In order to establish an empirical foundation for transport related decisions on a corporate and national level, high quality statistical data is required by various stakeholders. In the domain of official European transport statistics, and particularly in road freight transport statistics, reporting methods and data collection techniques, are currently mainly based on paper-pencil questionnaires, supplemented by electronic questionnaires. Frequently, data are incomplete or inconsistent.
Moreover, this process is expensive, time-intensive and often requires manual interaction on the part of the statistical community as well as on the part of the respondents. This leads to substantial administrative burden for respondents and significant lead times in the publication process for these statistics.
By extracting data from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Transport Management (TM) systems, particularly larger companies can easily generate data for official reporting obligation and directly transfer it to the National Statistical Institution (NSI). Based on a discussion of theoretical and practical considerations in this respect, a prototypical application following the principles of design theory has been developed by a team comprising freight forwarders, reasearchers and PARADIGMA.
The prototype was successfully implemented by the industrial partners, resolving the usual trade-off by simultaneously raising data quality, reducing respondents’ burden and lowering the administrative effort at the NSI.
We thus demonstrated that innovative data collection methods lead to improved data quality and availability, and, as a result, to increased reliability of subsequent various analyses and reports.