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We all know regular oil changes can help extend the life of a car, but what kinds of regular checks are needed to make certain your data is the best it can be? And speaking of cars, how do you know if new data sources like connected vehicle data can be beneficial for your organization?
Our internal data experts say that measuring data quality has everything to do with what problem you’re trying to solve. Thinking about if mobility data is right for you? Ask yourself these five questions to see if your data strategy could use a tune up:
There’s a lot of data out there. But accessing general data is not the challenge for organizations today. It’s getting to the right data. Do the sources you have enable more informed decisions for your business? How close is your data to the issues you’re trying to resolve? Be diligent in checking out the data you have and ask yourself if it’s the data you need.
Connected vehicle data is generated directly from millions of active connected vehicles out on the roads. Are you looking to understand trends related to traffic, driver behavior and mass movement? If the answer is yes, this could be the right data for you.
Does your data have the precision necessary? Data that’s been extrapolated and filtered, traveling far from its source, can be misleading depending on how it is applied. Smartphone GPS location data could incorrectly suggest a road is congested, for example, when only one bus carrying 80 passengers, each with a smartphone is on it. Hence, if you are trying to understand traffic flow, vehicle movement, or driver behavior instead of the movement of people, you may need to consider additional or alternate data sources.
As connected vehicle data comes directly from a vehicle and not by proxy, it is incredibly reliable when it comes to the precision of traffic – historically and in real-time. With an accuracy of 3 meters of a vehicle, you can get data pinpointed to lane-level accuracy. If you want to have traffic trends, both historic and real-time, are accurate, consider mobility data as a source.
Requirements for how often data is updated and the speed at which it can be visualized vary depending on how it is being applied. Is your data getting to you when you need it? Is it representing trends that are timely and therefore actionable? Find out from your provider the frequency of data updates and check-in with your data analysts to see what they need. Don’t settle for latency if it hurts your operations.
Connected vehicle data provides low-latency data, updated every 3 seconds. Information is instantaneously processed from the vehicle and made available to users in 60 seconds or less.
Is your data a true representation of the entity you are analyzing? Data sources like mobile data can create biases, like our example above where 80 passengers are on the same bus, or in a rarer scenario - someone using 99 phones to fake a Google Maps traffic jam. Putting checks in place to spot biases is smart but can be resource-intensive. How much cleaning is required before you can be confident in the accuracy of your data source?
Having a source that is inherently unbiased, like connected vehicle data, means getting insights far faster and spending less of your resources on cleaning data sets. Users of mobility data have shared they filter out less than 1% of data compared to traditional data sources which can require up to 50% of data filtered out to get an accurate picture.
Are you missing integral pieces of data that could fill gaps in your understanding? While more is not always better, sometimes overlaying your data source with a supplementing one can make sense. Think about the trends you want to understand, and areas where faster or more detailed insights could change outcomes.
Our data supplements Waycare’s existing traffic data sources, providing agencies responsible for the safety of U.S. roadways with a comprehensive understanding of conditions and the ability to respond faster and more effectively. Looking for a faster, fuller, more accurate view of roadway trends? Wejo could help.
Data is powerful, but its formidable impact is only realized when it is cared for. Just like your car, your data requires regular maintenance checks to ensure its working at maximum capacity. Check your sources and their accuracy. And if you want to know what’s happening out on the roads, let the cars themselves do the talking.
Want to learn more about how connected vehicle data can help tune up your data strategy? Check out our guide on Everything You Need To Know About Connected Vehicle Data