CDOT Awards Chief Data Office to guide Data-Driven Organization Vision 

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is responsible for engineering, planning and roadway maintenance organization for a diverse state of rapidly growing urban and expansive rural regions. To address the various MAP-21 guidance addressing traffic congestion and safety (Safety a challenge due to increasing population and aging infrastructure), CDOT looked into reinventing itself as a data-driven organization with a focus on using data as a strategic asset. Safety being among the core challenges due to an increasing population and aging infrastructure,

To achieve CDOT’s new goals and combat these challenges, they needed to examine the process of increased data integration. To support this effort, CDOT invested in a Chief Data Office (CDO) to manage its raw data, information resources, and growing sensors as strategic assets. CDOT awarded a multi-year open-competitive contract to Xentity to lead the establishment of governance, strategy, solution architecture, inventory, process modeling, collaboration and PM tracking.

The Problem and Solution: Turning a Siloed Organization Into a Data-Driven One

Like most DOTs, CDOT operates its functions in various silos. This means that data is acquired, produced, stored, and accessed and associated products generated separately. In many ways this allows the CDOT regions a level of autonomy. But as the organization moves towards shared assets, portfolio management, and organized planning, this creates great challenges to moving to the data-driven organization CDOT wants to be.

In the first year of the project, the inventory task conducted by Xentity helped uncover what was thought to be a few dozen core data assets to be well over 5,000 and over 600 data-driven applications and systems. Through this first inventory phase was the “as-is” state and prioritized list of use cases established. Architects then created a conceptual architecture breaking down the core services into key portfolio of services.

  • Geospatial
  • ERP Data Services
  • BIMi application
  • ITS
  • Data analytics platforms.

The Outcome: Improved Efficiencies Born From a Greater Understanding of Data

The target architecture developed by Xentity was vetted, estimated, and planned for a multi-year transition period. We used agile application and data service development techniques in collaboration with field and management users. In the Geospatial area alone, a near dozen apps are in development in field operations. This includes Night Time Operations and Avalanche support, and in management areas such as Project Planning and Traffic Operations dashboards.

As an outcome to this effort, CDOT can move forward in becoming a data-driven organization through the organization and identification of previously-unknown data assets. Also, agency leaders will better understand the scope of the data in use by uncovering those several thousand unknown datasets. Furthermore, CDOT is beginning to drive the conversation towards data reuse and reduction of silos in data. Consequently, CDOT will move to become a more efficient organization through Xentity’s continued efforts.

By identifying inefficient areas and helping CDOT become a more efficient organization, Xentity will help CDOT save on cost providing many benefits to the general public. Also, the public will save on cost and realize many benefits as well through Xentity’s implementation of applications. This includes the Traffic Dashboard app and a system for national weather service data. These apps will create a holistic view to help CDOT respond to incidents faster. This further improves their efficiency as a government agency for the public.