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Research centre deploys business intelligence software to combat floods

John-Paul Kamath

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has installed business intelligence software at a cost of £500,000 to halve the time it takes to carry out flood-risk assessments.

Authorities and insurers can better prepare for natural disasters ahead of time through faster access to more thorough research. CEH, a government-funded organisation, is using business intelligence software from SAS to analyse the 2 million data records it obtains from geological surveys. This helps identify conditions that may affect the level of flooding in an area.

The last survey that the organisation carried out took 10 staff two years to enter and validate data. CEH expects the new software to reduce the amount of staff involvement in this process, cutting the £1.2 million figure it was spending on data analysis and reducing the analysis time to one year.

"The CEH now has to deal with more information than ever," said John Watkins, head of section for the environmental informatics programme at CEH. "We were looking for a system that could bring together large volumes of very diverse environmental data, enabling us to generate better information."

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