amounts of data. To do that, they're relying on a slew of sophisticated software programs, such as Railinc Corp.'s component tracking registry. The program provides a way for the industry to understand the depth and scope of defects identified by other processes, such as the wayside detector network. Armed with this information, railroaders can tackle safety issues before they arise.

So, what exactly does this look like in practice? Here's an example: The wayside detector network might identify a safety issue with a certain type of wheel. Car owners then can use the registry to search for all rail cars associated with other wheels manufactured at the same time. If they find any similar issues, they can get the cars into a repair shop before any problems emerge.

To learn more about the component tracking program, read my short write-up from our March issue.

Do you use similar kinds of software to streamline your own safety processes? Care to provide an example or two? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

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