OPEX for Shared Mobility

MIA map intelligence agency Link

MIA: Data Analysis as a Basis for Business Decisions

October 26, 2021 | Reading time: 4 min

The Aachen-based start-up MIA map intelligence agency offers mobility companies and city administrations a platform for analyzing movement data. In order to support customers in making good, data-based decisions, MIA focuses internally on Operational Excellence. In addition to the employees, unsurprisingly, data is an important basis for this.

Why does Operational Excellence play such a big role at MIA map intelligence agency?

For us, Operational Excellence is the constant evaluation and optimization of the service level. This means keeping customer satisfaction in focus at every step of development and also during operation and maintenance. To achieve this, we use many state-of-the-art technologies.

Only by optimizing and automating various processes we are able to onboard new customers to the MIA Mobility Engine within a few days. The MIA Mobility Engine can process data from a wide variety of data sources, such as e-scooters, bicycles or public transport, without making major technical adjustments. This is only possible because internal processes are aligned and the individual web services that make up our product are particularly resilient to errors and problems through testing and other IT best practices.

Our data analysis platform provides the basis for companies and cities to make continuous urban planning and strategic decisions. Therefore, high availability and error-free operation are particularly important to us. Better decisions by our customers ultimately also contribute to achieving our vision of a better future for fleet and city.

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What happens if errors do occur?

To guarantee the best possible service level and to monitor the operation of our Mobility Engine, we use a wide variety of monitoring tools. In addition to server and network utilization, which automatically leads to a message to our administrators in the event of increased values, we are also informed if there has been an error on the end user side.

To do this, we have a sophisticated system of components that work together. Specifically, these include Grafana, Loki, InfluxDB, Telegraf and Sentry, which communicate with internal tools. Any error that occurs on the production system inevitably results in a ticket, which is discussed in the next daily team meeting. In this way, we ensure that an error does not occur repeatedly and that the entire team learns from it. For this purpose, we also have a dashboard in our office that quickly informs all employees about possible errors, problems and the overall status of our systems.

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How well do you know the needs of your customer groups? How do you learn about them?

The intensive contact with our customers and the customer-specific analyses offered in the MIA Mobility Engine are part of the DNA of our company. We always try to be one step ahead of our customers' wishes. So it is common that we also present further analyses or ideas to customers, who may only imagine using them afterwards. Through many conversations with various stakeholders from mobility, we get a good impression of the market.

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Is Operational Excellence measured at MIA? If yes, how?

We measure our Operational Excellence in two ways. Through our intensive monitoring and digital task tools, metrics such as "bugs per month" or "downtime" can be defined and measured. This makes it easy to see whether we have achieved our goals and are better than the previous month.

In addition to the pure numbers, however, employee and customer discussions are also important, as there are many characteristics of the platform that cannot be represented in numbers. Here, it is important to have a good understanding of how we can create an even better experience for our customers and employees and how the wishes and suggestions can be integrated back into our processes. We have developed our processes as a team and are constantly accepting suggestions from within the team to further develop them. We always want to learn from previous stages of development, with the goal of removing old, unused, overly bureaucratic or unnecessary processes and establishing new, fresh ones.

And are you currently satisfied or is there still potential for optimization or avoidable work in some areas?

Basically, we are very satisfied with our Operational Excellence, supported by our intensive monitoring. We are currently at a size where every team member is almost automatically involved in all our processes. In our company, ALL employees are responsible for OPEX and are encouraged to think ahead for every line of code, for every answered call, for every answered email, for every written document. This is the only way we can ensure, as a still relatively small company, that we deliver the best service we can. With a larger team, however, we would have to document processes more so that all team members have Operational Excellence in mind in their day-to-day business.

What do you think are the biggest key factors for Operational Excellence as a Shared Mobility Provider?

The biggest key factor for shared mobility providers is evaluating and implementing data-driven decisions into business processes. We firmly believe that many fleets hold a high potential for optimization, which we can exploit with the help of comprehensive data-driven and demand-driven analyses. Operational Excellence then finds its way back into almost all areas: from the planning of new stations or the distribution of new vehicles to smart and predictive maintenance and the smooth operation of a fleet. Everywhere, data can be used to control, analyze and improve the system. That's why we are tackling exactly this point with the MIA Mobility Engine.

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About MIA map intelligence agency

After Felix Wehnert, Max Hippler and Gero Gerke as daily users of modern mobility services had already been collecting and publishing data from mobility providers in their spare time since 2018, they decided without further ado to turn this hobby into a start-up in 2019. After all, the collected and processed data was especially interesting for the providers themselves for internal analysis and decision-making processes. Since then, the MIA Mobility Engine has helped cities and companies make data-driven decisions about mobility infrastructures and offerings.

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