Disjointed Processes? Consolidate Your Data and Automate Your Reports

As an asset manager, how often are you asked questions about your network that you can’t immediately answer? How many times have you had to contact different people just for a bit of information that should be easily accessible? And how many times has that person been unavailable? Too often, the answers are locked away on someone’s hard drive or on systems that the central office doesn’t have access to. If this is your organization, don’t worry, you are not alone.

The following is a real-world example of how an asset management process can become disjointed over time. This organization had a series of systems that did not connect. Their pavement construction and technical surveys were in one system, while their maintenance management was in another. Their systems had separate installations in each region and were not all from the same provider. The organization used two different decision support tools, and neither one was talking to each other, and the master inventory record was on a completely different system. The lack of connectivity between the systems caused datasets to be duplicated and made it very difficult to pull together data in a meaningful way. Trying to answer most questions was either impossible or required a lot of manual work and data transfer across numerous systems.

While this is an extreme example, most agencies have a little bit of disjoint in their asset management workflow. So what’s a better approach – one that will give you the answers at your fingertips?

Improve Data Accuracy Through Integration

The easy answer is to implement an integrated asset lifecycle management system, so all the data is consolidated into a single solution. While this may be the ideal solution for many agencies, it might not be for everyone. The key is having the ability to share data between systems using APIs. As an organization, you have to be willing to accept short-term disruptions to enact positive changes.

Having an integrated asset lifecycle management solution, through a single system or APIs, can virtually eliminate time spent compiling, transferring, reviewing, and importing data. This will help reduce costs and free up staff time to undertake more valuable tasks.

And this approach doesn’t just reduce costs; it also improves data accuracy, as it eliminates the risk of errors inherent in manual data handling. Manual processes are time-consuming, and information they generate quickly becomes outdated. An integrated system helps do away with these problems.

Turning Data Into Actionable Information

So, once you’ve got all your data together, how can you leverage it to find the answers you need? Even if you do not possess the skills of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, and can’t quickly analyze rows of data, you do have access to a kind of superpower when you use data visualization. When you have advanced reporting capabilities that let your retrieve, sort, analyze, and graphically display meaningful data, you can communicate your agency’s strategic need and priorities in a compelling way. The art of presenting complex data sets in a simple manner is especially important when presenting to decision-makers, senior management, and budget-setting legislators.

The AgileAssets dashboard provides a clear view of complex information.

Presenting information in graphs, GIS maps, metrics dashboards, recommended interventions, and performance measures can provide you with quick, clear insights into your road network. You can see large volumes of data in simple and coherent ways, which helps you make more informed decisions. Data visualization helps you identify key trends and allows you to act quickly based on what you see. It gives decision-makers the information they need when they need it. Plus,  when you use pre-configured reports, you can automatically produce and deliver this information to decision-makers and key stakeholders without lifting a finger.

The key to having all the answers at your fingertips is having the ability to create custom reports on the fly and not having to rely on a software provider or consultant to configure a new report for you. With the advanced, open reporting capabilities of AgileAssets transportation asset lifecycle management software, the power of on-the-fly reporting provides you with virtually instant answers to complex questions.

Having the right integrated asset management system, with advanced data visualization capabilities brings information to the forefront and allows evidence-based, data-driven decisions. An advanced asset lifecycle management solution provides the ability to integrate all of your data, so you have pre-configured graphs, reports, and dashboards ready to present at the press of a button. THen you can answer that urgent question from senior management, and more importantly, drive the right decisions, at the right time, to efficiently manage your network.

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About the Author

Chris Newson is a specialist in pavement data. He spent his early career managing pavement condition survey operations and, more recently, helping organizations make the best use of the collected data in asset management. Prior to joining AgileAssets, he worked for global engineering consultancies, specialist data collectors, and was the pavement data lead for Highways England.


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