Insights for Water Utilities – Data Discovery and Exploration

Insights for ArcGIS is a new web-based application that helps you integrate spatial intelligence with your organization’s data.  Whether it is looking at adoption of rebate programs or analyzing your main breaks, insights allows you to answer questions quickly and present those answers in a clear and concise manner.  In this blog, we will be focusing on changing your thinking on how you look at and explore your data.  This will allow you to discover patterns and trends in your own data in ways that were not easily possible before.

Discover Your Data Through Exploration

Insights enables a new facet of analysis to GIS, known as data exploration.  Traditionally, GIS analysis followed a model of ‘input some data, output a result.’ The trouble is, that model doesn’t always scale to big datasets containing millions or even billions of records.  It is becoming more common for organizations to have so much data that they don’t know what patterns might lie within.  In other words, there may be a lot of steps between your data and the answers you seek, and Insights for ArcGIS is the tool that can help reveal the questions you should ask to get there.  Because data exploration is a new concept for many GIS professionals, there are some considerations to be aware of when getting started:

Get your data ducks in a row

Adding Data to Insights

Depart from traditional GIS analysis rules and habits

Creating relationships in Insights

Experiment, stumble, fall, and learn in the process

With these guidelines, you can start to discover trends and patterns using Insights for ArcGIS that may have been difficult or onerous to uncover using traditional GIS methods.  Through the power of tying your non-spatial data to your spatial data, you can begin to answer questions based off of data coming from multiple sources and business systems. Check out the story maps here to see what other water utilities are doing with Insights for ArcGIS.

In our next Insights for Water Utilities blog we will be taking the guidelines we covered in this blog and using them to apply powerful analysis to data.  You’ll see how to answer business questions that can help you run your organization more efficiently and effectively.

For help getting started, see Esri’s Getting Started with Insights for ArcGIS training class.

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