ADOT believes that the data warehouse concept represents the fastest and cheapest way to integrate data from its existing management systems.
Arizona is one of the fastest growing States in the country. This rapid population growth is driving an ever-increasing demand for transportation infrastructure and services. In response, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) undertook several initiatives to improve its business practices. ADOT knew that an integrated information system would be critical to fully implement the improvements-a system that would enable agency staff to assemble and analyze data from multiple sources in seconds.
At the heart of the agency's data integration initiative is the ADOT Information Data Warehouse (AIDW). ADOT believes that the data warehouse concept is the fastest and least expensive way to integrate data from its existing systems. Existing management systems and databases will continue to be the agency's official data sources. However, the data in these systems will be extracted periodically, referenced using a common geographic referencing system, and stored in the AIDW. Users will access the integrated data using online tools.
The data integration effort has faced technical, cultural, and business process challenges. Pulling data from many sources into one repository exposes quality issues that must be resolved and data disconnects that must be fixed at the source. To solve these problems, ADOT's overall approach addresses cultural and process issues concurrently with technological change.
The data warehouse is critical to future infrastructure management practices: improving the availability of timely and accurate information will help ADOT offset the loss of experienced transportation personnel that is predicted to occur over the next few years. As younger staff are tasked with meeting the demands of a growing population, information and technology will replace experience and precedent as the bases for important decisions.
ADOT has already added several types of data to the AIDW, including pavement and bridge data, project expenditures, photo logs, accident data, and as-built engineering drawings. Over the next several years, ADOT plans to add a new data source every three to four months. This incremental approach will enable ADOT to produce results and benefits quickly and often.