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Scenario Builder: Three Data Points You Need to Get Started

Teams like yours use this game-changing feature to create what-if plans on how and where to spend maintenance dollars, weigh their options, and present the best course of action to stakeholders. Interested in learning more or getting started? Here are the three data-points you’ll need: key dates, deterioration curves, and maintenance activity costs.

From pavement networks to water utilities, Cartegraph’s Scenario Builder tool uses your historical data to predict any asset’s future performance and cost.

Key Dates

To calculate the most accurate scenarios possible, Cartegraph uses major milestones in the lifetime of your assets. These events help predict the assets’ overall condition index (OCI) and the remaining service life. These key dates are:

  1. Installed: The date you put a new asset in, like a stop sign.
  2. Replaced: Indicates the date you switch out components on an existing asset. For example, the stop sign is damaged and you replace the sign face.
  3. Inspected: The date of the most recent inspection.

These key dates are part of each asset’s record set and displayed in the relevant dates section of the asset details. To add key dates to your assets, you can quickly pull them into Cartegraph by using a GIS sync, importing a CSV, or building an automation.

DON’T HAVE HISTORICAL DATA AVAILABLE? Pick a realistic time frame for when that asset was put into service. As soon as you perform an inspection on the asset, your OCI will be corrected and your scenarios will be more precise.

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Deterioration Curves

To understand where an asset is at in its lifecycle, Scenario Builder examines the data captured in each asset’s condition category, prediction group, and condition group. These data points help estimate how a particular set of assets will deteriorate over time if no maintenance is performed.

While Cartegraph comes with sample deterioration curves, you’ll want to fine-tune the data to your region, organization, and even brand or asset material. The more granular you can get, the more accurate your Scenario Builder predictions will be.

Condition Category

The observed characteristics of an asset that are evaluated during an inspection. For example, a pavement segment’s condition categories could include the pavement condition index (PCI), ride, cracks, patches, potholes, surface, erosion, washboarding, cattle guards, and vegetation.

The condition category also holds data on how much maintenance activities will improve the OCI of an asset. In keeping with the pavement example, these could be a crack seal, grind, overlay, patch, replace, seal, and slurry seal.

HOW IS AN ESTIMATED OVERALL CONDITION INDEX (OCI) CALCULATED? To calculate an asset’s OCI, Cartegraph follows a deterioration curve from an asset’s key dates or most recent inspection and factors in the benefit or impact of maintenance activities.

Prediction Group

This is a group of assets that are often made of the same type of material and will deteriorate at the same rate. The grouping includes customizable deterioration curves that plot the condition index per the years in service. For example, you can have four prediction groups for your wood, stone, metal, and recycled plastic benches.

Condition Group

The condition group identifies the point a group of assets is considered below the minimum OCI or failure point. When an asset reaches this rating, it is deemed unacceptable and has no remaining service life.

Four Ways to Obtain Performance Curve Information

No lab coat required.

  1. Leverage in-house knowledge: Ask veteran crew members to help you estimate an asset’s decline based on their experience.
  2. Reach out to universities or associations: They often have models already built out that they will be happy to share with your community.
  3. Bug your manufacturer: Don’t reinvent the wheel—connect with the asset’s manufacturer and request their testing information.
  4. Tap into construction cost estimating software: This one will cost you, but you’ll benefit from their strict data standards and a massive library of assets.

Maintenance Activity Costs

To help your organization predict the best bang for your buck, Scenario Builder needs to know how much it costs your team to perform specific maintenance activities. This data is organized by asset types (protocols) and then by maintenance activities (triggers). As always, you can tailor this information to your organization.

Underneath each protocol, the triggers include the following data points:

  • Activity: The type of maintenance you’re performing.
  • Cost: How much this activity costs your organization. You can base this off your historical work data in Cartegraph or use details from a bid if you outsource that type of work to a private organization—like pavement resurfacing.
  • Budget category: The budget these maintenance expenses is taken out of.
  • Estimated OCI from: The lowest asset OCI you want this activity recommended.
  • Estimate OCI through: The highest asset OCI you want this activity recommended.
  • Plan years to skip before eligible again: The cadence at which you perform a maintenance activity

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There You Have It! You're Ready to Go.

If you’re interested in learning more about or seeing the solution in action, be sure to watch our Scenario Builder three-part webinar series. As always, the Cartegraph team is here to help: connect with us at for even more answers.

Scenario Builder Webinar Series

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Watch the webinars.

Building a Business Case for Operations Management

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Read the guide.

Communicating, Justifying, and Realizing Your Budget Plans

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Watch the webinar.

Download a PDF with this content.

About Cartegraph

Cartegraph builds safer, more resilient and sustainable communities through better stewardship of buildings and infrastructure. They offer powerful, intuitive SaaS solutions that help government agencies, higher education institutions, and private companies manage their physical assets and associated operations. With Cartegraph software, users optimize the life of their infrastructure, deploy maintenance resources efficiently, and increase productivity to drive high-performance operations. For more information, visit