Make Confident Decisions on Community Assets with Asset Management

March 29, 2018

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Effectively Managing Infrastructure

It is no secret that managing infrastructure is one of the most important things we do in Local Government. Many communities in the GIS Consortium (GISC) accomplish this task by purchasing an enterprise system, but this is not the best solution for all. Some communities are simply not in the position to purchase a vast enterprise system. Fortunately, the members of the GIS Consortium participate in a shared services model, which helps allocate some of the resources that aid communities to do more with less. This year, MGP Inc. introduced an Asset Management solution that will do just that.  

Asset Management is a new solution that provides the GISC with an affordable method for updating critical infrastructure data in the field, while providing protection to data quality at the point of entry. It is a three-part solution. Two parts have been rolled out in February 2018, and one is being developed and will debut in late 2018. The first two parts, Standard Suite of Projects and the Data Check-In accountability, are already being adopted by the GISC communities. 

Standard Suite of Projects

The first part of the Asset Management solution is a standard suite of projects that is being shared with all communities who wish to use it. MGP worked with community leaders to identify which projects were most important and created a standard set based on those needs.  

Prior to Asset Management, each community had different versions of essentially the same Collector project. GIS Specialists dedicated time to recreate similar Collector projects, when their time could have been used on other vital Community projects. This solution eliminates waste since these projects have already been created, and the GIS Specialist simply needs to make a request with the MGP Developer to turn them on. 

In addition, all of the data fields are pre-set and the symbology is standard. This means that the solution will protect your data as the user collects it. In the past, users could type in a variety of values into a field, which sometimes resulted in mistakes. Now, the user is prompted to choose a value from a range or a list. With Asset Management, the chance for errors is reduced, and you can fully trust your data as it is collected!  

The standardized symbology also greatly improves the user experience within the interface. Now, a hydrant looks like a hydrant, and a catch basin actually resembles a catch basin! There is no second-guessing involved when looking at your maps, which also means that training new users is even easier than before. 

Check-In

 Prior to the Check-In Solution, users utilized Collector to collect and manage data without the GIS Specialist having a method to review it for inconsistencies. The data potentially contained errors at the point of entry, and there was no effective way for the GIS Specialist to review the data and accept the data prior to its entrance to the main GIS database. The Check-In solution creates a checkpoint. Now, the user enters the data, and the GIS Specialist must review it for errors prior to it entering the database. This solution will ensure that the community maintains a high level of data quality, and it also engages users with the data at a higher level than before.  

Data Visualization to Aid Decision Making

One of the most important aspects of this solution is the improved ability to visualize data. Creating a check-In solution and a set of standard projects leads us to MGP’s ultimate goal: visualizing your data to help you make informed decisions.  

This solution is set to debut later this year. The data visualization tools MGP Inc. is developing will allow the GISC communities to confidently make decisions based on the data being collected. These tools will be built with community staff insight to ensure the solution fulfills visualization needs. 

Bringing Asset Management to Your Community

Asset Management is a great solution for managing your community’s infrastructure. It is a solid addition for communities that do not have an asset management system, but also may be a welcome companion for those communities that have existing enterprise systems. Your community’s GIS Specialist will be working with key stakeholders to discuss introducing Asset Management to staff, so look out for those communications! The Asset Management solution is simple to deploy, protects your data at a level not experienced before, and assists with decision-making to help make your community a better place for residents.  

Check out our Asset Management Informational Document to learn more! 

Take the Lead    

Discover, innovate, and collaborate with the GIS Consortium today! Contact your community’s GIS Specialist to discuss project opportunities, Consortium services, and GIS.

If you would like to learn more about this initiative or if you have questions, please contact agrahovac@mgpinc.com.

Author: Ana Grahovac, GIS Specialist