Driving Decisions With Data Dashboards: Weaving a HydroWebbed Data Dashboard
Harnessing the power of data throughout the project life cycle
Across Tetra Tech’s markets, nearly all clients share the need for actionable information that can drive decision making. Big data began bursting onto the scene some 25 years ago, inundating our information-hungry clients with megabytes and gigabytes of facts and figures that soon became a flood of petabytes and zettabytes. Managers thirsty for relevant intelligence were drowning in oceans of data, wondering what was important, what was essential, and what was urgent information.
In response to the need for timely and relevant information that can be analyzed, Tetra Tech employees from many facets of engineering, science, and technology began to apply methodologies to identify, analyze, and report mission-critical information. This article explores some of the ways we are Leading with Science® by using innovative data analytics techniques and digital dashboards—tools that integrate, display, and analyze key data—to help our clients gain insights that allow them to improve customer service and efficiency, make decisions in real time, and even use predictive analytics to steer toward the best future outcome.
Weaving a HydroWebbed data dashboard
The most effective dashboards transform complexity into simplicity, so managers can stay abreast of rapidly changing conditions. Tetra Tech software expert Jean-François Pouliot helped to design HydroWeb, a data dashboard that monitors water and sewer flows, identifies line breaks, predicts overflows, anticipates the impact of heavy rains, and projects water quality conditions over the next 24 hours.
“We designed HydroWeb to link various types of operational and hydraulic data within a web-based GIS interface for monitoring, prediction, and analysis,” Jean-François said. “The system includes data acquisition and archiving from public and private sources such as water stations, hydrometrics stations, and city equipment. HydroWeb integrates the data on a customized dashboard linked to GIS maps and features such as water or sewer system schematics, email or text message warning notifications, and access to archived data, depending on client needs.”
HydroWeb monitors real-time rainfall progression through updates of radar images, rain gauge data, and video feeds and analyzes rainfall return periods and other parameters. The program transforms the raw data it receives into actionable information that decision makers can use.
The platform is designed to be flexible for multiple projects and users, including operations and maintenance departments, civil security agencies, engineering departments, and legal affairs users such as insurance companies. “We can build a system to monitor and manage just about anything dependent on time-series databases,” Jean-François said. “We have been doing mostly sewer system work—capacity monitoring, sewer overflow prediction and analysis, and so on—but there are lots of possibilities.”
HydroWeb debuted in Quebec City in 2007 and has grown in both capability and geographic reach. Jean-François notes that the team’s Canadian and U.S. sewer and water practice is very busy. They have designed a version for beach bacteria monitoring, are talking with clients interested in air quality, and have been working on a proposal for monitoring data at large landfills.
Driving HydroWeb’s popularity is its ability to integrate reams of Tetra Tech-normalized data from a wide range of sources. “People everywhere have lots of data coming at them, and they want to track it in a way that’s organized and efficient, and notifies them when things are not going right,” Jean-François said. “We can tailor an approach that meets their needs. We save them time, and we save them money. They like that.”
Learn more at hydroweb.tetratech.com.
The volume of data generated in our industry grows every day. Our challenge is to sift through vast data sets, identify critical information needed to make meaningful decisions, and present that information in a simplified, usable format. Throughout its markets—from disaster recovery to water, environment, energy, aviation, and beyond—Tetra Tech helps clients harness the power of their data to boost success throughout project life cycles.