Data Visualization – The AA

Written by

OTV Development



April 25, 2016



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When it comes to service capacity projections having a multitude of separate factors, the use of Data Visualization becomes an essential element in displaying the detail of the solution in an effective and sensible manner. The soundness of service capacity projections, with each contributing factor playing a key role, spirals right down to a depth where all the intricate detail of every integrated process of the proposed service must be taken into account. A suitable solution in such cases will therefore be incomplete without the use of Data Visualization due to the demand of important detail to be effectively attended to in a businesslike responsible fashion.

Written by OTV Development

Published April 25, 2016


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The focus of the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) is to remain the industry leader of particular services rendered to clients, the motorists. For this reason the AA recently contracted a Professor at WITS University, Prof. Anton van Wyk, along with Riaan Hefer, Director at On The Verge, to devise a suitable solution for a more accurate forecast of its service vehicle capacity requirements in order to stay on top of its game.

After having analyzed the multi-divisional service segment of the AA by conducting an in-depth study of the organization’s need, Prof. van Wyk and Riaan Hefer decided to develop a ‘Proof of Concept’ (PoC) to determine optimized capacity through sound mathematical calculations. With the PoC completed and applied, it soon became clear to these two experts that optimized capacity could only effectively be determined by running historical live data through a simulation model as well, rather than solely relying on pure mathematical calculations alone. A customized ‘Simulation Model’ (SM) based on a Data Visualization concept was therefore developed through the collaboration of the two experts and Wesley Kiloh of the AA – demonstrating the effectiveness of firmly based partnerships between consultants and their clients. The closely formed partnership effectively brought science and modern technology together resulting in a successful solution for the AA.

“Based on the AA’s evaluation of the SM, the organisation confirmed, ‘the solution achieved and out-performed its anticipated capabilities.’”

The project called upon the collaborating partners to pool their expertise and to focus on two separate approaches of achieving the same goal, namely: a Top-down analysis, conducted by Riaan Hefer, and a Bottom-up analysis, conducted by Prof. van Wyk. Typically, the Top-down analysis focused on taking each process and breaking it down into the minute detail of activities and further into activity tasks and sub-tasks, while the angle of attack of the Bottom-up analysis strived to understand the mutual relationship between as many of the contributing factors forming part of capacity as possible, and then, to find ways and means of mathematically modelling the interrelationship of all the related data.

The SM was deployed by the AA and is currently used with great success although it was based on a very limited scope of indicators. Once its authenticity is sufficiently tested, a 2nd Phase is planned to further develop the SM into a fully integrated simulation based on the effectiveness of Data Visualization, incorporating additional factors like human behaviour patterns, weather patterns, traffic conditions, etc. using the simulation solution with great success.

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