Hutchinson and Whitchurch Connect CARTS with the Classroom

November 26, 2019

New Orleans, LA – Several members of the staff from the Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) recently traveled to New Orleans to present on their work with LSU students at the Decision Science Institute annual meeting.

The director of CARTS, Cory Hutchinson, and analytics manager, David Whitchurch, discussed how they use Tableau with CARTS student workers. Their presentation, entitled “Student Workers use Tableau to Solve Real World Problems with Louisiana Crash Data,” informed the audience of how they use crash data with students in several ways. In the classroom, they use the crash data collected by CARTS as a teaching tool, specifically when teaching students how to create data visualizations using Tableau. This allows the students to use real, meaningful data as they learn while also introducing them to the research and analytics projects occurring at the Center. Professors and instructors from CARTS, including Hutchinson and Whitchurch, can then use this classroom project to identify potential students to work at CARTS as student staff. CARTS provides student workers with the unique opportunity to create visualizations with Tableau that CARTS stakeholders use in efforts to improve highway safety.

Perhaps the best example of a CARTS student's work on a project of this type is the interactive infographic on alcohol-involved crashes created for Choices Matter Louisiana. This graphic allows its audience to see alcohol-involved crash fatalities as more than statistics - the infographic provides not only the month and year when each fatality occurred, but also each person's sex, age, and position in the vehicle. This person-level information makes the information more personal while it maintains the privacy of each individual's data.


The Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) is responsible for collecting, maintaining, integrating, analyzing and distributing crash-related data captured from law enforcement and other agencies throughout the State of Louisiana. CARTS utilizes this data to develop business intelligence (BI) and GIS tools, perform research studies and produce an annual factbook. These tools and publications are used by decision-makers to identify potential problem areas, create countermeasures, set policies, and establish programs to improve the safety of our roadways in Louisiana. CARTS is a center within the E. J. Ourso College of Business at LSU.


Contact: Mary Churay

Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety