Data Overload and Influence in Transit

Breathing Data
Over the past couple of decades, data in transit has become as ubiquitous as air. From smart technology to smart buses, there’s not an agency that is not either using data or want to use data as a reliable source for making decisions. Past practice and gut feelings have seceded much of their role in the decision-making process in areas ranging from fueling vehicles to scheduling service.

The store of data has become so filled that it’s now mined like coal. The trouble with all this data is that it can be dataminingdaunting to the uninitiated. How to efficiently collect, retrieve and interpret it eludes its owners. The benefits then go unmet. Mass amounts of data, warehoused on servers in offices across the country, have paralyzed organizations. Managers and chiefs are unable to make solid decisions supported by proper analysis, leaving them without the confidence to back their decisions. Priorities and directions change from one minute to the next including abandonment of enterprise software. Public organizations should be held more accountable for technology investments by reporting the returns as part of an overall business plan. Otherwise this kind of waste will continue to strain budgets and constrict local economy.

Delicate Data

Like a specimen in a lab dish, care must be taken to prevent contamination. Viewed in this light, data owners should employ and trust well-trained and qualified stewards. Unfortunately, corruption of data is sometimes intentional for purposes of supporting the owner’s objectives. This kind of manipulation of data alludes to the high level of importance data has gained being the indisputable justification for making purchases or changing a datadoctor2transit schedule. People risk their lives and companies jeopardize their reputation when they intentionally misrepresent data. A common question is “what do the numbers say?” The inherent assumption is that the numbers don’t lie, but I follow with “their presenter can lie”. There are presenters everywhere making bad things look good. Bad data can be thrown in the lot with fast food and bad investment ideas, great presentation but I wouldn’t buy it. A thorough examination by a trained steward of the data source, collection and analysis methods must be performed to ensure integrity in the results.

A wealth of data is worthless when the owner is not capable of handling it properly or making it meaningful. In this modern data-driven society, experts should be entrusted with the oversight of data entry, storage, retrieval and analysis. A capable user knows how to sift through large quantities of data and make sense of it. If the results are unfavorable, changes in the business process should come before changes in the data. That might mean ruffling some collars but there is too much data and the influence is too great to be handled by less than qualified individuals.

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