The Information Support System for the Situation Room of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Russian Federation

Customer information

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation is the federal executive authority that elaborates the national policies and regulatory environment in the field of exploring, using, rehabilitating, and protecting state natural resources, including mineral resources, water, nature reserves, flora and fauna as related to hunting, hydrometeorology and related fields, environmental monitoring, and environmental pollution, including radiation. The ministry also deals with such important issues as monitoring and supervision related to processing production and consumption wastes, protecting nature reserves, and developing state environmental expertise.

Description

Prognoz designed the Information Support System of the Situation Room of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation to provide online information support of managerial decision making in order to improve the efficiency of natural resource exploitation and use as well as environmental protection.

Background

The main reason for developing the Information Support System was the lack of information exchange between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and its subordinate federal agencies and services, including the Federal Water Resources Agency, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, the Federal Forestry Agency, the Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency, and the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service. The following factors contributed to the urgent need for a unified BI system:

  • The large number of existing independent information systems in the ministry and its subdivisions
  • The need for a consolidated industry-specific data warehouse reflecting the condition of natural resources and the ecological condition of Russia
  • The insufficient capabilities of the meta-system used by the ministry, which did not allow for integration and comprehensive analysis of the ministry’s information resources

In response, Prognoz developed the Information Support System.

The extended functionality of the Information Support System solves the following tasks:

  • Manually and automatically collect, process, analyze, store, and transfer data on:
    • The condition and use of mineral and water resources
    • Water, air, and soil pollution level
    • Regulatory activities within the ministry’s purview
    • Hazardous environmental phenomena and events taking place in the country
  • Provide access to the information system via a Web interface
  • Generate screen forms (standard and ad-hoc reports) in accordance with user requests
  • View data broken down by time, territory, department, and so on; create user-defined charts based on the information from various data sources
  • Analyze data within the geographic information system
  • Forecast situations and events through spatial modeling using the set of heterogeneous data
  • Manage the system and user access rights

Subsystems

To provide user-friendliness, the following subsystems were implemented:

Data Collection

The Data Collection subsystem enables data collection by key sectional activities to provide the ministry’s senior management with real-time and historical information and to support managerial decision making in the field of environmental management and protection. The subsystem generates, updates, and stores information about different sites and activities of environmental protection. It maps the real-time situation using special tools to link an event to a ground point and assign attribute information, such as event type, departmental identity, date of occurrence, information source, and so on. The subsystem enables users to map various event types; select events by date, departments, and other attributes; highlight the latest events; and process the information.

The Data Collection subsystem includes the following software modules that upload data to the Information Support System:

  • Loading standard reports and processing semi-structured data
  • Integration with the ministry’s BI systems
  • Automated information subsystem for interdepartmental data exchange

Automated loaders include data loaders from the following systems:

  • Licensing BI suite
  • Planning BI system
  • Systems to monitor environmental impact in the state nature reserves in Sochi and its surroundings (the Olympic venues construction territory)
  • Automated system for remote short-term detection of possible fire sources and fire hazards in state nature reserves

Data about the following facilities is loaded manually:

  • Nature reserves of the Russian Federation
  • State hunting farms
  • Movable assets of the nature reserves and state hunting farms
  • International cooperation and other data

Centralized Data Warehouse

The Centralized Data Warehouse stores consolidated aggregated or calculated information obtained from the ministry’s BI systems and other sources. The set of indicators and the data are dynamic, and they are processed by a large number of users of functional applications for data monitoring and analysis as well as automated delivery of analytical reporting forms. The data warehouse also enables users to view statistical information broken down by indicators, including date, territory, department, indicator names, objectives, and tasks of the programs being implemented.

The Centralized Data Warehouse enables users to:

  • Create a corporate information resource to conduct complex analysis of the consolidated data from the ministry’s BI systems
  • Receive access to consolidated information from all the analytical information sources
  • Increase the efficiency and quality of analytical reporting due to use of the information from the Centralized Data Warehouse
  • Prepare, maintain, and provide master data about the subject area
  • Allocate and organize data within the data warehouse
  • Ensure referential integrity
  • Perform transaction processing and updating of the data

Analytical subsystem

The Analytical subsystem provides the ministry’s senior management with comprehensive real-time information on the status of state natural resources and ecology. The subsystem analyzes the state of natural resources and environmental protection in the region and generates reports and references supported by visualized data. The subsystem also helps to solve such tasks as:

  • Multilevel SWOT analysis within the scope of the ministry’s activities
  • Express data analysis
  • Structural analysis of statistical characteristics
  • Dynamic analysis of Central Data Warehouse indicators
  • Multidimensional data analysis using OLAP tools
  • Generation of executive summaries

The subsystem includes the following blocks:

  • Water
  • Mineral Resources
  • Ecology Supervision
  • Territories
  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Reports on the Results and the Core Areas
  • International Cooperation
  • Public Services
  • R&D

Monitoring

The Monitoring module contains tools to keep a close watch on the current status and trends in the changing values of the Ministry’s key performance indicators. The monitoring is performed by providing aggregate data on the subject area, and analytical forms to obtain consolidated reporting by territories. The module allows users to elaborate action plans in order to achieve the key objectives of the Ministry’s performance and helps to solve the following tasks:

  • Perform OLAP analysis based on the current information obtained from the Ministry’s BI systems to support managerial decision making
  • Monitor performance indicators of Ministry’s subdivisions based on standard reporting
  • Monitor the ministry’s subdivisions based on ad-hoc reporting

The module works as the unified information environment providing access to all tools for analytical processing of initial reporting information about the performance of the ministry’s subdivisions.

Notification

The Notification subsystem warns the ministry’s senior management about hazardous processes, phenomena, and events that require a rapid response from the relevant official bodies, based on the data collected from the Automated Information Subsystem for Interdepartmental Data Exchange.

The subsystem provides effective measures to remedy causes and consequences of emergencies. It automatically loads information about emergencies by selected criteria and notifies the relevant authorities by text message or email about the emergency with the date, time, and a short description of the event. The subsystem enables users to:

  • Automate loading data about the emergency to the system and check if notification is necessary by evaluation criteria
  • Create lists of responsible persons to be notified in case of emergency
  • Monitor notification results
  • Automatically generate and store information relative to notifications
  • Automatically send notifications once they are within the subsystem, if the corresponding option is selected
  • Integrate with the Automated Information Subsystem for Interdepartmental Data Exchange when loading events to the subsystem by the selected criteria
  • Manage the subsystem

Dictionaries and Classifiers Management

The Dictionaries and Classifiers Management subsystem increases the efficiency of reference data used by the ministry and its subordinate federal agencies, services, and organizations. Its main objective is to maintain, provide and timely update the master data. The subsystem also allows the following:

  • Design and store dictionaries and classifiers
  • Manage the classifiers: add, change, remove, and search for classifiers and their elements
  • Load and validate initial information and remove repeated records
  • Update master data in the subsystem
  • Integrate with other subsystems of the Information Support System
  • Manage the subsystem

Unified Internet-based GIS Environment

The Unified Internet-based GIS Environment collects, stores, analyzes, and visualizes spatial data and related information concerning performance of the ministry and its subdivisions. It enables users to:

  • Review and search for information by the selected activity, site, or territory
  • Forecast development of situations and events based on spatial modeling using a set of heterogeneous data
  • Create and maintain land, forest, and geological registers and the like
  • Analyze the status of natural resources and the environment
  • Use geographical information by an unlimited number of users

The subsystem consists of several interconnected and topologically coordinated data layers that can be subdivided into two groups:

  • General geographic layers that describe the key environmental (hydrography, orography, and so on) and socioeconomic facilities (state and administrative borders, road network, and settlements)
  • Topical layers that contain information about certain activities of the ministry’s structural subdivisions:
    • Live summary
    • Environmental monitoring
    • Subsurface resources
    • Water resources
    • Environmental protection sites
    • Geological surveys
    • Local surveys

Visualization tools

Visualization tools include business graphics tools that provide graphic representation of tabular data and cartographic representation tools that enable users to:

  • Visualize analytical information by context-filling of map areas and placing pins and diagrams characterizing indicator values for the given area
  • Create maps and atlases containing several map layers and related topical data
  • Complete maps with legends, notes, and descriptions of territories using various visualization tools

System Management

The System Management module is designed to limit user access to information-environment items and customize system parameters. The module provides access to the modules and tools of the system and manages the following:

  • Data and the data warehouse as well as access rights to selected sections and information units of the data warehouse
  • Classifiers, dictionaries, and applications

Information structure

The information within the purview of the ministry is structured in the system by various criteria. As for industry-specific information, the system contains data on a wide range of topics.

Water resources

The section comprising data on the state and use of water resources contains the key water consumption indicators in the regions of the Russian Federation, information about hydroeconomic zoning, and water development facilities and the conditions thereof. This section also accumulates data concerning the allowance of activities related to water consumption, flood rises and hazardous phenomena, and other situations that require the attention of the Federal Water Resources Agency.

Use and exploration of mineral resources

As related to the use and exploration of mineral resources, the system comprises data on distributed and open reserves of solid minerals, hydrocarbons, and ground waters. The system also contains the register of licenses and users of mineral resources as well as data concerning the fulfillment of license agreements and data related to the long-term program for exploration and rehabilitation of mineral resources. Moreover, the system maintains the information on tenders and bids related to subsurface management.

Environmental monitoring

The environmental monitoring section includes environmental monitoring data provided by the Federal Service on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring and information on economic and other conditions that have an adverse impact on ecology and are subject to federal control. The section also contains the results of fire hazard estimations in nature reserves, information on the ice condition and temperature of Russian water areas, and the danger of avalanches and landslides. In addition, the user can find data on the state nature reserves and hunting farms, the species included in the Red Book, and a list of ecological hot spots.

Control and supervision

The control and supervision section accumulates data about inspections carried out by the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, the formation and storage of hazardous wastes in the territory of Russia, licenses granted to process hazardous wastes of class I–IV, and 2-TP statistical form (waste).

Territories

The territory section comprises data on the territories that are of primary concern from the point of view of environmental protection, including Sochi (due to construction of Olympic venues) and Lake Baikal. This section also contains key environmental indicators by regions.

As for representation of geographic data, the system contains information resources organized as vector layers covering cartographic and attribute information on the processes and phenomena that are within the ministry’s purview.

Key features

  • The system accumulates information of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and its subordinate agencies and services.
  • The system is integrated with the geographic information system, and it provides the capability for thorough analysis using data from various sources.
  • The solution was developed over a five-year period, with further enhancements to come.

Results of the implementation of the system

  • Comprehensive information support for the ministry’s senior management based on structured information, both current and historical, stored in the centralized data warehouse
  • Straightforward information exchange between the ministry and its subordinate agencies and services with a unified information system comprising all the indicators of the sector and providing efficient BI support via up-to-date information technologies
  • Geographic referencing of data to ensure integrity, reliability, and quality of forecasting and analytical data
  • Less time needed to search for data
  • Less time needed to make decisions when preventing and mitigating the consequences of environmental emergencies due to the immediate notification of the relevant authorities