Data Toolbox

Image of data sets


Image of the word Data in a toolbox

Data query tools can be used to provide information to assist with crash reporting, planning, and programming. This workshop provided information about best practices for using these tools to decrease the incidence of crashes. The four speakers in this workshop represent the Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory (TOPS) at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center (CTRSC) at the University of Connecticut, the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University.


Transportation safety stakeholders are handling an enormous amount of data. Having this data is a good problem. However, the task of storing, managing and analyzing the information collected is immense. In order to ease the difficulty that comes with these growing data sets, tools have been created.

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To address best practices for using data tools, the planners of the Summit sought out a variety of speakers that shed light on this topic. The presentations in this workshop included the following:

• WisTransPortal Data Hub – David A. Noyce of the TOPS Laboratory discussed this comprehensive data warehouse of traffic operations and safety data, with a significant focus on web-based crash data collection, reporting, and analysis capabilities for the purpose of safety data improvements.

• Connecticut Crash Data Repository – Eric Jackson of the CTRSC provided insight into this online, web-based data collection, reporting, and analysis tool designed to make crash reporting easier for officers and to provide access to crash information.

• Automated Discovery for Visual Analysis, Networking and Control (ADVANCE) – Beau Elliot of the Center for Advanced Public Safety explained this statistical dashboard and mapping tool that allows users to quickly analyze and visualize data from several databases in a variety of ways, using an analytics tool called the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment (CARE).

• Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Resource Lab (COVERLAB) – Greg Ferrara of the Institute for Transportation Research and Education discussed this web-based data visualization decision and decision management tool. Focused on data analysis, its purpose is to assist the North Carolina State Highway Patrol with tactical enforcement planning.


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The next steps for university programs dealing with data management and analysis include creating more comprehensive linkages between data sets. For example, to provide a more complete view of crashes, and their short and long-term consequences, information available to researchers should include data from the following jurisdictions: judicial, public health, state drivers licensing agencies, state toxicology, medical examiner, etc.

Finally, to improve enforcement of commercial vehicles, the data that is collected should be available to law enforcement personnel, either in police vehicles or in another accessible place.

More information on these presentations can be found in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Research Summit Summary Report. In addition, the presentations can be accessed by clicking here.