Following on from June’s major update to our world-leading iROADS™ asset management platform, iROADS™ Product Owner John Proust has been running through some of the platform’s key features. This time, John takes a look at the “Self-Service Pavement Analytics” feature set that makes high-end data analysis and presentation tools directly available to iROADS™ users.
It goes without saying that asset managers need reliable and accurate data in order to do their jobs. But high-quality data on its own is not always enough as, in most cases, people need to transform that data in some way – for example, to pick out significant patterns in the data or to present it to others in a more readily understandable format.
This is where the Self-Service Pavement Analytics feature set developed by the iROADS™ team comes into its own. Built from scratch as a fully-fledged, pavement-specific data analytics system, it allows iROADS™ users to manage complex tasks such as data processing, visualisation and the creation of reports without the need for external third-party assistance.
Customers have told us in the past about the frustrations of relying on third-party support. In addition to the costs and time involved, it creates an ongoing reliance on outside expertise and can also lead to a ‘mysterious black box’ effect – where the customer can see the final outputs of the transformed information, but not always follow the trail back to the original data.
Self-service Pavement Analytics is beyond embedding, general purpose business intelligence (BI) capabilities within iROADS. We now enable first time users who are not pavement specialists to develop compelling asset insights using drag and drop pavement analytics building blocks. These building blocks include resampling, pavement calculations, optimisations, and prioritisation algorithms, auto cataloguing and many more – all specific to pavements. This reduces complexity and dependency on specialist pavement analysts leading to faster decision making, enhanced productivity and data democratisation.
Bespoke templates for pavement analytics
In order to take any additional strain off our customers, we have included a feature that allows one-off templates to be created for customers who have more complex or bespoke requirements. Once created, multiple templates can also be saved and reused – since we know that many customers will want to run the same data transformations dozens (if not hundreds) of times using the same configuration. These templates can also be shared with other users, for example to provide ‘official’ analysis configurations that can be saved and made available to relevant users, to ensure consistency in the way the data is handled and presented.
As well as being available in standard tabular format, generated results can now be exported, published to the iROADS™ map, displayed within the platform’s reporting and dashboard features or shared through Open APIs or the iROADS Developer Portal. Trained users will be able to produce practical outputs – for example, showing areas of poor road condition on the map based on standardised analysis, or plotting a trend chart – with no need for additional technical support.
What is coming next?
The Self-Service Pavement Analytics feature set is a major addition to iROADS™, but I would also like to use this opportunity to highlight a number of recent product improvements that the team have made to further refine the platform’s user experience and technical ‘underpinnings’. We have now added support for the British National Grid OS coordinate system, and also made performance enhancements which should lead to better loading speeds and responsiveness. Customer feedback is, of course, very important to us and we have now provided a tool which allows users to give quick and direct feedback using annotated screenshots. Next time, we will talk about the new Pavement Process Automation (PPPA) capabilities within iROADS.
All of us on the iROADS™ team are excited about the capabilities that have been opened up by the Self-Service Pavement Analytics feature set, and by the more recent enhancements mentioned above, and are very keen to demonstrate these. So, whether you have questions about a particular feature or iROADS™ in general, please do get in touch, via Hellosoftware@trl.co.uk.