The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) this week announced a deployment of analytics software that is expected to improve customer service and reduce costs across the department.

With the recent deployment the NCDOT is hoping to stay ahead of growth within the state and evolving infrastructure needs, as well stay ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technology such as Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles.

The NCDOT chose to partner with SAS to deploy its SAS Platform, including SAS Viya. NCDOT was already using the SAS Platform, but the addition of SAS Viya adds new capabilities for artificial intelligence, open access to all data types, open language processing, and cloud deployments, according to a SAS press release. The new capabilities will be deployed in North Carolina’s Transportation Analytics Center, which brings together data and information from multiple state agencies.

“We saw the power and potential of analytics through our early projects with SAS,” said Frank Winn, acting NCDOT CIO, in a statement. “The Transportation Analytics Center will transform operations by allowing us to leverage existing data in ways we never have before, and by leading us to manage and govern new data that will increase standardization and utilization.”

The NCDOT is using the new analytics capabilities to more accurately forecast budget and revenue figures. NCDOT’s budget comes from a variety of sources, including Federal funding, DMV registrations, highway taxes, and fuel taxes. According to the SAS release, more than 40 percent of NCDOT revenue comes from fuel taxes alone. With that in mind, accurately predicting consumer and commercial fuel consumption is essential for NCDOT.

SAS has developed a fuel consumption forecast, based on historical data, that is accurate within 1 percent. With a more accurate forecast in place, NCDOT can now better forecast its expenditures–including forecasting construction costs down to the individual project level. After analyzing the costs of more than 1,300 projects with SAS’s forecasting models, NCDOT realized it could plan for an additional $267 million over two years in new road projects.

“Citizens want their tax money used efficiently to create high-quality roads and bridges that get them safely to their destinations,” said Paula Henderson, vice president of SAS’s U.S. Government Practice. “By integrating analytics throughout NCDOT operations, North Carolina is positioning itself to meet those demands, and as a leader in transportation and infrastructure innovation.”


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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs