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The Indian Railways will monetise the huge amount of data available with it but will ensure that no privacy law is compromised while doing so, Rail minister Suresh Prabhu said today. The public transporter has been using information technology extensively for the past three decades. As a result, a large amount of data is available for aspects like passenger ticketing and freight operations among others. "The Indian Railways is one of the largest data creators in the world.
It has to handle a large volume of data which needs to be used wisely. Data analytics is a way forward," Prabhu said here while inaugurating a round table conference on data analytics for the railways. The railways has data on crew management, track maintenance, rolling stock maintenance involving locomotives, wagon and coaches and expenditure accounting. "All of this together creates mammoth data which is probably one of the largest in the world but data itself is of no use unless it is tabulated into something," Prabhu said. Highlighting the need for proper data analytics for the future management information system, he said, "It would help to take appropriate decisions and also to eventually monetise it without compromising any privacy law and privacy ethics." Experts from the industry along with senior railway officials participated the conference. Data analytics can help the railways in determining pricing of services, planning train operations on various routes, proactive safety measures and disaster management, predictive maintenance of assets to avoid failures. Passenger reservation data of trains, passengers, earnings, utilisation of trains, class wise occupancy, waiting lists and passenger profile are also available in e-ticketing system. This data can be analysed to help provide innovative products to passengers so that occupancy is improved and they are able to get confirmed accommodation.
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