When Italy’s Aeroporti Di Roma set out to get to the next level of operational efficiency, everyone across the organization knew the goal:

Smooth the passenger flow.

What they didn’t know is how quickly they would get there. If you ask airport CIO Emiliano Sorrenti, he’ll tell you this: “Much, much, much, much, much faster than expected.”

In fact, here’s a sneak peek: The airport leaped to the #2 ranking for happiest customers in Europe, and it was ranked the World’s Most Improved Airport by Skytrax in 2018.

So, how did they do it?

Mr. Sorrenti recently told the airport’s amazing digital transformation story at the 2018 TIBCO NOW event. You can hear it directly from him in the video below.

But first, here are a couple examples of how visual analytics helps them achieve their goal on a daily basis – both on the “land-side” before passengers take off, and the “air-side” as flights arrive and depart from the airport.

On the land-side, visual analytics provides the airport with a view into what’s happening before passengers reach the security gates. Sensors that draw upon multiple data sources, including from all over the airport and from its airline partners, enable management to quickly identify where problems are arising and take immediate action to ensure KPIs are met. For example, a recent issue was causing passengers to wait nearly 18 minutes due to overcrowding around the check-in area – missing the targeted KPI. Following some root-cause analysis with visual analytics, the operations team could see that one airline was operating with only three of its 30 check-in desks open. They immediately called the carrier who was able address the problem. In turn, the airport operations team also alerted security and customs, which allowed them to take corrective action with more staff to handle the crowd as it moved from check-in to security.

On the air-side, the airport’s operations team constantly works to ensure any delays due to flights do not negatively impact passengers. During a recent travel day, the team noticed that seventy-seven percent of the airports arrivals were on time, yet forty-four percent of departures were delayed. The initial suspected cause was that the airport was introducing this delay. However, following some additional root cause analysis, they determined it was an airline dealing with employees on strike that was causing problems. As a result, the airport was able to take corrective action, allowing the airline to co-locate all their flights in a common area to increase efficiency and enable them to operate with fewer employees.

These are just two examples of how the company is using data visualization as an integral part of its day-to-day operations, helping keep passengers on the go and on to their final destinations – as smoothly as possible.

You can view Mr. Sorrenti’s entire presentation below – it’s well worth a look: