How data analytics is minimising risk in Victoria

Sustainability Victoria Hazardous Waste Case Study

Sustainability Victoria supports Victorians to be more sustainable in their everyday lives; in our homes and our jobs; in our schools and communities and in the systems and infrastructure that support a thriving Victorian economy and lifestyle.

Overview

Hazardous waste can pose a potential risk to environmental and human health when not managed appropriately.

Sustainability Victoria (SV) work in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and the seven Waste and Resource Recovery Groups (WRRGs), collectively known as the Waste & Resource Recovery Portfolio (Portfolio), to achieve their obligations under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to lead state-wide waste and resource recovery planning.

Hazardous waste can pose a potential risk to environmental and human health when not managed appropriately. The Victorian Government is committed to improving planning for hazardous waste and hazardous waste infrastructure. DELWP is leading a Portfolio project with SV and the EPA to develop a research base to support the strategic planning of hazardous waste management in Victoria. Accurate and consistent data that can be collected, centralised and used across the Portfolio is central to this.

Challenge

EPA is responsible for the regulation of hazardous waste in Victoria. As such it collects data related to the transportation of hazardous waste. SV is responsible for the strategic development and infrastructure requirements for the management of hazardous waste.

Whilst SV had access to the data from EPA, it was difficult and time consuming to analyse in its existing form.
SV also had a hazardous waste projection model to enable prediction of future hazardous waste infrastructure needs.

The data and projection model were in technologies that did not allow for easy analysis and did not provide adequate coverage for future business needs.

SV had a range of challenges that needed to be solved.

  1. Improve the management of the collection, sharing and use of data related to hazardous waste
  2. Provide easy sharing and quick analysis of data
  3. Make it easy to use for reporting and analysis, catering for a variety of business needs and users
  4. Allow the profiling of data, trends and forecasting relating to Victoria’s hazardous waste system
  5. Allow for easy investigation of opportunities to improve the management of hazardous waste in Victoria

Solution

The methods for projecting waste arisings can be complicated and involve a lot of data inputs.

A key challenge in developing the solution was balancing the complexity of the project with the ability to maintain the solution in the future.

In addition to working in collaboration with SV, Data Agility worked with an external waste expert, who developed the core forecasting logic for the new projection model. Utilising Data Agility’s solution delivery services, including data quality, data preparation, dashboard and visualisation development and analytical services, Data Agility created a user-friendly, browser based dashboard and projection model application that is accessible to all SV staff.

The solutions are based on the Microsoft stack of technologies, in particular the Microsoft Azure platform, Microsoft SQL Server and PowerBI.

The collaborative approach to undertaking the work is seen as central to the success of the project which overcame the complex nature of the data and business requirements.

Results

The Hazardous Waste Projection Model and its outputs are used by analysts within SV to understand current and future waste amounts arising within Victoria’s hazardous waste system.

This is then used to plan for processing the future state infrastructure requirements.

The new model now provides SV with much more usable and reliable data, greatly improving hazardous waste infrastructure planning.

It includes:

  • Point and click browser-based interface
  • Centrally managed and automated updates to the underlying source data, resulting in the improvement in the quality of data and speed in which to integrate and apply the data
  • Consistent and accessible method for analysing and projecting hazardous waste generation and future capacity requirements

This now means that SV has the appropriate solution in place to accurately determine in a more timely manner the required investment, strategic development and infrastructure requirements for the management of hazardous waste in Victoria.

 

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