Continuous Quality Improvement Techniques for Data Collection in Asset Management Systems

Transportation infrastructure assets are among the largest investments made by governmental agencies. These agencies use data on asset conditions to make decisions regarding the timing of maintenance activities, the type of treatment, and the resources to employ. To collect and record these data, agencies often utilize trained evaluators who assess the asset either on site or by analyzing photos and/or videos. These visual assessments are widely used to evaluate conditions of various assets, including pavement surface distresses. This paper describes a Data Quality Assessment & Improvement Framework (DQAIF) to measure and improve the performance of multiple evaluators of pavement distresses by controlling for subjective judgment by the individual evaluators. The DQAIF is based on a continuous quality improvement cyclic process that is based on the following main components: (1) assessment of the consistency over time—performed using linear regression analysis; (2) assessment of the agreement between evaluators—performed using inter-rater agreement analysis; and (3) implementation of management practices to improve the results shown by the assessments. A large and comprehensive case study was employed to describe, refine, and validate the framework. When the DQAIF is applied to pavement distress data collected on site by different evaluators, the results show that it is an effective method for quickly identifying and solving data collection issues. The benefit of this framework is that the analyses employed produce performance measures during the data collection process, thus minimizing the risk of subjectivity and suggesting timely corrective actions. The DQAIF can be used as part of an asset management program, or in any engineering program in which the data collected are subjected to the judgment of the individuals performing the evaluation. The process could also be adapted for assessing performance of automated distress data acquisition systems.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01523559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Mar 29 2014 2:51PM