The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) manages over 50,000 miles of the state’s freeways and highways, provides inter-city rail services, issues permits to more than 400 public-use airports and special-use hospital heliports, and works with local agencies. To assist the agency with its endeavors, Senate Bill 1 (SB1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act enacted in April 2017, is designed to invest $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways, and bridges throughout the state.
The sharing of transportation information data has proven challenging for the various divisions within Caltrans as some computer systems do not integrate well. Many divisions still rely on disparate data sources and utilize spreadsheets or legacy database tools to manage data. In addition, there were few enterprise data management processes and procedures in place.
This atmosphere has made it difficult to turn data into useful information, particularly in making decisions that will help the Department better meet its strategic, tactical and organizational goals. Recognizing this issue, Caltrans sought assistance to enunciate its vision of better integration and analyzation of data. Implementing business intelligence processes and technologies would help to make actionable information more readily available to managers in their efforts to construct informed business decisions.
Trinity Technology Group (TrinityTG) partnered with Caltrans to construct a comprehensive Business Intelligence (BI) Roadmap and Strategy program. This included:
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AN IN-DEPTH, AS-IS ANALYSIS: This was conducted in several key areas including Maintenance, Traffic Operations, Equipment, and the Procurement-Warehouse. An inventory was taken of the existing people, processes, and technologies that were aligned with business intelligence, reporting, and data collection.
GARNERING AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE AGENCY’S GOALS: Caltrans staff members knew they wanted to advance their position in the BI realm, but did not have a clear understanding of the specifics involved. TrinityTG provided guidance so they could identify the particulars of what their future environment could look like. The information was presented in a “Future State Assessment” document.
GAP ANALYSIS: This identified what tasks needed to be performed to align Caltrans with its Business Intelligence Program Goals.
OTHER VITAL COMPONENTS: Staffing Management and Organization Plan; Data Governance Plan; Data Architecture Guide; User Adoption Strategy.
THE TRINITYTG TEAM: This team of data analysts and data scientist, extensively versed in BI concepts, each spoke to both the technical and business aspects of the project. They provided experience and knowledge in creating a well-rounded BI Roadmap and Strategy.