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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Scoping and Conducting Data-Driven 21st Century Transportation System Analyses



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Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Scoping and Conducting Data-Driven 21st Century Transportation System Analyses

5. Report Date

January 2017

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Karl Wunderlich (Noblis), Vassili Alexiadis (Cambridge Systematics), and Peiwei Wang (Noblis)

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

600 Maryland Ave., SW, Suite 755
Washington, DC 20024

Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20814

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

October 2014 to December 2016

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The Government Task Manager (GTM) for FHWA is John Halkias

16. Abstract

Improvements in commercially supported analytic software, increasingly powerful advanced computational platforms and a newly data-rich environment enables the 21st Century analyst to model large and dynamic surface transportation systems. However, a case can be made that the gains made by the individual analyst have outstripped the gains made by the organizations that manage transportation systems to capitalize on new analytic techniques. These analysts remain largely isolated from the mission of improving surface transportation system performance. Often, projects are defined and delivered to the analyst as an accomplished fact. The analyst is not frequently involved in diagnosing transportation system problems or using data to assist in analytic project scoping. Data and models developed for past projects are discarded, lost, or documented so poorly that they cannot be leveraged for future projects. With rare exceptions, there is a lack of advanced institutional models to systematically and consistently leverage the power of transportation analytics embedded within the broader transportation system management mission.

This guidance document defines a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) to integrate data-driven time-dynamic operational analyses within transportation systems management, featuring:

  • System Diagnostics: Systematic methods for generating, integrating and prioritizing candidate analytical projects using a portfolio management approach.
  • Project Scoping: Integrated analytical project and data acquisition scoping procedures (including a scoping tool).
  • Data Preparation: Management practices for the preparation and analysis of integrated transportation system performance data with contextual data for the identification of operational conditions.
  • Analysis: Best practices for data-driven analytical project execution.
  • Management of Analytical Capital: A standard documentation procedure that supports project continuity from inception to lessons learned and preserves analytical capital (data and models) for the benefit of future analyses.

17. Key Words

Simulation Modeling, Transportation Analysis Tools, Operational Conditions, Analytic Project Scoping, Analytic Project Screening, Transportation Systems Management, Continuous Improvement Process

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price


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