The year 2020 has been anything but business as usual for Teralytics. As a mobility insights company, we take pride in helping global transportation planners and mobility providers to create better, more sustainable journeys. At the start of the year, we couldn’t have predicted that an unexpected pandemic would fundamentally change the way the world moves and make understanding mobility an essential coping skill for the society at large.
As the world heads into another cycle of lockdowns, we are entering a new chapter of our own. Today, Teralytics is excited to welcome our new CEO Dave Reed to the team. Dave comes to Teralytics from MediaMath, where he oversaw the company’s global markets outside the US. Dave knows what it takes to exponentially scale a business, while maintaining a sense of mission and purpose among a fast-growing team.
Here, Dave takes a moment to share his journey and reasons for being on board Teralytics.
What excites you the most about Teralytics and why did you join?
I am incredibly excited to join the Teralytics team and honoured to be selected for this role. I believe that we can profoundly improve the way one of the world’s largest economic sectors, mobility, is planned and operated. In the process, we can help to improve the usage of public transport and passenger experience, enable solutions to relieve road congestion, drive economic development, inform electric vehicle infrastructure, and support better environmental outcomes.
Mobility is a $15T global sector that is core to the world’s development. At the same time, mobility planning and operations are often done using antiquated, work-intensive means that rely on imperfect and out-of-date data. Teralytics is changing that by making available highly accurate and timely mobility data at the population level. Our focus is on providing sophisticated tools to enable transportation planners and operators to make the most of up-to-date mobility insights.
From an industry perspective, mobility looks a lot like financial markets looked a hundred years ago, or the way the media world looked 30 years ago – it’s a massive sector that transacts using manual and data-poor means. In both finance and media (and many other industries), technology and automation brought transformation and massive growth. The same transformation is happening in mobility, and Teralytics is well placed to help drive this change.
From a mission perspective, I am excited to be joining a company that is driving positive social change. Mobility and access to safe, efficient transportation improves quality of life, social equality, and contributes to positive environmental impact. Teralytics alone won’t solve all of these large societal problems, but we are helping our clients to more efficiently solve the difficult problems that impact these big issues.
How can your experience help Teralytics and where is your focus?
Teralytics is at an exciting point in its development. With strong growth, a world-class product and a great team, we have all the assets needed for success. I believe my experience in bringing SaaS products to market will be valuable in continuing our platform development and market expansion. Currently, I’m focused on three key areas:
- Client-centric product development. Expanding our products to meet client needs and continuing to deepen our understanding of our clients’ problems. Our team is doing an amazing job of productising the learnings we’ve gained in developing human mobility algorithms over the years. We need to continue to expand and improve our product based on the emerging needs of transportation planners and operators.
- Focus on market-specific needs. Continuing to improve our go-to-market approach to more effectively bring our platform to more customers, whilst tailoring our offering to suit the needs of clients in different geographies and different roles. We have an extremely talented client-facing team, and our goal is to continue to think globally, yet act locally with credibility that comes from an intrinsic understanding of the market dynamics.
- Problem-solving through innovation. Teralytics started by solving for the really difficult challenges in transportation – understanding mobility at the population level, finding meaning in noisy data, translating complex data science problems into easy-to-digest insights. My goal is for us to continue down this path. I believe Teralytics can be the brand to make happen the tectonic shift from largely manual to fully digital ways to understand and act on mobility trends. Removing friction and inequality in transportation cannot happen without this shift.
Transportation planners have traditionally used a complex set of strategies, modelling tools and methods to understand people’s mobility needs. What may it take for them to embrace digital tools and replace legacy systems?
The first imperative is that we all need to embrace change. Planning and operating of transportation will need to evolve and digitise to keep up with the changes in how the world population moves and the macro trends influencing and being influenced by this. The growth in urban population (projected by the UN to reach almost 70% of the overall population by 2050); a complicated, yet changing relationship with car ownership, the urgent need to protect the environment – these are just a few trends which make mobility a key global focus of the 21st century.
The pace of change is accelerating – ride hailing and sharing were introduced in the past decade or so, and now we are already at a point where widely available autonomous vehicles and flying taxis are soon-to-be realised possibilities. Add to these changes the impact of COVID-19, and you have a fast-evolving ecosystem that cannot rely on manual surveys and long-cycle planning.
Can public transport recover from the scale of disruption brought on by COVID-19?
If anything, COVID-19 underscores the need for timely and accurate data on human mobility and transport utilisation. The impact of lockdown policies and changes in people’s travel behaviours are forcing transportation planners and operators to rethink their ways of working. This pandemic will have made it imperative for public transport operators to switch their focus to more agile and passenger-centric ways of planning and operating.
We are using the learnings from the past months to help our clients navigate the uncertainty and come out on top. Removing guesswork and speculation from our customers’ operations and forward planning, we are helping them to operate with more agility, separate signals from the noise, and make decisions armed with facts. In every crisis there is an opportunity, and this has never been truer for transportation.