And one could argue that one of the main motives for the invention of the computer was to help large railroads handle all their data! You run a factory, and your foreman can keep an eye on things and let you know when something needs to be re-ordered-- if, on the other hand, you run a railroad you have to get information from many, many sources (operating personnel and customers both) who may be hundreds of miles away from your office: my guess is that, at the beginning of the 20th C, large railroad companies were the biggest non-governmental "data processors." So there were inventors…
Around 1890 Herman Hollerith developed punch-card technology. His company later (in the 1920s) changed its name to "International Business Machines" and was a technological leader in developing… more versatile sorting machines for punched cards, then machines that also did arithmetic with the numbers punched into the cards, then (after WW II) what we now know as "electronic computers": a history of IBM is a large part of the history of computer development between the late 19th and middle 20th centuries.
And who were Hollerith's early customers? Who, in other words, had enough of a data-management task that they thought it was worth investing in new technology to help with it? Well, one was the U.S. Census Bureau who wanted to process the resuls of the 1890 census. Another, however, was … the New York Central Railroad! The computer revolution, in other words, started to help (i) government bureaucracies and (ii) railroads.
(Union Pacific has over 7,000 locomotives; at any one time a significant number of them are off home rails being photographed by rail fans all over the continent. Try to imagine what it would be like to keep track of the mileage they are running up and on which properties without a computer!)