On Tuesday 16th May I was the host of this year’s Customer Success Awards at Esri UK’s 2017 Annual Conference. Having been involved with the judging since the outset, I felt exceptionally proud of the very credible submissions we received from the broadest spectrum of GIS users, from commerce to industry, education and the public sector. All entrants had clearly spent considerable time on their submissions which were entered into five different categories which represent what we call the five patterns of GIS. A very strong reflection on the pride the GIS community takes in its work.
The Planning & Analysis category covered an organisation’s use of the ArcGIS platform to understand the complex relationships between people, places and events by turning ordinary and sometimes hidden data into actionable information that can be used to help make more informed decisions. A future blog will go into further details of the highly commended, shortlisted entries, but for now join me in congratulating the winner, the Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service. The Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service has a cloud-based solution that enables them to undertake comprehensive risk analysis on the causes of fire, that have enabled subsequent preventative measures to be taken, significantly reducing the number of fires they respond to. Truly, GIS saving lives.
In the Operational Awareness category, the judges were looking at how organisations, with multiple stakeholders, were using the ArcGIS platform to provide access to real-time, accurate and easy-to-understand views of operational data in order to undertake their duties more effectively and make timely, more informed decisions. The worthy winner here was Transport for London with its London Works platform which helps lessen the impact of the capital’s 1,300 daily roadworks by consuming and sharing key data in real time to all stakeholders, to improve collaboration and keep disruption to a minimum. Most appreciated by anyone living in or travelling in and out of the capital.
Many organisations have field based workforces and, having the capability to get accurate and timely information into and out of the field, creates an empowered and more productive workforce as well as streamlining workflows and reducing operating costs. In the hard fought Field Data Collection/ Mobile Working category there was one overall winner; congratulations here to TEAM 2100. Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 is an integrated team from the Environment Agency and CH2MHill, responsible for the UK’s largest flood defence programme including the Thames Barrier. The team has reduced the time to assess condition and plan maintenance work by half, by moving from paper driven approaches to the use of the Collector and Full Motion Video.
The fourth category, Asset Management, looked at an organisation’s ability to use the ArcGIS platform to help them collect, organise, analyse and share all forms of asset data, whether it relates to people, infrastructure or equipment. The outstanding winner was Tarmac, who really drove the value of asset management through ArcGIS after a substantial reorganisation and merger in 2013, when it struggled to accurately identify all of its land holdings due to incomplete data stored in multiple silos. The result? A central repository of relevant datasets which have significantly improved understanding relating to land use, haulage costs, development potential and a whole host of other impacts.
The final category, with the most entries and providing much debate for the judges, was Community Engagement. Arguably the ArcGIS platform at its finest; helping people work collaboratively in order to share, analyse and understand information - whether physical or virtual teams, we can create empowered and informed communities of interest. The winner was one submission I had championed from the outset and a very worthy winner indeed to conclude our proceedings: the University of Exeter. The University of Exeter ran a free online course on Climate Change which had over 7,500 learners from 161 countries. It used Story Maps to help bring the course to life as students were asked to share their experiences of being impacted by climate change and how their countries are coping with the effect. This virtual community curated a highly personal level of content, while highlighting the global challenge of Climate Change.
So, congratulations to all of our fantastic winners and thank you to all of those who submitted such exceptional entries this year. Keep an eye out for future blog posts which will pay homage to those shortlisted in each of our five patterns of GIS categories.