Data management tool ATLYST a game-changer for City of South Perth
Watch the above video or read the interview below for the City of South Perth’s review on ATLYST and how it is helping to improve their traffic data collection and analysis process.
The interview transcript has been edited and condensed below for clarity.
Tell us a little about yourself, Rodney.
My name is Rodney Markotis. I’ve been at the City of South Perth for about four and a half years now, employed as the Traffic Officer. So I deal with a lot of the traffic and parking-related problems throughout the City.
I’m here to talk about how ATLYST is going to improve the traffic management area and hopefully change the way we do traffic counts and review data.
How long has the City of South Perth been using ATLYST for and what have been your first impressions?
We’ve been using it for about 8 months, maybe a little longer. So far it has been really good. I’ve found it really user-friendly and intuitive. I find that a lot of people throughout the office can look at it and understand the data and how to use it.
Not everyone can pick up MTE software (MetroCount Traffic Executive) straight away. So for me, the biggest advantage so far has actually been to be able to show others the information and have them understand it instantly.
How has ATLYST changed your traffic surveying program from start to finish?
It has helped us identify areas where we had little to no data or where data needed to be updated. So this was quite a big learning curve for me and for the City with identifying missing data in specific areas.
While ATLYST is a really good tool for looking at information and reviewing data, for me its really more about having a management tool of our own data.
Since starting to use ATLYST, how often have you needed to use MTE compared to previously?
I’d say I’ve probably used MTE 80% less. The only time I’ve needed to use MTE is to print out some specific data that I can’t yet do in ATLYST. Really I don’t see a need to use MTE to actually review data.
What are your favourite features of ATLYST and why?
My favourite feature is probably the Sites page. Being able to view the City’s traffic survey sites and all the data collected at those sites holistically.
One thing I’d like to mention is how easy it is to create a new site in ATLYST. So sites that haven’t had counts just yet.
And then you can create a new site list quite easily to send out to contractors to go and do the traffic counts.
But I also really like the main map screen. Having the ability to see volumes and speeds throughout the city in one view has been very helpful.
Have you been using the PDF or .csv download functions to share information?
Yes, I’ve been using it for quite some time now. I’ve found it very easy to print PDF or export all the data in a single .csv file which make it really easy for me to share it with our asset team so they can add to their own GIS maps.
Has the automated data validation process helped you clean up data or identify problematic datasets?
Ordinarily, you get data from contractors or you go and pick up data yourself and you have to check it through MTE. But the ability to have it automatically checked in ATLYST has made it a lot quicker to process the data.
Another unexpected advantage was ATLYST actually identified a lot of old data that had errors that were not identified. So ATLYST was really useful for reviewing all of our old data and made sure the data was as accurate as possible.
What do you think of the data-sharing function between neighbouring or similar councils? How will this help the City of South Perth?
I think it’s a really good idea. It would help our understanding of what’s happening on roads near our neighbouring councils. It would help with identifying issues like rat running and it may even help with transport modelling through commercial areas near council boundaries.
The City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park created the state’s first joint bike plan in 2018.
Do you think using ATLYST to share data from local councils with research bodies and national organisations can help inform road safety campaigns?
It seems like a no-brainer to me. You get out what you put in. The more data we have the more practical outcomes are going to be. Whether they’re studies, findings or reports.
Do you think ATLYST should be used by all Local Governments? If so, why?
Whoever doesn’t have a traffic management or traffic counts system in place similar to this where they can manipulate the data, produce it and show it in ways that ATLYST can, I think it would be beneficial for them.
It’s not only a system for viewing traffic counts it’s also a tool to manage your traffic data. And I think that’s going to be the major benefit to most local governments.