DAERA wins Global Award for its Digital Information Hub

Esri Ireland, the market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has announced that Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)has received a Special Achievement in GIS Award (SAG) at Esri’s annual International User Conference in San Diego.DAERA was recognised for its Information Hub, which has transformed its handling of data, and supports informed and effective policy-making decisions in Northern Ireland.

DAERA is responsible for food and farming, the environment, fisheries, sustainability, and the development of the rural sector in Northern Ireland. Esri’s International User Conference is the world’s largest GIS conference, with over 18,000 attendees. The SAG Awards recognise outstanding applications of Esri’s ArcGIS technology, and DAERA was selected from over 300,000 eligible global candidates.

The Esri solution gives DAERA employees instant and secure access to accurate location information which can be accessed both from the office or in the field via mobile apps. This has enabled DAERA to quickly address emergencies such as COVID-19, Brexit implications and Avian Flu outbreak.

The department’s 3,000 employees now have access to a central system that enables them to conceptualise the effect potential policy decisions will make on the environment or the economy, before they are implemented. They can also examine historical trends and analyse the success of previous schemes and initiatives.

The Veterinary Service Animal Health Group within DAERA has completely transformed its disease investigation processes, swapping paper forms for digital technology. DAERA can now respond more quickly to animal welfare concerns and instigate the most appropriate measures to prevent the spread of disease.

Paul McGurnaghan, Director of Digital Service, DAERA, said: “It is an honour to receive this high-profile global award which recognises the dedication and innovation of our team. The Information Hub has been transformational and enabled the department to bring together data coherently, which has advanced more informed and effective policy making decisions. Our Information Hub will continue to bring benefits not only for DAERA but for our local farm businesses, for our environment and indeed for our wider economy.”

The solution has improved overall efficiency by removing manual, paper-based processes and eliminating the unnecessary duplication of data. Information Hub is at the heart of the department, enabling it to improve organisational excellence, reach business plan targets, helping to make DAERA an insight-driven organisation, placing data at the heart of all decision making.

Jack Dangermond, Co-Founder and President of Esri Inc, selected the award. Jack Dangermond said: “I am delighted to present DAERA with this prestigious award, in recognition of its impactful use of geographic information in quickly addressing unprecedented and global challenges. The winning entrants demonstrate users from around the world are leveraging GIS capabilities to improve decision making to solve real-world problems.”

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