Using FME and Tableau to Make Better Decisions

For over 20 years Sweco has been involved in developing software for the maintenance of infrastructure and terrains ( Obsurv is a used for making an inventory of the assets of an organization (using GIS), for technical inspections and planning and budgeting of maintenance. Typical assets which are managed with Obsurv are roads, traffic systems, sewer systems, civil construction or trees and green areas. Decision Support Dashboard Inspired by a webinar (August 2016) from Safe about preparing mapping data for Tableau, Sweco NL has evaluated Tableau and we got so enthusiastic that we immediately have used it for the creation of a dashboard. This dashboard supports the decision making process in a municipality for the budgeting of road maintenance. Since a budget is never sufficient to solve all the needed maintenance, this dashboard helps our clients to prioritize the part of the roads where risks are the highest due to the technical condition of the road. Workspace created in FME The workspace itself is primarily focused on calculations. We use formulas based on a research performed by Sweco and Twente University in The Netherlands. The original research was performed using calculations in Excel after exporting data from the user interface in Obsurv. The power of FME is that it provides us with all the necessary tools to directly perform the calculations and transformations on data extracted from the database itself. The road manager can change his own parameters for the calculations using Excel. This allows us to get the desired output for Tableau directly from FME Server removing all the additional steps that were needed before. Especially the SQLCreator and the Attribute Manager are powerful transformers for this workspace. They give us the best access to all the required data and can make all the translations that are normally made in a complex application. When this is done, all that is left is creating the right output for Tableau. We choose Tableau because, in our opinion, it is simply the best tool to create dashboards that are clear and easy to use for customers with an excellent spatial and non spatial component. Most other tools focus on the statistical output without a map. However in our work-area maps provide very important data. They say: ‘’A picture is worth a thousand words’’, we think a good map can say even more!
Presentation Details

Henri Veldhuis

Co Presenter:
Jurgen Van Tiggelen (Sweco Nederland B.V.)

Presenter Company:
Sweco Nederland B.V.

FME International User Conference 2017