In the current context of transition to more sustainable, environmentally-friendly mobility, data management and exploitation play a key role. Data is essential for understanding the issues, designing innovative solutions and assessing the impact of actions taken. However, their potential can only be fully exploited if they are properly managed throughout their life cycle, from their creation to their use and conservation.

With this in mind, at the crossroads of our work on ecosystem mobilization and mobile data collection, we have launched an initiative to popularize the concept of the “data journey“. In this article, we’ll explore the theory of the data journey, detailing its various stages and the associated challenges. We will also present the popularization and questioning tool currently being developed by the Fabrique de Mobilités Québec.

Theory of data flow

What is the data journey?

The data journey is a concept that describes all the stages through which data passes, from its creation to its final use and storage. This process ensures that data is managed optimally, in compliance with quality, security and confidentiality standards. The data journey generally includes the following stages:

Creation: Data is generated from a variety of sources, such as sensors, surveys, transactions or observations.

Collecting: Data is collected and stored in databases or files, often accompanied by descriptive metadata to facilitate identification and understanding.

Processing: Data is cleaned, formatted and adapted for use in specific analyses or applications. This may include removing errors, converting formats or aggregating data from different sources.

Analysis: Data is studied to extract useful information, trends or patterns. This stage may involve the use of statistical methods, visualizations or machine learning algorithms.

Preservation and archiving: Data and its metadata are structured and organized to facilitate access and subsequent re-use. This stage also involves determining how long the data will be kept, and the conditions for its eventual deletion.

Dissemination and enhancement: Data are made available to potential users, generally via online platforms, catalogs or articles. Data can be accompanied by visualization and cross-referencing tools to facilitate understanding and exploitation.

Reuse: Data is used in new contexts, whether for additional analyses, innovative applications or to feed other projects.

Each stage of this process requires special attention and a specific set of skills to ensure data quality, relevance and usability.

To help you understand and navigate effectively through these different stages, the Fabrique des Mobilités Québec has developed a mapping tool. It visualizes the roles of the various players, their responsibilities, the risks and challenges, as well as the opportunities associated with each stage of the data journey, depending on the specific use case. This tool also helps to identify points of vigilance and the action levers for each participant to optimize data management. Here is the model in question, noting that its structure may vary slightly depending on the use case (for example, data users may be distinct from beneficiaries):

The concrete application of this tool will be presented in this blog post, highlighting the SIGNALEC system use case example.

Popularization and interrogation tool

In addition to the mapping tool, the Fabrique des Mobilités Québec is currently developing a popularization and interrogation tool. This resource aims to facilitate the assessment of an organization’s level of digital maturity, based on the different stages of the data journey. It will include a series of questions relevant to each stage, to help organizations think critically about their current data management. The tool is positioned as a valuable support for organizations in their digital transition, enabling them to identify and address potential gaps in their data management practices.

The next step in this experimental project will be to integrate these steps and the corresponding questions into an interactive diagram. In addition, tools, resources and collaborators will be proposed for each step, based on the answers to the pertinent questions.

In conclusion, managing the data journey is a crucial issue in the development of innovative urban mobility solutions. It is essential to understand and apprehend this journey in order to fully exploit the potential of the data collected. The work of the Fabrique des Mobilités Québec, notably through the creation of mapping and popularization tools, aims to facilitate this understanding and support organizations in their digital transition.

Article written by Jeremy Laplante

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