Overwhelmed With Data Management?

Steven Hollenkamp
June 25, 2024

Are You Overwhelmed with Data Management?

We’ve all been there. It starts with a manageable amount of traffic data for your city. You create a simple filing system on your computer. It all feels manageable and in front of you. Then as the amount of data gets overwhelming and your simple folder system becomes more and more difficult to search and use, you start feeling less and less aware of what data you do and do not have. You decide your system needs a refresh, so you have your team create a GIS interface to store your data. You’re excited about this ambitious new plan. Now you’re good, right?

Then, as newly collected data starts flowing in, you put off sending your new traffic data to your GIS team. You’ll get to it, right? Now it’s been eight months and you don’t know what data has been added and what data hasn’t. You speak to your GIS person, but they had some staff turnover. The new person doesn’t quite know the upload system that the last person had set up. Keeping your traffic data management platform is not the pressing priority in your life, so being eight months behind turns into being two years behind. Now you’ve got an outdated system with unclear protocols of who manages what and how. You’re left wondering, what went wrong?

Now you’ve got even more types of data: continuous counts, drone studies, etc., and you’ve got a company in front of you selling you on why you should use their platform. If you sign up with them, then great. But remember where you went wrong the first time. It’s where we have seen many agencies go wrong. It’s not always the platform that’s the problem, it’s the plan and procedures to manage and maintain that system through changes in technology and changes in personnel.

For this reason, you should seriously consider outsourcing the management of your traffic data platform - whether it’s one you built in-house or whether it was purchased from a software provider. The reality is, you need your traffic data stored and in a format that helps you do your job. But with all that you have going on, doing the tedious work to keep your platform up to date never seems like a pressing need.

DataPoint includes managing your traffic data and keeping it up-to-date within our service contract. We make sure nothing slips through the cracks. We work with your count providers to get the right files in the right format and get them uploaded into your data management system.  Whoever you use, you’ll want someone that is making sure that as your needs, your data, and your personnel evolve, that your traffic data management system is up to date and tidy six months, six years or six decades down the road.

Steven Hollenkamp
Steven Hollenkamp is a world traveler, ex-Wall Street banker & DataPoint's Business Development Leader. Drawing from a BA undergraduate degree in finance and dual Masters of Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University, his work has led him to consulting governments and civil society groups to optimize their budgeting action strategies. Steven is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Hillsborough County MPO, a founding member of the creative arts non-profit MAKE Plant City, FL.