By Robert J Taylor and Brandon Brown, City of Dublin
Once you start gathering data on your assets and operations, the next logical step is to present your data in a way that supports informed decision making. The best tools for visualizing data depend on the questions you are trying to answer and the goals you hope to achieve. Together, Cityworks and ArcGIS offer a suite of data visualization options that can be customized for specific data sets and target audiences.
The City of Dublin, Ohio, has been using Cityworks for more than 10 years. In that time, the city has expanded its use of the system from simply tracking work orders to also managing service requests and inspections. Here are some of the ways they present data to their end users with the help of Cityworks and ArcGIS.
Cityworks offers a selection of data visualization tools right out of the box. Dublin uses those tools to create saved searches that power custom inboxes for Cityworks users. Custom inboxes help supervisors make important operational decisions while also providing snapshot views of key performance metrics.
For example, the city performs sidewalk inspections and then uses that inspection data to categorize repairs into either sidewalk shaving or sidewalk replacement. The inbox depicts those repair quantities so the work orders can be assigned to a project. Then, the inbox provides a chart of each project. Clicking any of the data columns will open the respective list of work orders associated with that project.
Cityworks also helps visualize the city’s asset inspection data. Custom searches filter the following:
- Completed inspections to review and close
- Open inspections to be completed
- Closed inspections that have assets in fair condition
- Completed inspections this year
All of these custom searches are set up with a rolling date criterion so the searches do not need to be updated each year.
A rolling date custom search also tracks scheduled and unscheduled stops in the city’s curbside chipping program. Scheduled stops are determined by service requests generated in the office or through the city’s customer relationship management application, GoDublin. Unscheduled stops are determined by service requests initiated by crews in the field using mobile devices. Supervisors are now able to analyze the ratio of scheduled and unscheduled stops to understand crew workloads and determine whether more marketing efforts are needed to promote the GoDublin application to the public.
When it comes time to budget planning and shared work plans, key decision-makers may need more robust data visualizations. This is possible if you subscribe to the enterprise URL service in Cityworks and have an ArcGIS Online account. An enterprise URL, or eURL, is a simple yet powerful tool for displaying Cityworks data on a map. Any custom search can be exported into ArcGIS Online using the eURL service.
Consider the sidewalk inspection and work order data discussed earlier. The city used Cityworks data and eURL to create an interactive map depicting the actual work locations, with interactive tiles that calculate quantities and buttons to filter searches. When users navigate around the map, the data automatically filters to reflect addresses within the visible area. The map also includes a search function for locating specific address locations.
eURL supports live data updates from Cityworks—which means that, as a new work order is added or an existing work order is changed, the map updates automatically. This map is used to communicate to Public Works and Engineering leadership when developing budget and work plans. The map will also be available to the public.
You can also configure web maps to display status or condition score of individual assets. With the help of inspection and work order data tracked in Cityworks, an ArcGIS Operations Dashboard can provide an easy-to-understand overview of asset condition, repair schedules, and more.
Another custom dashboard tracks street service requests. This dashboard depicts the open and recently completed service requests on a map complete with tiles that calculate the numbers and a chart to depict the individual types of requests. Supervisors can use the dashboard to quickly see the quantity, location, and types of open requests.
In each example, these web maps and dashboards can be made accessible to decision-makers—regardless of whether they are Cityworks users—as well as the public.
The Best of Both Worlds
Cityworks inboxes allow the user to combine Cityworks data visualization tools and ArcGIS Online web maps in a one-stop-shop for information. This is a powerful tool because it allows an individual to access the data they need in the visual format they desire.
The city has also found that some users like to add the Operations Dashboards into a tab in their Cityworks Inbox for quick and easy access. This allows them to quickly move from analytical and planning activities to operational activities without leaving the Cityworks platform.
Custom searches, custom web maps, and custom inboxes have proven to be valuable tools for managers at the City of Dublin. These tools assist the user to be more efficient and focused on performing the right work, on the right asset, at the right time.
Robert J Taylor is an infrastructure asset management engineer and Brandon Brown is a data/GIS manager at the City of Dublin.