Return on Investment for Transportation Asset Management Data

Status: Candidate
Potential Funding: Unspecified


Data are needed to make decisions. All agencies collect some form of asset data:
• Inventory
• Condition
• Financial
• Design
• Risk
Data has a cost in terms of collection frequency, management, storage, and training. The research will address a key gap in current practice. Specifically, the research will help transportation agencies calculate the return on investment (ROI) and other financial measures for a proposed asset data investment. Also, the research will help transportation agencies calculate economic effects of asset data investments that have not previously been quantified. Calculating ROI for asset data investments will help “level the playing field” between investments in existing or new assets and investments in asset data by providing a consistent set of measures between different types of investments. It will also help document and illustrate the expected costs and benefits over time. This will help in making more informed decisions about what investments to fund, and help transportation agencies obtain the greatest return on each dollar spent.


The objective of this research is to better determine the value of the data that is part of TAM processes by calculating ROI. Answer questions including: How can increased efficiency of data collection and coordination between different offices lead to savings in data collection cost? How can improved data lead to improved decision-making? How can a sustaining these efforts over multiple years lead to improved ability to track changes and identify developing trends?

Research Plan:

• Review available guidance, tools and methodologies applicable to evaluating ROI of asset management data
• Define a set of criteria for evaluating ROI of asset management data. These criteria should consider data content, scope, level of spatial and temporal granularity, collection method, availability of documentation and metadata, distribution format, availability of support, cost and source stability.
• Develop initial model for calculating ROI of asset management data
• Review the model with a stakeholder group, and revise based on feedback
• Conduct minimum of two agency case studies to further validate and refine model
• Develop a graphical method for presenting ROI results
• Produce a guide that provides agencies with instructions on how to apply the model and methodology

Duration: 18 months
Project Budget: $150,000

Topics: Data Collection Tools/Technologies
Subjects: Data Management and Integration, Inventory and Condition Assessment