Crossing the Chasm from the Old to the New: Internal Change Agents Give Northern Territory the Edge on Insightful Water Data

Nicole Nally - Aquatic Informatics , 26 February, 2021

Aquatic Informatics

Turning real-time data into actionable insights is easier said than done when faced with an aging hydrological data management system. Add the continual demand for new regulatory reporting, and you have gone from a nudge to a shove in terms of updating your legacy system to a modern cloud data management system.  At least this was the case for the Northern Territory Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security, that recently had to cross this chasm – from the old to the new.

Getting the whole organisation on board was driven by the department’s Water Data Systems Manager, Aidan Smith. He believed that in order to have a successful migration, the team needed to be involved in choosing the new system. Understanding their needs and wants was the first step to engagement in the process. From there, he developed a technology roadmap followed by a business case that validated the urgency for the need to change.  There was no more time to just think about it.

The integration took 3 months, and the NT’s Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security now has a modern system that all stakeholders can reliably access through a web portal.  Most importantly, they have gone from laborious coding and manual data entry—that was unreliable and sometimes inaccurate—to having automated workflows with powerful processing tools that give actionable insights in real-time.

Read the full story of this undertaking to understand that the crossing—while challenging—is worth it!