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GIS Governance 101 with FME by Consortech

GIS governance is critical to any GIS roadmap. How can you do this with FME? Find out more in this inaugural blog post in our Safe Partners' Blog Series featuring Consortech.
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Safe Software would like to highlight our partners and their achievements in this new Partner Blog Series. To kick off our Partner Blog Series, we have invited Consortech to share their knowledge about GIS governance and FME.

Consortech is Safe Software’s only Platinum Partner in North America. It is an organization that has in-depth FME knowledge since 1999. Consortech envisions and plans the implementation of FME technology in a journey towards Geospatial Excellence through its Performance Kits. Each kit represents a packaged service, carried out in collaborative mode, including a succession allowing a logical trajectory, aiming at generating tangible results as well as instilling best practices. These Performance Kits include the Ignition Kit, Automation Kit, Orchestration Kit and Governance Kit.

Consortech experts strive to help organizations access smart data and achieve GIS governance so they can make better decisions for their communities. GIS governance is an integral step to attaining Geospatial Excellence and here is how and why.

computer showing a checklist to demonstrate the checklist you need to tick to achieve data governance and GIS governance

What is Data Governance and Why is it Important?

Before jumping to GIS Governance, let’s take a look at data governance. According to this article, data governance is the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity and security of the data in enterprise systems, based on internal data standards and policies that also control data usage. Effective data governance ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy. This assures that data doesn’t get misused. It’s increasingly critical as organizations face new data privacy regulations and rely more and more on data analytics to help optimize operations and drive business decision-making.

What is GIS Governance and Why is it Important?

GIS governance is defined as the processes and actions required to manage the planning, design, implementation, and on-going innovative use and maintenance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. GIS governance is critical to any GIS roadmap. Having objectives for your system of control makes decision making more effective.

How can you use FME to Achieve Data & GIS Governance?

For organizations that manage spatial data, chances are they have both a Data Governance policy and a GIS Governance policy. In this blog post, we will focus on the GIS case only.

For example, Matthew Lewin of Esri offers a GIS-specific vision with a GIS Governance Framework including 6 main domains. The FME data integration platform makes it possible to improve four of them.The 6 main domains are:

1. Strategy Domain

The contribution of technology is not directly involved in this area. Rather, it is the area where short-term and long-term goals are determined, the optimal organizational structure is defined, and progress against plan is monitored.

2. Platform Domain:

The choice to use a data integration platform like FME, perfectly adapted to GIS, should go without saying. Indeed, interoperability is one of the keys both to facilitate integration between multiple applications, and to automate the flow of data within the GIS department as well as their dissemination within the entire organization and its stakeholders.

3. Data Domain:

FME fits perfectly into this area, both to facilitate data and metadata validation, to monitor data processes and to alert stakeholders in the event of deficiencies.

4. Workforce Domain:

GIS requires unique skills and competencies across a range of technologies and disciplines. This means that effective GIS governance takes into account skills development. The adoption of low-code technology  such as FME fosters the development of a more versatile workforce.

5. Delivery domain:

Governance in the field of delivery establishes an effective GIS operation. The specific governance processes included in this area are service management, communications, business needs and change management.

6. Investment domain:

The final game for GIS Governance is an answer to the question, where do we invest our resources? Effective GIS governance provides a mechanism to prioritize investment decisions and track progress. FME and Consortech help the organization find the right balance between the five pillars that can impact GIS governance. This means that decision-makers need to put acquisition and technology options into perspective and consider optimization and skills development as part of effective GIS governance.

image showing a robot working on a computer. this image is used to show how GIS governance can be automated via FME

What does an FME Governance Framework Look Like?

FME Governance is part of a GIS governance strategy. Much like the 6 areas of GIS Governance in the previous section, FME governance is based on a three-tenet approach to building a solid governance plan. The axes are:

1. Technology

  • Architecture and configurations aligned with the organization’s GIS and IT standards
  • Strategies to simplify the upgrade of your FME server environments
  • Optimized workspaces and engine usage strategy to improve the performance of your FME Server environment

2. Standards

  • A consistent framework for using FME (documentation and classification standards, development methods, and Workspace versioning rules)
  • A process monitoring and validation strategy
  • Use rules that consider all information security and confidentiality requirement

3. People

  • An analysis of the skills of each member of your team
  • Shared roles and responsibilities, both for platform administrators and for data and process owners
  • Competency upgrade plans and onboarding strategies for each role

How does FME Governance help achieve better GIS governance?

We have demonstrated that FME enhances four of the six main domains of good GIS governance. FME governance itself improves performance in data dissemination and mitigates business risks related to processing failures and information security. The organization can also maximize its productivity through automation and reduce the loss of time caused by the lack of standards in the use of FME.

consortech team in a boardroom meeting discussing GIS governance

Consortech & FME

Founded in 1989, Consortech is a leader in geospatial data integration, processing and automation Consortech helps public and private entities improve their geospatial performance by mastering FME technology.

Consortech’s FME-certified professionals create intelligent connections between systems, databases and business units to open up new opportunities and unlock the full potential of data. We help geomatics and IT teams save time, resources and money by eliminating manual tasks and data silos.

With its FME Governance offering, Consortech plans to work jointly with Safe Software to position FME as a must-have technology within GIS departments. More specifically, we want to help GIS leaders use FME to enhance their ArcGIS environment, support GIS governance rules and break down silos with other IT-supported applications.”

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