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An Unexpected Journey

Transport Focus x Wordnerds
Wordnerds x Transport Focus


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 

Survey free-text responses are a gold mine for a bona fide view of how people really feel about something.

So when you’re an organisation where insight is used to influence decision-making, free-text survey responses are an essential piece of the data analysis puzzle, to ensure you’re getting the full picture. 

Transport Focus knew this and were looking for a way they could analyse survey data at scale so that the true voice of transport users was being used in key decisions and improvements on their behalf.

Easy Rider

Transport Focus is the independent watchdog for transport users. They put the interests of transport users at the heart of everything they do, and aim to improve passenger, and road user, value and experience.

With a rich body of survey data and free-text responses, they were looking to find a solution that could help them accurately analyse their data in a way in which it would:

  • Significantly reduce interrogation time
  • Remove human bias
  • Enable objective, high quality, real-time reporting and data visualisation



Initially, Transport Focus uploaded their existing survey data so the free-text responses could be analysed - surfacing key themes, and unknown unknowns.

Visualisations were then created for tracking key metrics, such as a comparative view of major Network Rail stations, allowing Transport Focus to quickly identify and act upon any emerging areas of customer dissatisfaction.

Clip art style image of the Earth wearing a facebook

And then...COVID happened. 

At the onset of the pandemic as lockdown measures were implemented, Transport Focus understood the serious impact this would have on passengers and road users throughout the UK.

And that understanding attitudes towards transport modes in the UK were more important than ever.

As a response to this, they created a weekly Covid-19 survey

Analysing the responses using Wordnerds, they segmented different passenger types and evaluated the key factors that were influencing their views of travelling at present and how they felt about travel in the future.


Whilst the initial desired outcome when first working with Wordnerds was primarily to help Transport Focus analyse passenger survey data, their transport user-centric outlook ensured that platform was used to monitor and act upon the rapidly changing Covid situation.

Key result - Transport Focus used Wordnerds to report on their Covid omnibus survey on a weekly basis, influencing key decisions and actions when changes were constant.

Key result - they were able to effectively fill the data gap by replacing the usual ‘on the ground’ conversations that could not be had due to lockdown with social listening via Twitter.

Taking their learnings from the COVID pivot, and keen to be at the cutting edge of understanding the impact of major events on transport users, Transport Focus also looked to track the impact that Brexit was having on Lorry Drivers. Using Wordnerds, they were able to identify British lorry drivers on Twitter, using the Powertrack API, and translate tweets from Polish Lorry Driver accounts to further enrich their data.

In a time when it was difficult to listen to the voice of passengers but was more important than ever to hear what people were feeling, Wordnerds were able to help Transport Focus retain their ever-important evidence-based approach.

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