10 Transportation Trends from State DOT Performance Leaders

August 7, 2017 12:05 pm PST | Data as a Service

What do state Department of Transportation (DOT) leaders most want to measure and improve? From driverless cars to hiring data analysts, we invited a group to talk about current transportation trends in our “Communication for Performance” session at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conference in Cincinnati last week.

In attendance were Utah DOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall, Topeka Deputy Director of IT and CSO Sherry Schoonover, Director of Performance and Technology for the state of Iowa Jim Selmer, and former Nevada State Controller Kim Wallin who now serves on the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission, a bipartisan commission studying how to expand the use of data to evaluate the effectiveness of federal programs and tax expenditures. The session was moderated by Tony Hernandez, principal at business intelligence and analytics firm Grant Thornton.


Top Themes from DOT Leaders

This AASHTO conference focused specifically on performance-based transportation planning, financing, and management. Our “Communication for Performance” highlighted topics around moving and tracking data so everyone who needs it has easy and appropriate access, from DOT executives to legislators to community members.

Some common concerns came up from the group, such as getting data standardized between departments, walking the line between transparency and privacy, sharing best practices so no DOT has to “reinvent the wheel,” hiring data-savvy people to a help with decision-making, and finding innovative ways to use data for problem-solving.

One member passed on creative examples of sharing data with citizens, such as a dashboard that includes what it costs the DOT to fight a snowstorm, the risk of driving in urban versus rural areas during snowfall, where the state patrol should be stationed to get to accidents faster, and traffic speeds.


Top Transportation Trends

The conversation then shifted to trends in the transportation industry and data associated with those trends. We took notes on what was discussed and offer you the following list of trends in the transportation industry, according to these industry leaders.


10 Key Transportation Industry Trends and Issues

  1. Aging population and workforce
  2. Limited funding and competing priorities
  3. Need for better safety to reduce increased fatalities
  4. Data management & data explosion
  5. Aging infrastructure
  6. Connected or autonomous vehicles
  7. Transparency
  8. Shifting to performance focus
  9. Population growth
  10. Compliance


10 Datasets Associated with Issues

  1. Trends in construction costs
  2. Revenue sources and trends
  3. Detailed crash statistics
  4. Vehicle usage / classification / vehicle to vehicle data
  5. Traffic data
  6. Demographic and census data
  7. Infrastructure condition data and system characteristics
  8. Inflation rate
  9. Data inventory system
  10. Human resources data


10 Potential Performance Goals to Relate to Trends

  1. % of structurally deficient bridges
  2. % of citizens who think bridges are in good condition
  3. % of projects with multiple bidders
  4. % of system asset data available from intelligent plans
  5. % of documented succession plans
  6. % change in fuel consumption
  7. % of increased pavement condition score
  8. % of backlog addressed by program
  9. % of budget dedicated to capital program
  10. Number of crashes and fatalities

How can your state DOT become more data-savvy? Socrata’s guide has valuable lessons for how to create a digital, accessible, modern DOT.

Download the Guide

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