As an inherently technical-based industry, the vehicle inspection business involves the collection and analysis of a tremendous amount of data. All motor vehicles that are tested must meet quantitative inspection standards in order to pass their test. This in turn leads to a number of critical data collection and analysis issues, including:
- Proper identification of test vehicles so that they can be properly tested and the correct pass / fail standards can be applied (different types of vehicles are subject to different tests and standards).
- Proper application of test procedures and standards to the identified vehicle.
- Proper test decisions (pass or fail) depending on the test results for the vehicle.
- Proper recording of the test results and transmittal to the appropriate systems (e.g., to the state vehicle registration database so that the owner is allowed to register a passing vehicle).
- Proper calibration and auditing of test equipment performance to verify it continues to operate within allowable specifications.
- Proper oversight and auditing of inspector performance to ensure they continue to correctly test vehicles.
- Proper reporting of test result summaries and other program data to the oversight agency and the U.S. EPA.
- Complex data mining techniques (“triggers” analysis) to identify possible inspection fraud; i.e., evasion of vehicle inspection requirements through substitution of improper vehicles (so-called “clean scanning”) and other deceitful means.
Given its position as the vehicle inspection quality leader, Gordon-Darby performs the above activities better than any of our competitors. Achieving this level of performance has required the company to develop and implement systems and processes that incorporate all of these functions. Part of these processes has been the development of analysis techniques, and subsequent ongoing analysis of many millions of vehicle test records and other data. While much of this effort is specific to the vehicle inspection industry, a number of elements have applicability to other business sectors.