Main Roads WA uses KNIME to Harvest Data for Perth’s Smart Freeway

Forest Grove24th March 2022

Main Roads Western Australia is WA’s key body, responsible for the safe and efficient delivery and management of the State’s main roads network. In addition to delivery and management, the agency acts as WA’s ‘eyes’ on the road, providing the public with access to critical road data, such as alerts, closures, and incidents. The agency employs over 1050 staff and is responsible for more than 18,000kms of road across over 2.5 million square metres.

Background

With 500 million records of historical data, and a database growing at a rate of around 400,000 new records daily, Main Roads WA needed a robust data process that could consolidate, clean and transform data and deliver consistent, automated and reliable results. The stakes are higher for Main Roads – the data collected, and insights obtained affect not only their internal decision-making but also the safety and efficiency of Western Australia’s most travelled roads.

The Agency combines data from a vast number of sources, including 800 traffic light signals observing wait times at traffic lights, rainfall and other weather data, freeway detectors measuring speed and traffic volume every 500 metres, and incident worker reports, just to name a few. Having consistent, historical, and near real time insight is a crucial component to informing strategic and operational decisions for network optimisation for the state’s main roads.

Solution

Forest Grove provided an automated analytics solution, delivering sophisticated filtering, fusing and patching techniques to produce critical insights, including speed and traffic volume, project success and the cost of congestion.

The solution is scalable, flexible and transparent, and can easily adapt to changes in infrastructure and user requirements. Leveraging KNIME, the journey to Main Roads’ single source of data truth can be described in the following key automated processes, run on a daily basis:

  • KNIME scrapes the data from Azure Data Factory
  • KNIME Consolidates, transforms and cleans data and generates a fact table, providing a “single source of truth”
  • KNIME Speaks to both Tableau and Power BI to populate multiple dashboards accessed by hundreds of end-users. Dashboards include: Cost of Congestion, Network Performance Trends, Link Level Reporting and KPI Monitoring during Roadworks

Example of Main Roads' KNIME workflow

Example of Main Roads’ KNIME workflow

 

Results

The solution has transformed Main Road’s data processes – the investment of staff time has significantly reduced and data integrity concerns are a thing of the past.

Reports and insights are produced 4x faster post-implementation and KNIME’S sophistication means the system load time has dropped from 4 hours to 30 minutes.

 

Key Benefits:

KNIME’S sophisticated filtering, fusing and patching process allows data to be effectively used to estimate the outcome/success of a project, including analysis of the cost of congestion, before and after a project. Main Roads team now has complete trust in its data – resulting in better decision-making and an increase in the value of its data insights

Through process automation and advanced analytics capabilities, Main Roads WA now saves 33 days a year on manual reporting.

David Kleidon Quote 

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