Why ArcGIS is the Ideal Platform for Data Collection and Asset Management

January 23, 2019

In the past few years, the ArcGIS platform has become a standard for collaborative solutions. With these integrated tools, you can share information, collect data and even manage assets. It’s an ideal tool to help resolve your operational challenges.

As stated by my colleague Frédéric Blouin-Michaud in his recent blog post, sharing information is at the heart of your organization. In fact, and in whatever field you work, you have at one moment or another, a need to access data to perform your tasks.

By using the ArcGIS platform and its different tools and by integrating them into your daily tasks, you can now make your workflows easier. Whether you are working on an internal project with your colleagues or an external project in collaboration with other organizations, the idea of this blog it to show you how ArcGIS can help you at different levels, be it simple data collection or to integrate management of your assets.

Out-of-the-box tools to make your tasks easier

Who has never had the need to collect field data in an efficient and simplified way? Or who has never needed to follow their operations or assign tasks remotely? These different needs are an integral part of the daily tasks for GIS users within Natural Resources organizations. Whether it’s in mining, forestry or environmental management, these tools can help you resolve some of your operational challenges. Indeed, and for a long time, this type of work required several steps, including having to wait for data in order to harness it, not to mention the possibility of issues in downloading the data, even in using the tools.

Going forward, with the built-in tools, your data can be accessible directly from the ArcGIS platform. In addition, it can significantly reduce the amount of handling required for the users, thus reducing the possibility of errors. This can also translate into increased efficiency in your daily tasks.

A little reminder of the main field applications

Whether you need to collect and update data with Collector for ArcGIS, or create dynamic forms with Survey123 for ArcGIS, or follow your activities and consult some performance indicators with Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS, or even assign a task and coordinate your operations with Workforce for ArcGIS, all these applications can help you in your workflows. No more paper forms with risk of errors, now everything is available in mobile and dynamic format throughout the ArcGIS platform.

An example on the use of these applications

Let’s imagine a forestry company that needs to do an inventory of its plantings. Yves, a forestry technician, is tasked to prepare the data to make it available in Collector. Using ArcGIS Online, Yves will prepare his existing layers and share them with a group of users in a web map. Once that is done, his colleague, Laurent, who works in the field, leaves with his mobile device. Using Collector, he ensures the listed information is up to date. Laurent has the ability to edit the data and make the necessary modifications. With his field application connected to the platform, data synchronization is done practically in real time and Yves is able to follow the progress of the remote work. Admitting that Laurent had to work in an offline area, he would not have been blocked because he would have had the possibility to download the data locally and directly onto his mobile device before leaving. He would have also been able to send  his results with a simple click upon returning to a connected zone.

Go one step further by using the platform to manage your assets

The out-of-the-box applications can enable unique and isolated operations, but if you have several assets to manage, you can, using different combinations of the tools, proceed to several operations. All these interconnected applications provide a better overview, a global real-time picture of the performance of your assets and their maintenance to better plan for future changes. The diagram below, presented during our conferences, shows how the applications can work together and how each application can be used.

More efficient and optimized interventions

Let’s imagine a mining company that has its own private site. This site has its own road, electrical and lighting networks. The mining company cannot afford to have a non-functioning network. For example, a pothole on the road or a defective lamp post can quickly become a problem for on-site operations. With this in mind, this company has decided to give access to Survey123 to all employees moving around the site. This way, when an employee notices a lighting problem or a pothole, for example, he can immediately report the problem by completing a form and sending it to the central office. Once received, the task distribution team can plan and assign the required tasks to the maintenance teams via Workforce, and send a work order.

To learn more and see the ArcGIS platform in action, register for our free webinar (in French) on February 28. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment below.

This blog post was originally written in French by Frédéric Millet and can be viewed here.

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