Digital transformation can make your life easier, yields better data, and helps you make better, data-driven decisions for the future.
In order to explain to you why the stormwater industry is in desperate need of a digital transformation, I first need to tell you a little bit about me.
Why I’m Passionate About Digital Transformation
I recently moved from my role as Senior Scientist and Customer Success Lead at 2NDNATURE Software to a new position: Product Manager. I’ve spent the last five years in the field collecting water quality data and doing GIS analysis, as well as using our software, training customers, and learning where the real problems lie in stormwater management. And while I love digging into the science of stormwater management, what I’m most excited about right now is the huge impact digital transformation can have on stormwater management.
See if this sounds familiar: Your stormwater management program has grown up over decades in siloed departments. It probably doesn’t have the luxury of its own budget line item or even dedicated staff. You’re using whatever resources your department or municipality happens to have on hand. And as a result, everything is complicated. You’ve got paper forms and Access databases, and the data analysis and annual reporting are a huge chore.
This is what digital transformation can fix. Digital transformation means using new technologies to update your existing processes and workflows. Out go those paper forms and disconnected databases; in comes a new system that lets you do what you actually need to do. It’s a system-level approach, and it replaces those deep-rooted but outdated processes that make your life so difficult.
Collect Better Data
Digital transformation doesn’t just make your processes cleaner: it gives you better data. You likely already have access to a GIS platform like Esri, so you have the capability to build field and web mapping applications. When you go digital, the smart forms you create — and that field users complete on tablets and phones, right there in the field — standardize that data. Your field users now collect data in the same, repeatable way every time, because it’s built into the process.
Over time and across town, you’ll be able to compare apples to apples, and really understand what’s happening to stormwater around your region. You can gain insights about program metrics that you couldn’t even track before. You’ll be using real data to answer important questions like, “How long is it taking to close out an investigation?” or “Which developer has the greatest number of violations?”
Make Better Decisions, Based on Data
Digital transformation makes your life easier and gives you better insights, right away. It also helps you make better decisions for the future. Those data and insights allow you to comply effectively with your MS4 permit and the Clean Water Act, and it can help you unlock future funding to meet additional program goals.
To me, the best way forward to better stormwater management, EPA compliance, and cleaner water for all of us is through digital transformation. That’s why I’m excited for my new role: so I can focus on making our software meet your stormwater management needs.