Oral Presentation NCGRT/IAH Australasian Groundwater Conference 2019

Clever Communication: Applying data analytics and dashboards to communicate groundwater quality data (273)

Alice L. Drummond 1 , Christian M. Borovac 1
  1. DiscoverEI, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

This study presents a range of case studies which apply the latest business intelligence tools to process, analyse and visualise groundwater quality data through interactive dashboards, to quickly communicate trends and statistics for groundwater quality compliance monitoring.  

Historical groundwater quality data from ‘messy’ Excel workbooks was collated and processed into a centralised database within Microsoft Power BI, the world’s leading Business Intelligence platform. Data cleansing was performed through the PowerQuery tool to automate common data cleansing tasks such as unit conversion, outlier detection and identified limits of detection. Interactive dashboards were developed within the Power BI Desktop tool, combining dynamic maps, groundwater level hydrographs, water quality data, box and whisker plots and key statistics. Water quality data was compared against various guideline values to highlight exceedances reflecting non-compliance. By incorporating DiscoverEI’s own Power BI Custom Visual, the geological logs for the groundwater bores were dynamically displayed, providing additional context for analysing and interpreting results. The reports were published online, shared with clients and groundwater managers via the cloud and mobile platforms, and updated in real-time.  

The results from this study is a suite of interactive groundwater quality reporting dashboards which provide an alternative to the traditional written compliance reports, which can be used to help manage and communicate groundwater quality data.  

The data analytics and visualisation tools presented in this study have broad and wide-ranging applications across the groundwater and environmental industries. These tools can be used to both streamline data processing and improve communication, facilitating a culture of data driven decision making to help manage the future sustainability of our groundwater resources.