Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) protects and improves the Scottish environment through regulation, engagement, and a new regulatory strategy, One Planet Prosperity.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) protects and improves the Scottish environment through regulation, engagement, and a new regulatory strategy, One Planet Prosperity.

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Spotfire software has become embedded in SEPA's everyday workings, playing a key role in decision-making, data analysis, and model production. This impact has been transformational to SEPA in turning it into a data-driven, evidence-based organization.

Colin Gray
,
Principal Data Scientist, SEPA

Scottish Environment Agency Makes an Impact with Evidence

Evidence-based decisions and efficient and automated analytics

Business Challenge

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has millions of chemistry and ecology samples dating back to the 1960s. It needed a way to analyze this data so it could drive evidence-based environmental and business decisions.

Transformation

To bring its disparate data sources together so their true value and potential could be realized, SEPA chose TIBCO Spotfire and TIBCO Data Science software to provide powerful visualizations, web-based analytics, and data science capabilities.

Benefits

Evidence-based decisions and a larger impact

Spotfire software provided a single platform that staff could use to model the environment, make evidence-based decisions, and use data to shape and future proof environmental needs.

"The software's ability to cover the full data science development lifecycle: data retrieval, preparation, transformation, analysis, and final interactive dashboard presentation, meant it could easily meet the aspirations of our proposed agile informatics process," said Gray.

The solution gave the agency the ability to instantly deploy analytics to the web, so it could rapidly produce and provide access to new analytical and statistical capabilities. This led to greater collaboration, key performance indicators for the agency, and new scientific applications.

SEPA also expanded use of the software beyond science, developing analytic tools for regulation, for organizational and business planning, and even for human resources.

Efficient, automated analysis to benefit the public

For one use case, SEPA wanted to improve and automate daily predictions on water quality for designated bathing waters in Scotland. Spotfire and TIBCO Data Science software were used to enable a clean and simple user interface with parameters and settings for any swimming location required. Models could be produced without the need to edit or run the code, simply by using text areas and visuals. The system produced many models and multiple scoring methods to assess model success as well as to easily and efficiently test settings and data.

Visualizing results proved much more fruitful, and possible even for non-technical business leads. SEPA is in its fourth year of running these models every day to predict bathing water quality. "Visitors to Scotland's bathing waters can get accurate advice on bathing water quality each day. Spotfire software is then used to track performance and review models for future learning and tuning," said Gray.