An organization’s GIS is the best and most up-to-date inventory for public assets. For many organizations, having data is not the problem. The real challenge is displaying and interpreting that data in a meaningful way.
St. Johns County (SJC) Utilities has been a Cityworks user since 2008 and an ArcGIS user since 1997. Since then, the GIS Division has transitioned from simply tracking and displaying historical asset data to managing operations and planning through mobile GIS and real-time data visualizations.
How did SJC Utilities make the leap? By connecting Cityworks Analytics to Esri’s Insights for ArcGIS.
Insights for ArcGIS provides a mobile, collaborative platform that empowers engaging analysis and encourages data exploration. By pulling in our Cityworks data, we could more easily explore important questions. For example, what maintenance and repairs are done at each of our treatment plants and facilities? What warehouse materials are used the least? And where do we need to allocate funding for manhole rehabilitation based on inspections, rehabilitation costs, and at-risk characteristics?
St. Johns County Utilities held a discover workshop to explore new Cityworks Analytics models designed for Insights for ArcGIS. These models, or workbooks, help Cityworks users easily visualize data from their asset management and GIS databases in Insights for ArcGIS—providing a powerful tool for exploring trends and details.
The St. Johns County team demonstrated the Insights for ArcGIS workbooks for Gordon Smith, assistant director of utilities for operations and engineering. Insights for ArcGIS performed analysis on the fly, answering important questions about treatment plant maintenance and repairs. Smith was able to view Cityworks data in a variety of ways by using filters, charts, graphs, and more. The dynamic, engaging nature of Insights for ArcGIS was clear.
As a result of the workshop’s success, the team went on to use Analytics models in Insights for ArcGIS to review several utility projects. Together, Cityworks Analytics and Insights for ArcGIS helped a team of staff from Operations, Engineering, and Finance analyze their manhole, sewer main, and capital rehabilitation projects. The data discovery and analysis helped prioritize projects and shift rehabilitation funding to the areas of greatest need.
Another Insights for ArcGIS workbook was built for the Cityworks Analytics material velocity analysis, to help the Warehouse and Purchasing Division review their stock quantities, identify material purchase demands, and set priority and minimum stock-on-hand levels.
“With Insights for ArcGIS, we can transform our Cityworks data into shareable knowledge and live visuals, promoting awareness and understanding of our CIP projects among all staff,” said James Galley, senior financial analyst at St. Johns County Utilities.
Staff quickly connected with this new method for informing business decisions. St. Johns County Utilities realized they now had access to a powerful tool that encourages data discovery among all staff. Workshops with GIS staff to navigate and train in using these new tools will ensure that St. Johns County Utilities leverages insightful records to make cost-effective decisions.
The seamless connectivity between Cityworks and Esri helps St. Johns County Utilities save considerable staff time while providing end users with easily accessible, in-depth analyses. The sophisticated levels of analysis and deep navigation into the data supports better data-driven management decisions both in the short term and with long-term planning.
St. Johns County Utilities uses four focused workbooks:
- Treatment Plant Maintenance and Repair Activities: This workbook helps management review and understand each treatment plant’s preventative maintenance, repairs, and material costs, helping to identify needs and plan for supporting work distribution.
- Manhole Inspections and Rehabilitation Projects Prioritization: Models pull data on manholes and sewer mains, including material, age, and dates. By regularly reviewing at-risk mains and manholes, the team can identify and prioritize rehabilitation needs.
- Warehouse Materials and Transactions: The workbook tracks material stock quantities, frequency of use, quantity of use, and other material velocity report data. It also reviews the frequency of issues, transfers, and returns in each storeroom to help new warehouse staff get up to speed.
- Capital Improvement Program: These visualizations track current, future, and projected capital projects—helping to establish clear objectives, prioritize activities, and provide clear understanding of progress and results.
By Tom Tibbitts, GIS manager, St. Johns County Utilities