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  • For the first time, we have a single integrated system that provides the solutions we need across the business and access to the most up-to-date information including Ordnance Survey products.

    Steve Pennell, Director of Information and Systems, The Coal Authority

The Coal Authority (TCA) is part of the UK Government and works to protect both the public and the environment in coal-mining areas. it manages the effects of past coal mining and reports on current mining, to promote public safety and safeguard the environment – now and for future generations.

The challenge

A variety of end-of-life point solutions were used to deliver services from islands of data across TCA’s enterprise. This was both costly and limited the organisation’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions and predicted volumes of business. It was also time-consuming to provide services, such as high-quality safety advice and detailed mapping-based reports, as corporate knowledge was contained in information silos and processes to extract that information were manual.

The challenge facing TCA was to make its data more widely available while continuing to effectively manage public safety and environmental issues, utilising the most up–to-date systems and software from SciSys and data services from Ordnance Survey.

The solution

TCA commissioned SciSys to supply an enterprise information service, known as ‘Inferis’, to facilitate smarter working via corporate data-sharing and service reuse. This spans the entire software life cycle – from analysis to support – with a centralised spatially-enabled database serving all functions. One of the key requirements was to integrate OS OnDemand a web map service from Ordnance Survey that delivers the most accurate and detailed data directly into the Inferis infrastructure.

SciSys worked closely with TCA to understand its corporate business processes and policies, considering each in isolation. These were then translated into the minimum number of generic capabilities and provided as reuseable services. This included the innovative approach of embedding suitably-configured mapping data and geographical information system (GIS) services within business workflow steps.

Previously-isolated pools of data are now accessible via the reuseable services from a spatially-enabled database. This significantly empowers the business and makes the most of its assets, as all information on a site is available in one system. The same services are reused in all aspects of the business, from web-based customer self-service to forensic geospatial analysis of corporate data by TCA specialists.

The benefits

  • Easier provision of high-quality advice based on the latest data thanks to a single source of mining data, information and knowledge serving all parts of the business.
  • A new public-facing online property search facility that allows users to ascertain whether mining activity has impacted a particular property.
  • Reduced data management costs, infrastructure costs and overheads as a result of using OS OnDemand in the solution.
  • Minimum effort in reacting to new regulatory needs and market opportunities, thereby future-proofing the national coal-mining database for at least eight years, removing risks to the housing market, which relies on it for subsidence information.
  • Reduction in public safety risk profile from ability to prioritise site visits to those posing maximum risk.

The products used

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