Executives and managers in state departments of transportation (DOTs), like those in all large organizations, need relevant, accurate, and timely information about their business to make effective decisions, support their organization‘s operations, serve their customers, and ensure generally that their limited resources are allocated effectively to pursue the organization’s mission. A sound understanding of business needs, information content, and technology are the essential foundation for ensuring that these executives and managers will have access to mission-critical information when and where they need it.
Providing access to mission-critical information is challenging for many reasons. Much of the data that a DOT collects and uses is unstructured, stored in various formats, and often available only to limited program- and organization-based user communities. The quantities of information being collected and stored are growing exponentially. The technologies for information storage, management, search, retrieval, analysis, visualization, and reporting are also advancing rapidly, while agencies face barriers in migrating away from legacy systems despite their increasing obsolescence. Business needs continue to evolve with shifting customer expectations, regulatory requirements, legislative programs, funding constraints, and communication methods.
The objective of this research was to produce a guidebook, written for state DOT executives and managers, on effective resource allocation to develop and maintain the agency’s capability to provide mission-critical information when and where it is needed. The guidebook has been published as NCHRP Report 829; the document is available at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/174182.aspx.