Network Rail (NR) is deploying a new embedded analytics platform to improve visibility and shared access to key investment, risk and performance metrics in the £2.1 billion London Crossrail project.

The NR Crossrail Systems team aims to "provide simple solutions that enable the safe and affordable delivery of its elements of the Crossrail project", said NR.

The Crossrail project, which will improve and extend rail links across London and parts of the south-east, is set to be completed in 2018.

NR said the reporting tools used within the business were required to "be more responsive and operate in real-time with bi-directional capabilities", to build and deliver the type of "critical insights" required by the wide range of Crossrail programme and industry stakeholders.

To do the job NR has gone to LogiXML for its Logi Info platform. Paul Sadd, application development manager at NR Crossrail Systems, said: "The most important feature we sought from an alternative reporting solution was agility. The BI capabilities offered by Logi Info deliver this giving us greater reporting and analytics speed and consistency, taking data from a huge range of disparate sources."

Sadd said Logi Info also gives the business applications used for project risk and financial management a "consistent look and feel based on accurate data".

Improved access to relevant and true information has also reduced the organisation's reliance on Excel spreadsheets, "seen internally as a very positive cultural step", he said.

Sadd said: "If an executive or operational manager is having a discussion about a particular element of the project, with a press of the refresh button they know that they are looking at the most up-to-date information, in a graphical format that makes sense for that specific part of the business."

Network Rail has unveiled huge investment plans to develop the UK's railway infrastructure between 2014 and 2019, involving the centralisation of its signalling operations and workforce headcount reductions to save millions of pounds, with a heavy emphasis on the role of technology to drive through its plans.