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Smooth operations at Heathrow

We helped BA de-risk a £10m investment by proving a new data-driven system could help staff make better decisions.

Etch were tasked to explore the question, how could BA reduce the time it took staff to make a decision from 15 minutes to five minutes? 

As the focus was operational, this helped to shape the direction for our user-focused and user-driven exploration.

We decided to bring design thinking to BA, to demonstrate a faster, more collaborative way to work.

We started the project by spending the first two weeks learning and building up a rich picture of the situation. We listened in on meetings, we wrote down all the acronyms that we didn't understand, and we reviewed the latest literature on decision-making processes. We then questioned the people who would be using it in order to understand their needs. As ideas emerged, we began sketching and designing how this tool would work and the value.

We worked across five departments and numerous stakeholders, running workshops to identify the requirements of a dashboard to help improve decision points as a first initiative.

The outcome was a proven business case and prototype for a data-driven dashboard displaying information from across BA’s operations. Our early work de-risked further investment by proving early on that the dashboard would do what it needed it to do.

The work continued and resulted in a data-driven dashboard displaying information from across BA’s operations. The dashboard shows high-level, operational information – almost in real-time – and presents complex data in an intuitive way. Users can then go deeper into each department, accessing detailed information on airline performance.

A scalable, multi-device, real-time service used for a strategic advantage against disruption within the aviation sector.

The dashboard is now used by a variety of people in different contexts, from big screens in the control tower to customer attendants' iPads as they travel between terminals. It was built responsively, ensuring all data displays perfectly whatever device it’s viewed on.

BA’s staff can easily access the data they need at any time on the dashboard. This allows them to act fast and address disruptions as they arise, ensuring the smooth running of BA’s operations and provision of the highest level of service to their customers.