Data Quality

The CARTS Data Quality (DQ) department plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliability and usefulness of crash data, with particular focus on timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and uniformity.

The Data Quality team supports CARTS' overall objective of providing accurate and reliable crash data for informed decision-making and effective traffic safety initiatives.

The earliest iterations of crash Data Quality began with reviewing of state crash data submitted on paper reports and entered manually, in-house for accuracy and completeness and promoting the transition of police agencies to electronic crash reporting to further improve accuracy, completeness, and timeliness.

In the spring of 2010 CARTS received the Crash Data Improvement Program (CDIP) grant as a starting point to implement a strategy for rapid growth, focus, and improvement of crash Data Quality practices. The CDIP grant focused on FIVE areas of Data Quality: Timeliness Completeness, Accuracy, Uniformity, and Accessibility, providing the foundation for developing initial performances measures, identify areas of focus, and formulating countermeasures to address deficiencies. In subsequent years Data Quality staff were invited to present on the successes of our CDIP implementation for crash data quality professionals in other states.

The CARTS Data Quality team has since participated in additional federal, state, and peer programs to continue to modify, grow, and further improve our practices as stakeholder needs, areas of focus, and technology shift the course of crash data events and reporting.

DQ Projects and Processes

Data Quality Working Group

  • Assemble and direct a team of dynamic professionals and stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive and accurate representation of the crash data.
  • Discuss data quality-related findings, challenges, and projects based on the needs and priorities of key stakeholders.
  • Implement and maintain clear data quality standards to support understanding and consistency.
  • Develop countermeasures and other recommendations to address identified crash data issues and improve data quality.
  • Proactively identify potential needs in data quality programs and propose best practices for improvement.
  • Determine and formulate plans to focus and address stakeholder needs, requests, or feedback.

Stakeholder Outreach

  • Collaborate with internal staff to identify useful and relevant topics to distribute in prepared press releases and the CARTS quarterly newsletter to maintain contacts and facilitate communications with stakeholders.
  • Manage an up-to-date contact email list to allow for urgent notifications or other messaging upon request.
  • Gather and post information on the CARTS Facebook page to improve accessibility and increase academic and community presence.

Performance Measures

  • Regularly monitor the timely receipt and completeness of crash report submissions, focusing on areas of interest to maintain reporting continuity, and proactively identify potential issues in the areas of timeliness, completeness, and accuracy of crash data
  • Audit critical crash data elements for accuracy, completeness, and uniformity. Recommend countermeasures and monitor implementation progress to address identified deficiencies.
    • Critical elements include, but are not limited to, First Harmful Event, Crash Manner, Vehicle Maneuver, Sequence of Events, Non-Motorist Type, Driver Conditions, Driver Actions, and BAC results.
    • Review additional data identified for potential improvement or as requested by stakeholders to further determine quality
  • Continually grow and improve quality measures to determine and track areas to focus resources for improvements, as well as, success of countermeasures
  • Report findings and progress to stakeholders to support needs analysis, resource allocation, and success of potential countermeasures

Louisiana eCrash User Guide

  • Compile and consolidate definitions and related guidance from multiple authoritative sources to compare accepted standards and methods to further support consistency and clarity.
  • Develop recommendations for inclusion in the documentation to provide optimal support for software and data users.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to finalize definitions and details as the state adopts new reporting requirements and guidelines on reporting and institution of data elements.
  • Maintain up-to-date crash data documentation to reflect changes, updates, or clarity, ensuring users have access to the most accurate information.

Fatal Crash Reporting

  • Collaborate closely with the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) team at the Louisiana Department of Transportation (DOTD) to guarantee that state crash fatality data aligns with data reported through the national FARS program.
  • Compare, identify, and communicate differences in the data to determine solutions for accurate and uniform reporting.

Crash Report Revisions

  • Identify drivers and non-motorists listed in the crash data with BAC test results listed as pending more than 30 days after crash occurred; email investigating officer and approving supervisor requesting report be updated to reflect testing status and findings; track progress and follow up as necessary.
    • Develop performance measures to determine methods, sources, or patterns of positive participation to continue improvement going forward.
  • Collaborate with CARTS IT staff to develop internal applications to automate the identification, email outreach, and tracking to allow for additional growth in scope and scale of requests.
  • Work with Law Enforcement Liaisons and other stakeholders to determine additional data updates to reasonably request updates to further grow program based on the successes in prior phases.

Crash Data Map Spotting

  • Partner with the CARTS GIS team to spot crashes and verify reported coordinates, improving the accuracy of crash location data.
  • Track, identify, investigate, and monitor identified inaccuracies or other inconsistencies to determine cause and recommend solutions.