Category Archives: Training

Scottish Water

Empowering staff with bespoke training

When Scottish Water decided to migrate to Esri’s ArcGIS platform from a legacy GIS system, it appointed Esri UK to deliver a suite of on-site and online training courses. This comprehensive and bespoke training programme enabled 1200 GIS users to transition confidently to new business processes and make optimal use of ArcGIS in their jobs.

Bespoke training enables 1200 GIS users to transition smoothly to new enterprise GIS

Professional trainers give employees the skills to do their jobs effectively

eLearning resources provide long term return on training investment

The Challenge

At Scottish Water, geographic information system (GIS) solutions play a pivotal role in helping the company to deliver 1.34 billion litres of drinking water and take away 847 million litres of waste water, day after day. Over 1200 employees use GIS routinely for everything from handling customer enquiries to planning new infrastructure investment. Consequently, when Scottish Water decided to replace its existing GIS with Esri’s ArcGIS platform enterprise-wide, it recognised the importance of providing high quality training.

“The transition to ArcGIS marked a big step change for the business in the way that it employs GIS and shares data, across a number of business processes,” says Stuart Hill, Business Change Manager at Scottish Water. “It was critical for the business to ensure that every-day users could be confident in using the new technology from day one. At the same time, it was also important for us to ensure that more advanced users in our IT team had the ability to maintain and support our new enterprise GIS platform.”

“ The Esri UK trainers were very experienced and had a real passion for the product. They delivered what we were looking for within our tight budget

Stuart Hill, Business Change Manager, Scottish Water

 

The Solution


First, experienced trainers from Esri UK held workshops and worked closely with representatives from the business to gain a clear understanding of users’ requirements. Then, Esri UK developed courses, training manuals and training documentation using the company’s own data and examples of actual business processes, to make the training highly relevant and meaningful for employees.

Esri UK also created different levels of courses for the company’s 381 desktop users and 868 web GIS users, to cater for different requirements. These included a basic course for employees who predominantly just use the ArcGIS web portal to view and search for data on maps; a standard desktop course for employees who need to perform some data analysis and data editing as a part of their roles; and an advanced desktop course for specialist users, which included instruction on data management and the development of the company’s ArcGIS web portal.

Over a four month period, Esri UK delivered 39 separate training courses, at five different locations across Scotland. For each of these courses, Esri UK supplied laptops for all attendees, pre-loaded with all of the ArcGIS software, business data and examples, so Scottish Water did not have the inconvenience or additional cost of having to prepare, setup and use its own IT resources.

In addition to the face-to-face training, Esri UK also developed a portfolio of eLearning resources to allow employees to acquire skills and knowledge of ArcGIS, at a time to suit them, online. As with the face-to-face courses, this web-based training was designed to meet the training requirements of different levels of user and was fully tailored to reflect Scottish Water’s business processes.

“ Esri UK’s training programme gave our employees the competence and confidence to use ArcGIS to its full potentiall and do their jobs to their best ability

Stuart Hill, Business Change Manager, Scottish Water

 

The Benefits

Smooth transition to a new enterprise GIS
Scottish Water’s employees were able to transition more easily to the new ArcGIS platform, because the training provided by Esri UK was bespoke to Scottish Water and based on the company’s own business data and processes. “Our employees were better able to understand the training and could embed new skills more quickly, because they were working with data that they were already familiar with,” Hill explains.

Improved return on ArcGIS investment
By providing training at different levels, for different categories of users, Esri UK has helped to ensure that all employees can make optimal use of ArcGIS, whether they are handling customer enquiries, managing assets or developing apps. This, in turn, will help the company to maximise the return that it gains from its investment in ArcGIS. “Esri UK’s training programme gave our employees the competence and confidence to use ArcGIS to its full potential and do their jobs to their best ability,” Hill says.

Flexible and inclusive training options for employees
The combination of classroom-based training courses, at five locations, and online eLearning resources gave the company’s 1200 GIS users a choice of ways to receive training, depending on their preferred learning style and situation. The eLearning resources were particularly ideal for employees based in more remote locations, who didn’t find it easy to travel to attend an on-site course, as well as people who prefer to learn at their own pace. As Hill explains, “The different methods of delivering training helped us to ensure that everyone who needed training, had access training.”

Long term benefits from training investment
Scottish Water will continue to gain ongoing benefits from its investment in Esri UK’s training services for many years to come, as it can continue to use the bespoke eLearning resources to train new employees and existing employees who move into new roles that involve using ArcGIS. Employees who attended training courses can also refer back to eLearning resources to reinforce what they learned in the classroom, helping them to continually develop and advance their skills.

Value for money from experienced trainers
All in all, Hill believes that the training services delivered by Esri UK for Scottish Water were highly professional and cost effective. “Esri UK definitely delivered value for money,” he says in conclusion. “The Esri UK trainers were very experienced and had a real passion for the product. They delivered what we were looking for within our tight budget.”

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Mines Advisory Group

Building a future without landmines

The Mines Advisory Group has removed nearly 5 million landmines and unexploded ordnance from countries around the world – but millions more remain undetected, putting communities at risk. The organisation is now using a suite of solutions from Esri’s ArcGIS platform to help clear landmines more quickly and save lives.

More lives saved, with land being cleared of unexploded ordnance more quickly

Additional land made accessible for farming, alleviating poverty in local communities

Greater safety for land clearance teams, thanks to better information about the terrain

The Challenge

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) aims to save lives by removing the millions of landmines, booby traps and unexploded bombs that still lurk beneath the ground in countries ravaged by years of brutal war. In Cambodia, MAG has already cleared over 74,600 landmines and 224,400 items of weaponry, but the risk to human life remains immense. Undetected landmines and other abandoned explosive devices continue to kill and injure two people every week in Cambodia, deepening the poverty suffered by thousands of families by impeding their use of the land for farming.

Traditionally, teams of specialists from MAG, working on the ground in Cambodia, relied on a series of manual processes to collect, collate and share information in the field. Observations about search areas were recorded on paper and then typed into spreadsheets and reports at the base. Senior managers could not gain an overall picture of sites until the notes were collated and analysed centrally and, as a result, they were unable to make the rapid decisions required about how best to deploy resources.

“ Using ArcGIS, MAG can cover more ground, more quickly, enabling local communities to live safer lives, sooner

Shathel Fahs – Technical Field Manager, Team Leader, MAG

The Solution

MAG had been using Esri’s ArcGIS as a corporate geospatial information system (GIS) for many years, but the technology was used purely for recording data and generating maps. “Historically, GIS was about showing, on a map, the areas of land we had cleared,” says Greg Secomb, Global Information Systems Advisor, MAG. “We decided to start using GIS not only as a reporting tool, but also as an operational tool to help us improve our effectiveness in the field.”

Commencing in Cambodia, MAG in collaboration with HD R and D Program began to use ArcGIS Online and Collector App for ArcGIS to collect data in the field and make it instantly available to team leaders. “I know exactly where my teams are and how much ground they have cleared, without having to wait two months to get a map,” says Shathel Fahs, Technical Field Manager, Team Leader, at MAG. “It is so powerful to see the map progressing every day.”

At the same time, the organisation replaced all its paper-based reporting in the field in Cambodia with Survey123 for ArcGIS. Described by Fahs as “amazing”, this mobile survey app is used by 17 teams across the country to collect geo-referenced information on all unexploded ordnance (UXO) detected, in dual languages. The data collected is shared instantly via ArcGIS Online and is more accurate, as there is no risk of mistakes occurring during the re-typing of handwritten notes.

MAG now also uses drones in Cambodia to fly autonomously over contaminated areas and photograph the land, in high resolution. Using Esri’s Drones2Map for ArcGIS app, it then transfers these images directly to ArcGIS Online, where the information is instantly accessible to operatives working in the area. As a result, team leaders no longer have to rely on a visual assessment of the terrain, limited to the area that is within the range of their eyesight; instead they have a detailed understanding of the entire area, including beyond hills and within dense forests.

“ We have pioneered a new way of operating in Cambodia and are excited to roll it out to all our teams, working in over 20 other countries

Greg Secomb – Global Information Systems Advisor, MAG

The Benefits

Faster clearance of deadly explosive devices
MAG is now able to clear land and remove potentially deadly devices in Cambodia more quickly, as it has a far better understanding of the terrain. For instance, the insight gained from Drone2Map for ArcGIS allows team leaders to better anticipate when and where they will need mechanical clearing machinery and other specialised resources. Team leaders can also change plans and redirect their teams spontaneously, as ArcGIS Online gives them a rapid picture of the situation on the ground. “Using ArcGIS, MAG can cover more ground, more quickly, enabling local communities to live safer lives, sooner,” Fahs says.

Activities prioritised to alleviate poverty
The use of ArcGIS is also helping MAG to alleviate poverty in Cambodia. If a stretch of land is photographed by drone and identified by ArcGIS Online as being suitable for farming, MAG can prioritise the clearance of this area. As Fahs says, “Instead of just relying on informants for local knowledge, we can identify potential agricultural land ourselves. We can see the whole picture.”

Improved safety for mine clearance teams
With more accurate and current information available at base and in the field, MAG can make better decisions to help protect workers. The organisation can view historical data on ArcGIS Online and see how many devices were found in other similar areas and the density of them. It can then use this information to gauge the likely level of threat and ensure everyone in the team is fully briefed on what kinds of devices to expect.

A more productive and efficient global organisation
ArcGIS has undoubtedly improved the efficiency of MAG’s operations in Cambodia. Indeed, five people are now each saving up to two days effort a week because they no longer need to manually enter data into spreadsheets and databases. These productivity gains will soon be multiplied, as MAG is poised to introduce the same suite of ArcGIS products throughout its entire global organisation. “We have pioneered a new way of operating in Cambodia and are excited to roll it out to all our teams, working in over 20 other countries,” Secomb says.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

The Mighty Creatives

Expanding cultural education by making connections with maps

Having decided to use ArcGIS Online to build a mapping tool to promote and deliver its services, The Mighty Creatives utilised Esri UK’s ArcGIS Online Launchkit to get up and running quickly. This gave the charity the skills and confidence to make digital mapping a central element of its service offering.

Provided staff with the skills needed to create their own maps without external advice or expertise

Gave the team the confidence to exploit digital mapping as a tool to promote the charity’s services

Visualisation of its own data gave the charity new insight into operational information and processes

The Challenge

The charity, The Mighty Creatives, believe that creativity is vital to every child’s development and that, unfortunately, there are too many limited opportunities for children and young people to be creative and to play. Their mission is to change this and to achieve their goal they bring together schools, arts organisation, communities and businesses forging partnerships and enabling collaboration.

To support this creative drive, The Mighty Creatives needed a visual, easy to use, way of enabling organisations to easily discover other organisations working across the East Midlands.

The Mighty Creatives identified that ArcGIS Online from Esri UK could be used to create the solution they needed, but were unsure how to get started. The team had limited experience in geography or digital mapping and without any technical skills they lacked the confidence to move forward.

Furthermore, there were many important questions:

  • What data should we use?
  • How should that data be formatted, imported and managed?
  • How should we present the data in an interesting form?
  • How can we make the system easy to access?
  • How will the new tool work with our existing CRM system?

“ Within the first half an hour, the Esri Consultant swept away our confusion, so we could clearly see what we could do with ArcGIS online and where to start

Laurie Parsons – Development Coordinator (Arts Alliances) – The Mighty Creatives

The Solution

The Mighty Creatives found the answers in the form of an ArcGIS Online Launchkit from Esri UK. An Esri UK Consultant carried out the two-day program at The Mighty Creatives’ office, helping to get the new tool live in the shortest possible time. The Launchkit included support with the installation and configuration of the ArcGIS platform, demonstration of the capabilities of ArcGIS online, and advice and training on how to implement the new tool.

The Consultant put an additional focus on several key areas that were important to The Mighty Creatives:

  • Understanding how to present geographic information so that the visualisation accurately represents the underlying data, without distortion
  • The capabilities of different packages, such as ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS online, and which tools to use in different situations
  • How to use storymaps to create engaging online content and get across the story they wanted to tell

After the Launchkit was completed, The Mighty Creatives quickly built its first online mapping tool. Since then a further five searchable maps have been developed and the team have now started building storymaps. Future plans are increasingly challenging and sophisticated, including for example, demographic analysis to identify geographic distributions of demand and match these with local supply.

“ Working closely with our Esri consultant through the Launchkit instilled confidence in our abilities to create digital maps and use them to promote our service

Laura Bates – Development Manager (Arts Alliances) – The Mighty Creatives

The Benefits

Self sufficiency
The Esri UK Launchkit rapidly provided The Mighty Creatives with the skills needed to create their own maps without the need to call in external advice or expertise. This also gives them the foundations to take on future challenges.

Confidence
An organisation largely composed of artistic, creative and educational professionals with a lack of confidence in their knowledge of technology have now developed the confidence necessary to use and exploit digital mapping as a tool.

Insight
Through its own maps, The Mighty Creatives could see it its own information in a new light, prompting the team to question current processes, reflect on them and see new ways to operate.

Teamwork
Building the mapping tool was a shared learning experience, requiring input from across the team. This promoted buy-in from all parts of the organisation and made a positive contribution to the working environment.

Like many charities The Mighty Creatives needs to carefully manage its expenditure, so it can optimise its reach and impact; the investment in and ArcGIS Online Launchkit was therefore a relatively significant outlay. However, the charity believes that the experience has been exceptionally valuable and is helping the organisation forge new partnerships and drive collaboration.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

The RSPB

Helping new ideas to take flight

A longstanding customer of Esri UK, the RSPB engaged one of Esri UK’s Embedded Product Specialists to help  leverage more business value from its use of Esri’s ArcGIS Platform and put new ideas into action.  Now, the charity is equipped with a suite of innovative apps, as well as the skills and knowledge to develop new GIS solutions in-house, to support the charity’s critical conservation work.

Enhanced in-house GIS skills and knowledge

Accelerated project delivery

A strong basis for ongoing GIS innovation

The Challenge

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone ‘to give nature a home’. As a registered charity, it has a responsibility to its supporters to ensure that every donation it receives is wisely invested and fully optimised so that the organisation can help protect wildlife and the places where it lives.

For many years, the RSPB has used geographic information system (GIS) technology from Esri UK to help it map and understand complex factors, ranging from migration patterns to diminishing natural landscapes. The organisation has full access to the ArcGIS platform, through its license agreement, but realised that it wasn’t exploiting all of the advanced capabilities. It was keen to explore how it might make more optimal use of ArcGIS to create public-facing education resources, improve the efficiency of surveys in the field and raise the profile of key campaigns.

“ Having a specialist from Esri UK as a part of our team helped us realise what is possible with the latest ArcGIS technology.  We are now making far greater use of ArcGIS to support our conservation, education and fundraising activities

Adrian Hughes – Head of GIS Technical Services, the RSPB

The Solution

To meet these aspirations, the RSPB engaged a highly skilled Embedded Product Specialist (EPS) from Esri UK. As an expert in the ArcGIS Platform, the EPS was able to quickly set up ArcGIS Online for the RSPB and start not only designing, but also delivering a range of GIS apps and solutions. Embedded with, and managed by, RSPB staff, she became a highly valued member of the organisation’s GIS team for three days a week, over a twelve week period.

The EPS worked on a range of specific projects including:

  • The authoring of StoryMaps to showcase RSPB projects, particularly the adventures of Lazaros the Egyptian Vulture (map) and a Turtle Dove tracking exercise (map)
  • The deployment of Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123 for ArcGIS for bird monitoring and habitat mapping in the field using smartphones
  • The creation of an ‘ArcGIS Workspace’ on the RSPB’s internal portal, populated with best practice documentation and resources
  • The delivery of training courses, lunch-time knowledge-transfer sessions and other initiatives to improve the skills of the RSPB’s in-house team
  • Recommendations for how to further extend the use of the ArcGIS Platform and innovate with GIS

“ With the hands-on involvement of Esri UK’s specialist, we delivered this mobile survey solution in half the time that we might otherwise have needed to develop it in house

Adrian Hughes – Head of GIS Technical Services at the RSPB

The Benefits

The RSPB gained significant value from its appointment of an EPS. The long-term benefits include:

Greater return on GIS investment

With the support and guidance of the EPS, the RSPB is now gaining an enhanced return from its existing investment in ArcGIS. “GIS is a very fast-moving field,” says Adrian Hughes, Head of GIS Technical Services at the RSPB. “Having a specialist from Esri UK as a part of our team helped us realise what is possible with the latest ArcGIS technology. We are now making far greater use of ArcGIS to support our conservation, education and fundraising activities.”

Enhanced in-house skills and knowledge

Critically, the EPS brought up-to-date skills and knowledge to the RSPB and passed them on to members of staff, boosting their own competencies. She delivered a range of training courses, as well as focussed one-to-one, webinar and lunchtime sessions to help RSPB staff learn about, and put into practice, the latest capabilities of the ArcGIS Platform. She also led best practice and ‘tips and tricks’ discussions and created invaluable learning materials for the RSPB’s ‘ArcGIS Workspace’.

 Accelerated project delivery

In one project, the EPS used Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123 for ArcGIS – two tools that are included within the ArcGIS Platform – to create a mobile survey solution for the RSPB. The app is now being used by volunteers to collect data about an endangered seabird, the Little Tern, in the field on smartphones. “With the hands-on involvement of Esri UK’s specialist, we delivered this mobile survey solution in half the time that we might otherwise have needed to develop it in house,” Hughes says.

Improved citizen engagement

In another initiative, the EPS developed Story Maps to make RSPB data engaging for members of the public. For instance, the Story Map about Lazaros the Egyptian Vulture reached over 40,000 people via the RSPB’s social media channels and prompted positive responses from RSPB followers. Hughes notes, “The specialist showed us how quickly we can create captivating content to help engage the public and convey the urgency and importance of our conservation work.”

A platform for innovation in conservation

Particularly in the areas of web and mobile GIS, the EPS inspired the RSPB team to innovate. For instance, the EPS helped to test a drone-to-map solution that will, in the future, enable the RSPB to collect vital habitat data more cost effectively. Summing up, Hughes says, “Without doubt, our appointment of an EPS has helped us realise just how much we can do with GIS to support the vital work of the RSPB now and in the future.”

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Reducing costs and carbon emissions with a shared approach to training

To support its imminent migration to Esri’s ArcGIS platform, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council arranged for three members of staff to receive professional training from Esri UK. The local authority took advantage of Esri UK’s ‘Invite a Neighbour’ on-site training scheme to reduce its costs, minimise carbon emissions and gain fresh inspiration for new council services.


Case study – Training


The council saved over £1,600 on a training course for three delegates, while also reducing carbon emissions

Delegates improved their skills enabling them to develop new GIS web services

Joint training provided a collaborative forum for sharing ideas with other local GIS professionals

The Challenge

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was no stranger to Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology. Indeed, it had been using solutions from Esri UK for over twenty five years. The organisation was now in the process of migrating to Esri’s latest ArcGIS platform, to give it access to new, more versatile web- and cloud-based GIS services. It realised that this pivotal technology upgrade had the potential to significantly transform the way in which it used GIS to deliver services for citizens.

Given the vital importance of the new GIS platform, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council recognised that it would be beneficial for its GIS specialists to receive ArcGIS training. It wanted to ensure that it had the skills in-house to optimise its use of the new GIS platform, but, like all public sector organisations, it had a limited training budget. Consequently, it feared that the costs associated with paying for employees to travel to a training venue and providing overnight accommodation would make the training course prohibitively expensive.

“ At a time when councils are trying to make cost savings and lessen their carbon footprint, the ‘Invite a Neighbour’ training concept really makes sense

Robert Curtis – GIS Systems Administrator, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

The Solution

The council was already familiar with Esri UK’s on-site training courses, a pragmatic option for organisations looking for a more cost-effective way to train up to twelve employees. It liked the idea of being able to receive training at its own offices but, as it only planned to train three members of staff, it didn’t think this would be feasible. Then the Esri UK training team mentioned its ‘Invite a Neighbour’ programme, a scheme that makes it easy for GIS teams to invite other nearby businesses to join their on-site courses and share the costs and benefits of local, cost-effective training.

Through its participation in a networking group, ‘Hampshire GIS’, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was able to quickly establish that there were GIS professionals at other public sector organisations locally who were also interested in receiving ArcGIS training. Esri UK helped liaise with these organisations and handled all of the necessary course administration, maximising convenience for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as the host business.

Held in a meeting room at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s offices, the two-day course provided valuable instruction in how to use ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online to create a range of different web services and publish maps on the web. Twelve delegates from seven different organisations attended, and the experienced Esri UK trainer brought all the course materials and exercises pre-loaded on laptop computers.

“ We have gained both the inspiration and skills to advance our use of GIS in the future

Robert Curtis – GIS Systems Administrator, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Benefits

Cost savings for multiple organisations
The shared approach to training enabled seven public sector organisations to reduce the costs associated with training. Robert Curtis, the GIS Systems Administrator at Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, says, “When the cost of the course fees, avoided travel and accommodation for three delegates is taken into account, we estimate that we reduced our anticipated training expenditure by over £1,600. The other attending organisations would have made similar savings.”

Reduced carbon impact
The course also enabled the participating councils to minimise their impact on the environment. “At a time when councils are trying to make cost savings and lessen their carbon footprint, the ‘Invite a Neighbour’ training concept really makes sense,” says Curtis. “It enabled us to reduce our training costs, avoid unnecessary expenditure on accommodation and minimise our carbon impact by shortening journeys.”

Greater convenience for delegates
As the training was held at a location not far from any of the participating organisations, delegates were away from their offices for no longer than was absolutely necessary, without wasting any personal time. “When I did a different training session previously, I had to give up my Sunday afternoon to get there in time for Monday morning and didn’t get back until late on the Wednesday evening,” Curtis recalls. “With this course, no-one had to give up their free time, as it was much like a normal working day.”

Improved services for citizens and employees
Most importantly, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council now has the new GIS skills it needs, enabling it to commence the next chapter in the story of its long use of Esri GIS technology. Initially, the council plans to use the new features and capabilities of ArcGIS to redevelop a number of internal and external map viewers that will provide employees and the general public with improved access to local information.

Inspiration for the future
Curtis believes that the course helped to strengthen the local network of Esri users and gave everyone the opportunity to collaborate more closely with local government colleagues facing similar challenges. “As the other course participants were all people we knew, who worked for similar public sector organisations, the training course gave us a great opportunity to share ideas,” he says. “We have gained both the inspiration and skills to advance our use of GIS in the future.”

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Severn Trent Water: Training

Assuring data quality with comprehensive training

After taking the decision to upgrade a critical asset management system, Severn Trent Water asked Esri UK to train 30 employees in the use of this new GIS-based application. Esri UK delivered a bespoke, on-site course that boosted user competence and will help improve data accuracy.

The Customer

Severn Trent Water is one of the largest utility companies in the UK, delivering fresh water and providing sewerage services. It serves over eight million customers from the Bristol Channel to the Humber and from mid-Wales to the East Midlands.

Employees learned how to use the new GIS to undertake their job functions and discovered improved, ‘best practice’ ways of working

The thorough training has minimised potential for human error and consequently deliver the highest quality asset records

Esri UK’s cost-effective and convenient training was delivered on-site for 30 employees

The Challenge

Severn Trent Water first deployed geographic information system (GIS) technology 12 years ago to help it manage its water mains and sewer records. Over time, it gradually extended its use of GIS throughout its organisation and used Esri’s ArcGIS software to create a corporate GIS platform, known internally as GIS in Severn Trent (GISST). Today, GISST delivers asset data, map views and geospatial analysis capabilities to over 4,500 employees and underpins almost all of the organisation’s core business processes. “We cannot operate without GIS now,” says Severn Trent Water’s GIS manager Steve Allen.

One of the organisation’s most important GIS applications is GISSTupdate. This pivotal solution is used by the business to create records of underground pipework and other assets, as well as update records whenever assets are replaced. The information captured and maintained using GISSTupdate flows throughout the entire organisation and is used by everyone from senior managers to field-based engineers. It is therefore absolutely essential for employees to be able to use GISSTupdate effectively to create highly accurate records.

In October 2011, new legislation came into effect requiring water companies to take over responsibility for private drains and sewers across the UK. Severn Trent Water anticipated that its network of assets could increase by a massive 68%, from 54,000 km to 91,000 km, as a direct result of this act of parliament. To help it capture data about all of these new assets, the organisation decided to upgrade its GISSTupdate application and migrate it to the latest version of Esri’s ArcGIS technology.

Given the criticality of the GISST update application to the business, Severn Trent Water wanted to make sure that its employees could use the new GIS confidently and proficiently. It therefore called upon Esri UK to deliver a bespoke programme of training for over thirty people.

“ We cannot operate without GIS now

Steve Allen – GIS Manager, Severn Trent Water

The Solution

There was just a three-week window for the training to take place, so the course programme and schedule had to be meticulously planned. A certified trainer from Esri UK spent several days on site, assessing the current level of competency within the team, seeing how the legacy system was used and identifying skills gaps. He then devised a bespoke training programme, covering ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 and the ArcFM extension. The course materials were also tailored specifically for Severn Trent Water and included screen shots from both the legacy GISSTupdate application and the new one to aid understanding.

In total, over 30 employees received training in how to use the new solution. The courses were tailored to meet the needs of different people within the team, who ranged from new employees and temporary staff to highly experienced ‘power-users’. Some employees received two days of training, while others received up to four days of training, depending on their ability level and job requirements.

The training was delivered onsite, at Severn Trent Water’s offices, and incorporated lots of exercises, which gave users the opportunity to test their understanding and practice their skills. These exercises, as well as examples used in the training, were all based on Severn Trent Water’s own business data, which made them much more meaningful for the attendees.

“ The training has helped us to find and reinforce best practice ways of working

Steve Allen – GIS Manager, Severn Trent Water

Benefits

Esri UK delivered the training on schedule, within the three week migration period stipulated by the business. When the new GISSTupdate application went live, all employees in the team were able to perform their tasks competently. “The training has helped us to find and reinforce best practice ways of working,” Allen says. “Esri UK helped employees to understand why they needed to do activities in a certain way and how the software works.”

The company’s investment in thorough training will help to minimise human errors and ensure that asset records are created and updated accurately. “Data quality is very important in our business,” explains Allen. “We need accurate records not just to show us where our assets are, but also to support all our business planning activities and investment decisions. Having accurate asset information helps us develop our business and deliver a reliable and good service for our customers.”

The training provided by Esri UK was very cost effective for Severn Trent Water, because it enabled the company to provide highly relevant, customised training for less than the cost of sending 30 employees on standard courses. The company also saved money by eliminating the need to reimburse employees’ travel and accommodation expenses.

Allen believes that Severn Trent Water gained added value for money from the high quality, bespoke GISSTupdate training materials developed by Esri UK. “We can use these resources ourselves in house, to train new employees in the future,” he says.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Scania

Reaping the benefits of bespoke, on-site training

The vehicle supplier Scania commissioned a tailored, two-day training course from Esri UK to help gain the knowledge and skills required to develop a new GIS-based application for its sales teams. The training proved highly cost effective, convenient and relevant, meeting the business’s needs precisely.

The Customer

Scania is a major supplier of trucks, buses, coaches and engines for industrial and marine applications. The company also provides a wide range of complementary and ancillary support services through over 90 service centres across the country. In 2011, Scania’s share of the UK heavy truck market was 14% and its combined bus and coach market share amounted to 8.1%.

The bespoke training course covered the precise skills and techniques that the employees needed to develop the company’s new GIS application

Scania calculated that the bespoke training course was significantly less expensive than standard courses, particularly when it factored in time and travel costs

The on-site course meant that there was minimal disruption to the business, as employees did not need to be away from the office

The Challenge

Over recent years, Scania has been developing its use of business intelligence products with the aim of improving decision making right across the company. In the next stage of this initiative, it wanted to use geographic information systems (GIS) technology to develop a web-based solution to support its sales team and senior managers. It aimed to use GIS to display the locations of depots, dealer terrains, sales areas and key customers on interactive, digital maps and then give users the ability to drill down into these maps to view quotes, sales by area, revenues by customer and past and planned sales initiatives.

Scania had been using GIS for several years, but its existing GIS software did not have the capabilities necessary to meet the organisation’s objectives. The company therefore undertook a thorough evaluation of available GIS software and selected Esri’s ArcGIS system as its platform of choice. Many of the other software applications evaluated didn’t offer all of the functionality that the company required, such as the ability to measure and analyse drive times.

Employees within Scania’s market information team had the vision and technical skills to develop the new GIS-based business intelligence solution. However, they had no prior experience of using Esri solutions. Scania therefore decided to invest in training with Esri UK, to help its employees get up to speed as quickly as possible.

“ Scania’s existing GIS software did not have the capabilities necessary to meet the organisation’s objectives. The company therefore undertook a thorough evaluation of available GIS software and selected Esri’s ArcGIS system as its platform of choice

The Solution

Initially, the market information team considered attending four or five of the standard training courses offered by Esri UK. All of these courses had some elements that were highly relevant to the team’s goals and training requirements, but other elements covered in the courses were less pertinent for the company at this point in time.

Scania therefore decided to take advantage of Esri UK’s bespoke, on-site training service. It worked with Esri UK to design a two-day course that would cover precisely those skills and techniques that the team would need in order to successfully develop its new GIS solution. The company also arranged for its own business data to be used in examples and exercises during the training course.

The qualified trainer from Esri UK arrived at Scania’s offices on the first day with absolutely everything necessary to deliver the course including laptops already loaded with GIS software and Scania’s company data. There were no connection or IT compatibility issues, so the course could start promptly and proceed smoothly. During the two days, the course attendees had the opportunity to complete a number of different exercises, which helped them to embed their newly-acquired ArcGIS skills.

“ The trainer brought everything that was necessary for the course including laptops pre-loaded with ArcGIS technology and company data, ready to go. The high quality training we received will enable us to deliver a new application for the business that will drive our future sales

Simon Brown – Development Manager, Scania

Benefits

Scania is confident that Esri UK’s on-site instruction delivered good value for money. The bespoke training for two employees was around £2,000 less than the cost of sending two people on five separate courses. What is more, because the course was being delivered in-house for a fixed fee, Scania was able to involve a third employee, at no additional cost. Scania also saved money by avoiding the travel and accommodation expenses that would otherwise have been incurred by sending employees on standard training courses.

The employees saved a considerable amount of time as they did not need to be away from their desks for more than two days. They did not fall behind on other activities, and the impact of their absence on the business was lessened.

Most importantly, Scania’s employees received highly relevant, tailored training in precisely the skills they needed to create the new business application. Because the course employed data that they were already familiar with, the course attendees were able to easily understand the new GIS concepts and capabilities that the trainer demonstrated and get to grips with new techniques more quickly.

Scania’s employees now have the skills they need across ArcGIS Desktop, product extensions and ArcGIS Server. They are therefore all set to develop a fully customised GIS web service that will help improve the effectiveness of the company’s sales team. The organisation anticipates that its new GIS solution will enable sales managers to interpret and analyse existing data within the business more effectively. They will then be able to align sales activities with current and potential customers, to drive greater sales success and business growth.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Natural Resources Wales

Ensuring the sustainability of protected cockle beds

An on-site training course, designed and delivered by Esri UK, gave Natural Resources Wales the confidence to use GIS in a project to survey and manage protected cockle beds. The organisation can now analyse its survey results with greater accuracy, present data more clearly and make the best possible decisions to resolve the conflicting interests of fishermen and seabirds.

The Customer

Natural Resources Wales advises the Welsh Government about the environment in Wales, helping to ensure that all natural resources are maintained, enhanced and used in a sustainable way. The organisation consolidates activities previously carried out by the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales.

The use of ArcGIS, in place of spreadsheets, gives the fisheries team greater accuracy and consistency in the reporting of its cockle bed survey results

ArcGIS allows the cockle bed survey results to be presented in a more visual format, making the findings easier for different stakeholders to understand them

The onsite, tailored training course proved highly cost effective, as it was made available to multiple teams within the organisation

The Challenge

Tucked away in a corner of South Wales is a saltwater estuary that is a Special Protection Area of European significance. Called the Burry Inlet, it comprises over 4,000 hectares of mudflats, sand dunes and salt marshes. The region is home to millions of cockles, and commercial cockle fishing has taken place in the area for over a hundred years. However, cockles also provide a critical source of food for up to 13,000 overwintering birds including Oystercatchers, Knots, Shovelers and Pintails.

Natural Resources Wales is charged with managing these precious cockle beds and regulating fishing, to ensure that sufficient stock remains to nourish the internationally important wildfowl population. Twice a year, it collects sample data from 400 survey points throughout the estuary, calculates the biomass of cockles and uses this information to set fishing quotas called the Total Allowable Catch (TAC).

For many years, the organisation had tabulated the results of the survey in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Elsewhere in the organisation, however, geographic information system (GIS) technology was used with great success, and the fisheries management team recognised that it could use GIS to improve the calculation and presentation of its survey results. “GIS was undeniably the way forwards,” says Dave Tavner, technical officer for the fisheries management team at Natural Resources Wales. “We had used GIS previously, but we were a bit unsure about how to get started in using it for our cockle surveys.”

“ The GIS method is less open to mistakes and gives us greater confidence in our calculations. Once the parameters are set correctly, the analysis is run with a few clicks of the mouse

Dave Tavner – Technical Officer, Fisheries Management Team, Natural Resources Wales

The Solution

Natural Resources Wales approached Esri UK and arranged a one-day, tailored training course, to be delivered at the organisation’s own premises. The course was designed specifically to cater for the needs of the fisheries department and the trainer focused on showing the cockle fisheries team precisely those tools and techniques that would enable them to replace spreadsheets and transform their existing survey process.

Natural Resources Wales already had an Enterprise License Agreement with Esri UK for the use of Esri’s ArcGIS platform. The fisheries team therefore did not need to make any additional investment in software, in order to be able to develop its new GIS application.

Following the training course, Dave Tavner and his colleagues were able to use GIS to help them collate, analyse, calculate and present their survey results. The team took advantage of Esri’s Spatial Analyst extension, in particular, and employed tools such as ‘zonal statistics’ to accurately calculate the cockle biomass. In addition, the team used the GIS application to create visualisations of the estuary, including ‘hot spot maps’ showing those areas with the highest density of cockles.

“ Esri UK’s onsite training gave us the confidence to push ahead with a new approach to cockle management. GIS is now helping us to quantify the cockle population and take appropriate steps to meet the needs of fishermen and birds alike

Dave Tavner – Technical Officer, Fisheries Management Team, Natural Resources Wales

Benefits

The use of ArcGIS gives the cockle fisheries team greater accuracy and consistency in the reporting of its survey results. “The GIS method is less open to mistakes and gives us greater confidence in our calculations,” says Tavner. “Once the parameters are set correctly, the analysis is run with a few clicks of the mouse.”

What is more, ArcGIS enables the organisation to present its survey results in a far more visual and attractive format on digital maps, which are much easier for people to understand. “The hot spot maps that we can produce using ArcGIS are particularly effective,” Tavner says. “They help us to justify our decision to allow cockle fishing in a European marine conservation area.”

The onsite training delivered by Esri UK was of a very high quality and – being tailored to the organisation’s needs – gave the team precisely the skills they needed to use GIS in a new way. “Having training that was specific to our job was really helpful,” admits Tavner. “It showed us new techniques for achieving our goals.”

He adds: “Esri UK’s onsite training gave us the confidence to push ahead with a new approach to cockle management. GIS is now helping us to quantify the cockle population and take appropriate steps to meet the needs of fishermen and birds alike.”

Because the Esri UK trainer came to Natural Resources Wales’ own offices, Tavner was able to invite colleagues from the hydro-acoustic fisheries assessment department to participate too. The course was therefore highly cost effective and delivered benefits to a larger number of employees, some of whom may not otherwise have had the opportunity to access GIS training.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Natural England

Achieving strategic goals following bespoke training

After making the decision to standardise on Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop solution throughout its entire organisation, Natural England commissioned Esri UK to deliver bespoke training for 428 employees. The course delivered was both cost effective and highly relevant to multiple users and their varied job roles


Case study – Training


The Customer

Natural England advises the government on the best ways to protect and improve England’s natural environment. It works with farmers, landowners, businesses and local groups to ensure the sustainable use of land and sea, and encourages people to enjoy their surroundings.

Being uniquely tailored to Natural England, the course helped give employees a better understanding of the data and resources within the organisation

The course received excellent feedback from employees, 90% of whom stated that it provided the necessary knowledge for them to use ArcGIS Desktop in their work

Natural England believes that Esri UK’s bespoke training was more cost effective than standard courses or training developed in-house

The Challenge

Natural England was founded in 2006 from the merger of the Countryside Agency, English Nature and the Rural Development Service. Each of these three organisations used different geospatial information system (GIS) solutions to support many programmes of work. Natural England inherited not only a mix of disparate GIS applications, but also distinct teams of employees with different skill sets.

This lack of uniformity led to a number of challenges for Natural England. In the IT department, significant amounts of time were consumed preparing spatial data in alternate formats for different systems, and maintenance of the disparate GIS systems was unnecessarily complex. In addition, new employees often had to be trained in multiple systems, while existing employees couldn’t easily transition into new roles.

To remedy the problem, Natural England made the strategic decision to consolidate all its spatial data and applications on a single GIS platform, Esri’s ArcGIS. “GIS is absolutely pivotal to the majority of our work,” explains Simon Coleman, GIS analyst at Natural England. “Our aim was to build a geographically literate organisation and bring everyone together under one GIS system.”

The first challenge was to up-skill 400 GIS users with different backgrounds to a common level of understanding. These users fulfilled a huge range of job roles from managing nature reserves to monitoring soil erosion and implementing EU-funded farming schemes. “Our employees’ skill sets were really varied,” says Coleman. “Different teams used different GIS packages in different ways to fulfil niche roles. As part of our migration to ArcGIS, we had to organise a comprehensive programme of training that would meet the needs of everyone.”

The second challenge was to arrange 39 courses across England, from Exeter and Kendal to Newcastle and Ashford.

“ Different teams used different GIS packages in different ways to fulfil niche roles. As part of our migration to ArcGIS, we had to organise a comprehensive programme of training that would meet the needs of everyone

Simon Coleman – GIS analyst at Natural England

The Solution

Natural England commissioned Esri UK to design and deliver a bespoke, on-site training course for ArcGIS Desktop. The organisation wanted Esri UK to repeat the course on different dates and at different locations, so that its employees could choose to attend whenever and wherever it was most convenient. Consequently, the course had to be flexible enough to meet the needs of all employees, no matter what their experience or job role.

The Migrating to ArcGIS Desktop Foundation course designed by Esri UK covered a wide range of skills from querying, selecting and finding features to analysing habitat data. It was tailored to Natural England’s business and used the organisation’s own data as part of examples and exercises. In total, Esri UK trained 428 employees in 39 separate training sessions, over the course of eight months.

“ Esri UK designed and delivered bespoke training to meet the needs of over 400 employees with diverse skills and job roles. The course was cost effective, professional and relevant to our business

Phillipa Swanton – Principal Adviser, Geographic Literacy, Natural England

Benefits

The success of Natural England’s single-platform GIS strategy hinged on the success of its training programme. Put simply, if employees couldn’t transition effectively to ArcGIS, all the benefits and cost-savings of consolidation would not be achieved. Fortunately, however, the training was highly effective, paving the way for the organisation to achieve its strategic goals.

Feedback from delegates was extremely positive, and GIS novices and experienced users alike reported that the course met their needs. In a survey completed following the conclusion of the training, 90% of employees stated that the course provided them with the necessary knowledge to use ArcGIS Desktop in their work.

Because the course was bespoke, Esri UK was able to incorporate training on how and where spatial data is held within Natural England. “Often employees aren’t aware of how much data we hold and how to access it,” Coleman says. “The training gave us a really good opportunity to improve employees’ knowledge of the range of resources available and how to use them effectively.”

The training provided was significantly less expensive than alternative options. If Natural England had sent its employees on standard, open courses instead, the cost per head would have been far greater, plus additional expenses for travel and accommodation may have been incurred. Equally, the organisation estimates that it would have had to have invested 60 days of staff time to develop course materials from scratch and deliver the course itself, in-house.

Now the training is complete, Natural England is all set to reap the benefits of consolidation. Employees can move easily between departments and roles, share data and work more collaboratively – without encountering skills barriers. Natural England will also no longer have to license and manage multiple systems which will deliver sustainable, long-term financial savings. It only has to maintain its numerous data sets in one format, which will save around 200 days of time. Furthermore, the organisation estimates that it could reduce software licensing and IT support costs by as much as a third.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform