Integrated datasets offer vast opportunities to use analytics to get more value from road transportation assets.
ERPUG 2018 Highlights Data Use
In recent years, data handling and storage has become increasingly efficient, challenging transportation asset managers to work with bigger datasets and perform more advanced analysis. So it’s no wonder that topics related to data collection and analysis continue to draw attention at industry conferences—as was the case at the 2018 ERPUG Meeting in Madrid.
As a forum for learning and peer exchange, the European Road Profile Users’ Group (ERPUG) focuses on all things related to road surface properties such as road evenness, rutting, and pavement textures as well as their effects on tire/road noise, vehicle vibrations, and rolling resistance.
This year’s ERPUG meeting featured a presentation by AgileAssets speaker James Robertson, who leads business development in the EMEA region. Drawing on real examples from Indonesia’s national road authority, known as “Bina Marga,” James provided valuable insights into why data analysis is critical for integrated transportation asset lifecycle management.
AgileAssets Director of Business Development for EMEA, James Robertson, presented on integrated transportation asset lifecycle management at the 2018 ERPUG Meeting in Madrid.
It Starts With Accurate Data Collection
Asset managers around the world rely on accurate, valid data for identifying intervention strategies, allocating budgets, and meeting regulatory requirements, such as MAP-21 and FAST Act in the US and Directives from the European Union. In addition, reliable data is necessary to meet investment prerequisites from private, public, or international organizations.
Consistent, efficient methods of capturing data are critical. Asset management mobile apps can greatly improve the speed and accuracy of field data collection, resulting in cleaner, more up-to-date data for analysis.
Data Analysis Drives Better Decisions
Data is also the cornerstone in evaluating the condition, durability, and expected lifespan of assets such as pavements, bridges, roadway features, vehicles, equipment, and more. Data analysis is critical to predicting deterioration and performance, which in turn facilitates short- and long-term planning for maintenance operations as well as investments in updated infrastructure.
The results of data analysis also determine which strategic issues—such as mobility, safety, or sustainability—are prioritized for strategic focus and policy setting. So a clear collaboration between data analysts and decision-makers is important, whether at public agencies, private companies, or public-private partnerships. The ERPUG community is an excellent example of how such collaboration can work.
Data Integration Brings More Value
Replacing isolated data repositories with an integrated database is another way to use connectivity and collaboration to multiply the value of available data. In his presentation, James illustrated the benefits of using an integrated asset management system—with a unified database of information on roadways, bridges, and safety—to modernize the management of Indonesia’s vast road network.
Using AgileAssets’ Integrated Transportation Asset Lifecycle Management System, Indonesia’s road authority can take a systematic, data-driven approach to manage the full lifecycle of multiple asset categories, James explained. For example, in addition to optimizing the work plans for the maintenance of pavements and bridges, Bina Marga can use the system to perform cross-asset tradeoff analysis, which supports more complex planning and resource allocation to achieve the highest return on infrastructure spending.
Analytics: The Sky’s the Limit
James emphasized that even with these advanced analytical capabilities, the roadway transportation industry is not using all the available data to its full potential. He cited the aviation industry as a benchmark-setting example, where detailed information about all assets in an airport environment helps to determine the strategy and timing for equipment upgrades, rehabilitation, and purchases. In the road asset management business, we have many opportunities to achieve the elegance of the aviation model if we keep aiming upward.
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To learn how you can use analytics to improve road asset lifecycle management at your organization, contact AgileAssets.