Chair: Gregory Slater, Maryland DOT Vice Chair: April Blackburn, Florida DOT
January 2021 Newsletter - Research
Committee News
A Word from April
I think we can all agree that 2021 has continued to show us ways in which data and transportation continue to play a vital role in all we do. One of the areas that is vitally important from a data and transportation perspective is research. In times like these, when there is so much to react to, so many crises to attend to, we can lose sight of how vital proactive activities are. Without investing our time and resources into research, we won’t have as many “tools in the toolbox” to deal with the next big thing! Looking forward to how we can be innovative in addressing problems in the future is an amazing way to not only prepare for that future, but to better enable ourselves and our agencies to handle the challenges of today.

As a community, we have invested in researching how to improve the mobility of our workforce because much of the work we do is not confined to an office. Since we did this research, when the pandemic hit we were all able to quickly move to remote working at a large scale. Did we envision the pandemic? I know personally, I did not. Did we envision the need to be mobile-enabled? Yes we did. Because we researched how to be more mobile-enabled, we were able to react well and have taken each of our agencies to new heights with new capabilities to not only survive, but to thrive.

Keep looking towards the future. Keep investing your time, people and thought to what research will help us better prepare for the future. Keep leading your agencies to a better way that is from a data-driven approach.

Greg and I look forward to continued great work and great research from each of you.

Take care,
January JTF Dig Webinar Scheduled
The Joint Task Force on Managing the Impact of Digitalization on the DOT Workforces (JTF Dig) is a body comprised of the Committees on Agency Administration, Knowledge Management, Data Management and Analytics, Human Resources, and Civil Rights.
The JTF Dig is working on several fronts to provide tools and assistance to the State DOTs as they face the impacts of digitalization. Looking at Culture, Talent Management, and Data and Information management, come learn what the JTF Dig has done to help you and your team, and help us learn what you need.
A Spotlight on the Subcommittee on Research
NCHRP Problem Statement Approval Recommended by Data Committee
by Chad Baker, California DOT
The AASHTO Committee on Data Management and Analytics is recommending approval of a National Highway Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP) research proposal developed and submitted by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Geographic Information Science (AED40).

The research problem titled Data Governance Design and Implementation - Links Between Governance Approaches and Performance Effects in DOTs is meant to advance the application of data governance toward the goal of increasing the value of data as an enterprise asset while minimizing data related costs and risks associated with poorly governed data, or low quality data.

The objectives of the research are as follows:
  1. Fill gaps in our understanding and application of different data governance approaches in state Departments of Transportation (DOTs).
  2. Identify key areas of data governance with merit for longitudinal studies to gather data from DOTs on the performance effects of different approaches across time.
  3. Optimize the design and implementation of data governance approaches for different organizational contexts.
  4. Prepare an implementation document.

This 18 month research effort, if approved, could be funded at $350,000. Additional details, including a background and literature search summary, are available by clicking here. Please see bellow for additional NCHRP research pertaining to the Committee on Data Management & Analytics.
Additional NCHRP Projects Relevant to Data Committee
Current Project Implementation
NCHRP 20-44(12) - Building Capacity for Self-Assessment of Data Effectiveness for Agency Business Needs Click here for details
The objectives of this research are to encourage dissemination and application of the principles and practices presented in NCHRP Report 814: Data to Support Transportation Agency Business Needs: A Self-Assessment Guide by:
  1. Developing a plan to deliver professional services support for selected agencies undertaking to apply the principles and practices presented in NCHRP Report 814
  2. Preparing guidance and communication materials, supplemental to NCHRP Report 814, on preparation for and support of the conduct of a data self-assessment
  3. Providing limited assistance to each agency during the data self-assessment
  4. Documenting effective practices of participating agencies that could be transferrable to other agencies for adopting principles and practices for assessing and improving their data adequacy to support agency business needs. 

Current Research Projects
NCHRP 08-119 - Data Integration, Sharing, and Management for Transportation Planning and Traffic Click here for details
The objective of this research is to develop tools, methods, and guidance for improving data integration, sharing, and management practices to enable transportation agencies, in collaboration with private-sector and public-sector stakeholders, to make better planning and operations decisions. Secondary benefits will be increased uniformity of data across states and improved consistency of practice. The CDMA will host products on our website as they become available.

NCHRP 08-115 - Guidebook for Data and Information Systems for Transportation Asset Management Click here for details
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook presenting principles, organizational strategies, governance mechanisms, and practical examples for improving management of the processes for collecting data, developing useful information, and providing that information for decision making about management of the transportation system assets.

Upcoming Research Projects 
NCHRP 23-16 - Implementing and Leveraging Machine Learning at State Departments of Transportation Click here for details
The objectives of this research are to provide the state DOTs with tools and information to implement and leverage AI and ML for the efficient, intelligent operation of a state DOT, and to facilitate evidence-based decision making. The research will look at the desirability (use cases and scenarios where AI and ML are best positioned to help), feasibility (model validation, pilot and other such confirmation steps), and viability (focusing on ROI, and a set of readiness criteria) of using AI and ML techniques.

NCHRP 23-12 - Artificial Intelligence Opportunities for State and Local DOTs – A Research Roadmap Click here for details
The objective of this research is to develop a research roadmap to prioritize and fund research through the NCHRP program that will provide state and local DOTs with a better understanding of AI, potential applications, priorities, and implications for state and local DOT management and operations. The roadmap will also be useful to the U.S. DOT, state DOT research offices, universities, and other research organizations in generating research and in coordinating the research among these organizations.