The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 046 [Completed]

Synthesis of Where Data Groups are Organizationally Located in State DOTs
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 50000
Research Agency: ICF Consulting, Inc.
Effective Date: 12/16/2004
Completion Date: 12/15/2005
Comments: Completed---Final report sent to AASHTO

Accurate and timely data are needed to assist in making effective decisions. The location of the group responsible for data in the DOT organization and the activities it performs greatly influences how effective the DOT is in making decisions. This synthesis should determine how state DOTs organize their data groups and the activities they perform to optimize resources and data utility.

The objective of this study is to summarize and assess where data groups are located in state DOT organizations and their functions, their purposes, and their performance. Specifically, the study should include:
  • Where the data groups fit into state DOT organizations.
  • The functions of the data group.
  • What data are collected (e.g., HPMS, safety, traffic, forecasts, economic, bridge). Describe any new or expanded data needs to which data providers are being asked to respond.
  • Whether data are readily available for all modes to allow priority analyses across modes.
  • How the data are collected.
  • Sources of the data.
  • The types of issues or policies that the data are being used to address.
  • Whether the data are being used for performance measures.
  • The extent that the data group's location within the organization affects its effectiveness.
  • The pro and cons of different organization locations and the synergistic benefits from proximity to other functions.
  • The extent to which any of the data collection and/or analyses is privatized. Any new data relationships that are evolving with regional and local governments and/or academic institutions.
  • The extent to which decision makers are informed about data needs and capabilities.
  • Whether GIS or other mapping is located within the data group.
  • Whether data are shared and if so, with what other areas or groups.
  • The main users of the data.
  • The extent to which decision makers are satisfied with the data including collection, costs, quality, timeliness, analyses, and use.
The contractor's final report was sent to AASHTO and is posted at

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