Improving the flow of information with business analytics

Rijkswaterstaat drives better decisions and boosts long-term savings

Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, is responsible for public works and water management, including the construction and maintenance of waterways and roads. With a long history of providing clean water and ensuring the roads are safe for traffic, the agency uses SAS® Business Analytics to improve the flow of operational information to optimize management processes.

With multiple information systems for the primary road, waterway and water networks, Rijkswaterstaat required an integrated view of all of its services to support optimized decision making and the management of public works and water services. To solve the problem, the Dutch agency built the Network Management Information System (NIS) using SAS Business Analytics.

Insight into the underlying data makes work more efficient and will help save money in the long run.

Jacorien Wouters
NIS Program Manager

"In recent years, the ministry implemented a more business-oriented approach to the management of public works and water management, creating more collaboration based on service level agreements," explains Jacorien Wouters, NIS Program Manager. "This new relationship between the ministry and agency involved clear agreements based on a cycle of 'plan, do, check and act' and required clear-cut reporting."

Reports must answer questions like: How many kilometers of highway is the agency responsible for? Is there sufficient sand in supply?

Before SAS, such questions could not be immediately answered, although they represented a huge part of the budget. "Currently, the standard reports in NIS can answer 80 percent of the questions that need to be answered," Wouters says. "For the rest, we use SAS analytical tools to answer the more complex questions."

Bringing data together

While overall public works and water management information was available before, it was spread among various information systems for more than 10 different regional services. In addition, all of those services collected and stored information differently.

For example, there were different ways of measurement for mapping the road system, such as in meters, kilometers or surface area. With the NIS, every region now uses consistent definitions, and all information about the primary road and waterway networks and water system is made available in a unified way.

"Insight into the underlying data makes work more efficient and will help save money in the long run," Wouters says. "In addition, the easy method of reporting saves time and enhances productivity. There are no more debates about definitions. In addition, employees who used to spend too much time collecting data for reporting can now generate reports in a few minutes."

As the official data source of the agency, the NIS is used by every employee – from the Director General who allocates budget to project managers responsible for operational activities. And, using the NIS, the Asset Management Department can regularly report on the status of the 24 key performance indicators – known as PINS – related to the agency's service level agreements.

"Take the PIN for roadway incidents response time, for example. On essential roads, our staff must be on location within 15 minutes 80 percent of the time," says Ronald Perluka, an agency business advisor. "With the help of NIS, we can focus on the PINs with greater objectivity and specificity."

The benefits of user-friendliness

"The number of users has increased by 70 percent," continues Perluka. "Now that access to information is simpler, regions are coming closer together to learn from each other."

According to Wouters, the NIS platform is also suited for the future integration of other source systems, such as the Traffic Information and Recommendations project, which will provide a better understanding of things such as traffic intensity.

"Once we combine this information with NIS in the future, Rijkswaterstaat will be able to operate with an even greater focus on service to the public," concludes Wouters.

Challenge

Gain an integrated view of public works and water services for better decision making

Solution

SAS® Business Analytics

Benefits

  • Long-term savings through more efficient reporting.
  • Improved KPI tracking.
  • Easier access to more users.

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