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What if we could give British Airways an insight into airline performance to help prevent disruptions?

Airborne:
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Background

British Airways have a 90-year reputation for providing the highest quality service to customers all over the globe. Every day, more than half of the flights leaving London Heathrow airport are operated by the BAA group. 

For customers, travelling with British Airways is a smooth experience. However, behind the scenes, hundreds of operations must work seamlessly to ensure planes depart, fly and arrive at their destinations on time. From snow and ice to resource shortages and knock-on delays, unforeseen complications can cause major disruptions to any airline.

British Airways asked us to work with them to develop an operational dashboard. The tool had to be data-driven, enable their staff to predict and manage disruptions, and provide a high-level view of the airline’s entire operations. The goal was to provide a one-stop source of information for every department across BA’s Heathrow operation.

Challenge

The development of the dashboard was user-focused and user-driven. We started the project by questioning the people who would be using it in order to understand their needs. We worked across five departments and numerous stakeholders, running workshops to identify the requirements of the dashboard. As ideas emerged, we began sketching and wireframing to demonstrate how this tool would work.

Approach

We started the project by spending the first two weeks learning. We listened in on some meetings, we wrote down all the acronyms that we didn't understand and we read the FT and many academic papers.

Results

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

The dashboard will be used by a variety of people in different contexts, from big screens in the control tower to customer attendant’s iPads as they travel between terminals. Therefore, it was built responsively, ensuring that the data will display perfectly whatever device it’s viewed on.

With the dashboard, BA’s staff can easily access the data they need at any time. 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.

Next steps

We created a data-driven dashboard, uniting information from across BA'S operation. Presenting complex data in an intuitive way, the dashboard presents high-level, operational information clearly, in near real-time. Users are then able to drill down into departments and access fine grain information on airline performance.