FTA Data Management Needs Assessment
Opportunity for improvement
FTA’s Office of Safety and Security handles a wide range of data to support a number of different programs. As programs grew and safety priorities matured, the office soon realized that its processes for collecting, maintaining, and analyzing data had many shortcomings. In addition, Federal entities such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had made a series of recommendations to address identified data management concerns at FTA.
Identifying the challenges
FTA’s Office of Safety and Security tasked BCG to perform a comprehensive safety and security data management Needs Assessment and to recommend a path for improvement. We had to ensure that FTA 1) collects the data it needs, 2) has the necessary infrastructure in place (IT and people processes), 3) has established strategies and action plans to carry out its objectives, and 4) measures performance of its own internal data management process in an ongoing manner.
- Assessment of current and emerging issues – This extensive research tapped into reports and studies regarding safety and security data management, prior FTA data management efforts, interviews with FTA representatives, review of office program needs, evaluation of minutes from Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) meetings, and FTA performance plans.
- Benchmarking study – BCG conducted detailed interviews with industry participants, performed extensive document reviews, and analyzed Federal and industry practices to identify gaps, needs and adaptable effective practices.
- Safety and Security data point needs review – Our team executed a detailed review and analysis of specific indicators used by government oversight agencies and industry agencies to measure safety and security performance in support of identified strategic goals and targets.
A clear path forward
BCG’s concept gave FTA the ability to clearly identify and prioritize all existing data management needs and link them to solutions in use in the industry. Our system also scored solutions using adaptability factors such as implementation cost and timeline. Our team documented all research and recommendations in a comprehensive Assessment Report that included all prioritization analyses and rationale. By uniting prioritized needs with prioritized solutions, BCG provided FTA with critical data management insight and the ability to act with confidence.