With today’s rapidly changing technology, it’s important to understand what works and gather data about users, especially in the transport industry.
Before she worked for Transport for London, Lauren worked in planning over in Los Angeles. Now she has a very important Customer Experience role at TfL. She’s the Head of Analytics and it’s her job to look at all the customer data and information gathered from the cashless ticketing system. Once the information’s been analysed it can be used to help create a better travel service in the future.
Tell us about your job…
My role is to look at all the customer data and information we have from our ticketing and data systems and put it together so that we understand how customers are travelling across the network. We have a lot of stakeholders across the business that use our analysis for communicating directly to our customers and for planning and operating our services better. We also provide teams with reporting tools so they can get data themselves.
We look at Oyster (cashless payment) and contactless card entries and exits to see where the busiest stations are on the network, what the most popular journey patterns are, and how long journeys take over different times of the day. We can also look at what happens when something changes on the network, such as a closure or major event.
How did you get into working for Transport for London?
I was finishing a postgraduate degree in Public Policy with a focus on transport and economics in the US when I heard about an opportunity at TfL. I thought it would be really interesting to come for a year, and here I am many years later!
What are the best bits about your job?
I like the fact that the service we provide every day is the lifeblood of London. We help to unlock the city’s potential by providing the services that we do.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in your role?
The computer systems and the speed available have changed massively – we can now run things in ten minutes that would have taken days before! There’s also an ever-increasing demand for data and insight, and for that information to arrive quickly so we can understand what’s happening on the network very soon after it happens.
What advice would you give to someone interested in your role?
My role is about understanding what is happening on the transport network, to dig deep into details and lead us at TfL to make decisions based on data and evidence. This is a technical area, so knowledge of computer systems and maths are key, but very importantly you need to be curious and find the story behind the numbers.