CN Rides Data Warehouse Automation to Better Customer Service and Safety

The Canadian National Railway Company, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, serves Canada and the Midwestern and Southern USA. The company operates the largest rail network in Canada and the only transcontinental network in North America. The company serves close to 75 percent of the U.S. population and all major Canadian markets. It transports approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually.

The challenge

The IT team within Canadian National Railway needed to revamp its development processes to align with the speed of the business. For the company’s business intelligence strategy, this meant the ability to serve data much faster for analysis, ad hoc or discovery purposes without jeopardizing the long-term IBM Netezza-based enterprise information ecosystem. At the same time, the amount of data the company needed to manage and analyze was expanding substantially with the increased collection and usage of GIS and sensor data.

The solution

The railway turned to WhereScape° RED for automated and iterative, rapid prototyping capabilities. WhereScape gives the railway a game-changing approach to the company’s agile development processes. Now, it can deliver access to data to the business faster—including new data types such as sensor data— to further improve customer service and safety.

The results

After using WhereScape RED for just one week, the railway had already integrated multiple data sources, added Tableau for visualizing the data, and were showing business users a demo of actual company data. Using a very iterative development approach, IT can now react very quickly and respond to the business exponentially faster.

  • Can iterate data models every day or multiple times per day to react quickly to changing business conditions
  • Gets the prototype right early in the process, increasing delivery velocity and clarity
  • Improves customer service and safety with more timely access to data


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CN Rides Data Warehouse Automation to Better Customer Service and Safety

Going from waterfall to agile is one thing, but using WhereScape's rapid, iterative prototyping with agile is really a quantum leap forward—from evolutionary to revolutionary.

– Alain Bond, Business Intelligence Manager, Canadian National Railway Company