Address data privacy and security concerns early to facilitate the preparation of formal data sharing agreements.
A synthesis of nationwide experiences with data sharing.
To address privacy and security concerns early in the process, key issues that need careful consideration include:
- Facilitate specific data accessibility for each user and prevent access to confidential information by using modern database tools.
- Organize data appropriately and educate data partners about measures to protect confidentiality.
There are a number of issues to consider during the early stages of the development of formal data sharing agreements, some of which include:
- Consider the cost effectiveness of software tools to help merge dissimilar data sets. As data collection and storage have become more cost effective, the capacity for transportation practitioners to make use of vast amounts of data for policy analysis has also increased. Many states are now using relational databases, GIS, and other tools to assist them in bringing together these dissimilar data sets.
- Utilize existing ITS architectures to identify data sharing opportunities. One element of the National Architecture (and regional architectures) is the information flow analysis. This is typically diagramed in a way that illustrates the appropriate information flows between each major component of the transportation system, thereby highlighting potential data sharing options.
- Understand that in light of the more complete information available from sharing data, there may be a need to (re)evaluate planning practices and operations strategies. ITS data can be very useful to transportation planners in measuring system performance, identifying deficiencies, and in improving planning analysis tools. Organizations that receive data benefit from valuable information on transportation system demand and performance, often at little or no cost. Sharing data can benefit the organization providing data by building awareness about the agency’s programs and creating a check on data accuracy. Data sharing may necessitate changes within the agencies receiving data, including a willingness to evaluate planning practices and operations strategies in light of more complete information.
Author: Ang-Olson, Jeffrey (ICF Consulting), Jocelyn Bauer (SAIC), Michael Grant (ICF Consulting), Jonathon Kass (ICF Consulting), John Mason (SAIC), Sergio Ostria (ICF Consulting)
Published By: USDOT
Source Date: 11/30/2004
EDL Number: 14071
Other Reference Number: FHWA-HOP-05-016URL: http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/lpo_ref_guide/index.htm
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