Data Availability and Data Management

Data management is based on the principle of treating data as an important agency asset. This includes regular attention to ensure the process of collecting, validating, and evaluating information (for accuracy, reliability, and relevance for informed decision-making) is appropriate and meets the need and purpose for the data asset. Agencies may source certain types of data from WSDOT, other agencies, and the private sector.

Key characteristics




WSDOT regions

Strategy description

WSDOT has a range of data resources available for staff to use to support transportation systems operations. Data from other public agencies and the private section can support numerous planning and operations decisions and extend the usability of WSDOT’s traffic and operations data. 

Data availability at WSDOT 

Access WSDOT’s databases, including

Other agencies 

It is also possible to access data from agencies with roads and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that are adjacent or linked to WSDOT’s systems.

Private sector 

Typically, agencies can purchase private sector data from vendors such as Inrix or Blip. Data collection uses technologies such as license plate or Bluetooth readers, mobile phones, or in-vehicle GPS. Some systems are crowd sourced and are freely available to the public (for example, WAZE for Google Maps), but WSDOT has no control over the data content or accuracy. In some cases, WSDOT can purchase raw data directly from vendors.

What you need in order to implement

In order to source data from WSDOT or additional sources, you will need 

  • Sources of WSDOT data, including ITS and management systems
  • Sources of data external to WSDOT
  • Data integration into a database accessible by WSDOT staff
  • A framework for data set quality assurance and updating
  • Training materials and data dictionaries to support the staff’s effective use of the data
  • Internal contacts (stewards) for WSDOT database support and problem reporting

Learn more about this strategy

WSDOT’s Transportation Data & GIS Office for access to many data sources

WSDOT’s data collected for the federal Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS)

US Department of Transportation’s Data Inventory website

US Department of Transportation’s 2015 Transportation Datapalooza website

National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s (NCHRP) Data to Support Transportation Agency Business Needs: A Self-Assessment Guide

National Highway Institute’s Introduction to Data Analysis, a day-and-a-half, instructor-led course

CITE’s Fundamentals of Database Management Systems, an eight-hour online course

National Highway Institute’s Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS): Concepts, Data Collection & Reporting Requirements, a two day, instructor-led course

National Operations Center of Excellence's Management of Data to Improve TSMO in Georgia (2018) case study

U.S. Department of Transportation's Tennessee Uses Crowdsource Data to Improve Travel (2022) case study

About key characteristics

Location notes:

Locations vary based on data availability and needs. 

Cost notes:

Costs will vary based on data availability and needs. 

Technology notes:

Technology needs are high based on systems required.

Collaboration notes:

Collaboration levels are high based on the need to make contact, train staff, and collaborate on data analysis.

Need or issue this strategy addresses