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5 Points to Consider about the Importance of Data Collection

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has long recognized the importance of data collection as it relates to asset and operations management. With funds being more scarce, along with an increased scrutiny of the expenditure of tax dollars, the importance of efficient, transparent, and accountable operations could not be more clear. 

The agency published an excellent white paper about this topic, titled Asset Management Data Collection for Supporting Decision Processes.

Here are 5 of our favorite points about how to effectively and efficiently manage your limited resources:

  1. “Asset Management is a systematic approach of maintaining, upgrading, and operating physical assets cost effectively. It combines engineering principles with sound business practices and economic theory, and it provides tools to facilitate a more organized, logical approach to decision-making. Thus, asset management provides a framework for handling both short- and long-range planning.” (FHWA 1999)

    This statement clearly emphasizes the importance of making business decisions that are based upon actual, provable data. Not coincidentally, that's exactly what we're promoting at Cartegraph. By assembling your assets and operations into a simple, easy-to-use interface, you can compile accurate data that leads to logical (i.e. better) business decisions. 
  2. “One of the key aspects of the development of asset management is data collection.”

    The obvious point here is that there is no way to effectively manage assets without knowing what you have. It is critical for your organization to collect an accurate geospatial inventory of your assets, including condition information. In other words, you need a data collection process! Unfortunately, collecting data can be a daunting task that involves numerous personnel and lots of time. If you're looking for a faster and more cost-effective approach, consider Cartegraph's Data Services. Our team works quickly and efficiently — freeing up staff time and delivering detailed asset data you can trust.
  3. “Broadly speaking, the data collection requirements can be categorized in the following three groups:
    • Location: actual location of the asset as denoted using a linear referencing system or geographic coordinates.
    • Physical attributes: description of the considered assets, which can include material type, size, length, etc.
    • Condition: condition assessment data can be different from one asset category to another according to the set performance criteria. The data can be qualitative and generic (e.g., good, bad, etc.), or detailed and quantitative in accordance to establish practices and standards (e.g., pavement condition index, bridge health indices, etc.).”

      Check, check, and check. Cartegraph's data services team parters with the best in the industry to deliver data in all three categories. And organizations who use Cartegraph software can easily update and maintain that data moving forward with preventative maintenance scheduling, asset condition information, inspection history, and more. Cartegraph also has a two-way sync with the ArcGIS platform, which offers advanced analytic capabilities like network analysis, routing, flow analysis, and spatial correlation. Using the two systems together empowers users to maintain a robust and reliable asset database.
  4. “The data collection activities and methods used should be based on and produce results that match the levels of accuracy, precision, and resolution required by the decision processes to be supported.”

    The old saying of “you can only get out of it what you put into it” certainly applies here. Better data = better decisions. It is as simple as that. Using our data services will give you the peace of mind to know that all of the information provided will be thorough, accurate, and complete. In a fraction of the time.
  5. “Data should be collected according to their intended use and therefore data collection should be carefully planned according to these needs. This is a notion that has been identified early in the development of Asset Management, but occasionally seems to be forgotten. In that context, transportation agencies and organizations need a cost effective and rational approach to data collection.”

    Finally, this makes clear the necessity of actually using the data you collect. Merely assembling a group of assets is not enough. You need to manage the data that has been collected in the best, most efficient, and cost-effective way possible. Cartegraph’s Operations Management System gives you that ability.

    Cartegraph is committed to providing solutions and solving problems. We are invested in your success as a user of our software. There are countless stories of customers who have used Cartegraph to create that efficiency, transparency, and accountability mentioned earlier. Cartegraph’s Data Services capabilities, coupled with the best software available to manage that data, is a solution that will save you time and money. You will know your organization better than you ever thought possible. Most importantly, you will be managing your system; your system will not be managing you.

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