Origin of Cohelion: The action of process of multiple independent parts to become aligned around a central theme. Used in Astronomy and in Information Theory

Key takeaways

  1. Business and Operational users are involved in improving data quality, and end discussion on report discrepancies
  2. Integrated SLA targets help Swissport steer most effectively towards delivering the performance customers expect
  3. A Master Data Management solution maintained by business users makes quicker and better mapping decisions
  4. The ability to adjust data before it enters the Data Warehouse alleviates Swissport’s IT staff
  5. A user-friendly data platform accelerates the adoption within Swissport and enhances data quality
  6. Easily adding new data sources greatly contributes to the roll-out speed
  7. Built-in data quality checks and alerts ensures that a small team can safeguard the correctness of all business data

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Single Source of Truth at Swissport

One standard for all processes and KPI’s

Swissport is the global market leader in the aviation services industry and operates in many different countries, each with their own culture. The company has grown fast through acquisitions and as a result it has a very diverse portfolio of services and an even more diverse IT landscape. Swissport’s Global Performance & Analytics team is responsible for managing data generated by all activities in more than 300 airports worldwide.

Better insights into SLA performance

To make use of economies of scale, the team was requiring a single source of truth within the organization where all data from different airports and different business lines come together. It couldn’t view operational-, HR -, quality – and safety data collectively or easily make a comparison on a regional level or check the performance of previous years.

This single source of truth should supersede all local reports. Another goal was to have better insights into the actual operational performance of customers against the agreed Service Level Agreements in order to steer performance more pro-actively.

Connecting data sources

With the flexibility of the Cohelion Data Platform it is possible to roll-out at our preferred pace. We started connecting all data sources from our ground handling activities. The first step was to get as much data as possible delivered via automated interfaces. The simple way in which the Cohelion Data platform let us import data from external applications from hundreds of airports really benefitted us.

Maintaining the complete picture

Airports that cannot provide data automatically from an application, can upload spreadsheets or go to a data-entry page to manually complete their statistics. With this fallback we can guarantee that our central data warehouse always contains the complete picture. This was also very helpful in the past after takeovers to get data straight away until an automated data feed had been set up.

Next, we added all data sources of our cargo activities. When that worked well, we expanded the coverage to all our 14 lines of business (including Lounge, Fuelling and Security), and other departments such as Training, HR, Quality & Safety.

Improving data quality

Ensure Garbage-in is not Garbage-out

To ensure adequate data-quality, various checks and balances are needed. At months-closings, the system sends out a personalised invitation to pre-defined persons (like country COO’s or station managers) to approve the data that is captured for their area of responsibility. This gives them the option to check and correct the data if needed before the data is send over to the data warehouse. This makes discussion on reporting discrepancies a thing of the past.

Data checks and user-friendly environment

On a top management level, the Global Performance & Analytics team reviews various data-quality screens and can check recent data against last year, last month or forecasted figures. Any exceptional data is then flagged for further inspection. With a small team of 4 we can manage the data for the entire company.

Philipp Müller also recognizes that user friendliness of the platform is important. “I get compliments from my colleagues and airport managers, the interface of the Cohelion Data Platform is intuitive, clean and helps prevent mistakes. It’s not technical at all and that results in a quick adoption.”

The automated data-quality checks and built-in approval and correction facilities in the platform contribute greatly to the acceptance of the data on all levels in the organisation.

Philipp Müller Head of Global Performance & Analytics

The importance of Master Data Management

Comparing apples to apples

With over 50 different systems and applications feeding data into the platform it would never be possible to consolidate everything on a global level without Master Data Management (MDM). MDM translates all the variants of customer names, station names, services provided, alert codes and training names to our company standard. The local applications don’t need to change anything, the mapping takes place entirely within the platform. Therefore, it is not necessary to do a costly and risky migration that normally could take months or even years.

Supporting the organization

For example, all our employees need regular training. However, there are thousands of local trainings. To get statistics on compliancy we use MDM to map all those trainings to one company standard of 12 categories.

MDM also supports our changes in organisational structure and different levels of consolidation. We define the new structure in MDM and from there easily propagate it to the local Flight Capture systems, our SLA’s and reports in PowerBI.

The benefits after implementation

Now that a single source of truth has been established, any discrepancies with local shadow reporting must be corrected in the platform, using the available data-correction features. Now all levels within the organisation rely on the same source of data, from service managers at the check-in counters, station managers, country managers, and top management all the way to shareholder reporting.

Prioritizing efforts on the ground

Since our customer SLA’s are stored in the same data platform where the actual data is captured, we know at any moment if we still provide the agreed upon quality levels. This not only helps us greatly in prioritizing our efforts, but also helps in commercial negotiations with customers, since accurate insights into the delivered performance are readily available.

Prevent silo thinking

The Cohelion Platform let us report in PowerBI on a complete picture of our performance in one dashboard. Our goal is to prevent silo thinking and provide a holistic view over the business. By combining operational-, financial- and safety data it enables us to make the right decisions on operational performance and customer satisfaction.

The platform allows us to have high quality data that would otherwise take a much bigger team to maintain. With data capture and reporting in a daily granularity we can now reassign our resources during the month. This would never have been possible without automated data-quality checks.

COVID-19 had an enormous impact on the aviation industry, including Swissport. It forced us to take drastic actions quickly. We were already used to ad-hoc requests by our top management to calculate various scenarios.

This experience together with the available data and the flexibility of the Cohelion data platform, supported us in taking the necessary decisions during this pandemic most effectively

Future plans

With stable reporting on a daily and monthly basis, the Cohelion data integration platform has moved from a project to a process phase.

“Next year we intend to make much more use of all the daily data with advanced analytics” Philipp explains. “For example, machine learning algorithms that can quantify relationship between injuries and overtime or other dependencies, and allow us to make our workforce more pro-actively aware of changed conditions”.

We will be well prepared for the post-COVID-19 period!

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