Introducing Team DataSystems & Tools 13 January 2015 | 2.23pm
We’re Team Data — undoubtedly Team Occa’s inspiration from across the desk at Arup Melbourne. We’re working hard on proposing and providing intuitive, novel and insightful ways to gain information from the vast amounts of data that Arup generates. Like Team Occa, we’re four multi-disciplined students from Monash University—for those of you that haven’t met us, we are:
Sun Ju Choi
Sun is a developer, studying a Bachelor of Software Engineering with one semester of study left! She’s one of the group’s application back-end specialists, making different kinds of data extraction possible. Additionally, she regularly finds small bugs in Dom’s designs when he (now reluctantly) shows them to the rest of the team.
Yangyang (Nancy) Cai
Nancy is a data analyst, studying a Master of Business Information Systems. She’s focused on interpreting back-end data and assessing database performance for all projects using Python and R programming languages, as well as front-end development for projects. Nancy is very happy to be working with a fantastic team from different backgrounds.
Sean is a web developer, studying a Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science. He’s a back-end application master, the group supervisor and project manager. His mantra is to work hard, play hard, live long and prosper.
Dom is a visual designer, having recently completed an Honours degree in Visual Communication (Graphic Design) and set to continue postgraduate research in Computer Science. He works with the rest of the group to generate wireframes for the structure and functionality of applications we propose and are working on. He keeps the developers busy, but will soon be joining the front-end battle himself.
Our first day involved looking at Arup’s current web based GIS (Geographic Information System) offerings, ranging from mapping project information, site data and project locations to public facing infrastructure feedback and information tools. We briefly ideated ways to improve these visualisations, until the BIM (Building Information Modelling) Dashboard behemoth arrived.
BIM Dashboard was proposed as an application to interface with current BIM data collection and file hosting systems, to provide engineers with a simple to use and powerful file management and project auditing tool. Harnessing the data from engineering models and project documents, the aim is to allow users to see what’s happening at an organisational level, providing insights into whether processes and projects are running efficiently and to gain insight into any aspect of project performance. Quite simply, an all-in-one BIM management tool—we don’t even use the modelling software day to day, yet this application’s potential gets us excited.
The Transport for NSW Spatial Planning Dashboard for managing transport infrastructure projects in the Sydney CBD provided us the opportunity to exercise the lessons we learned from thinking about the design of the BIM Dashboard, in the context of GIS. Handed an already existing web application we worked on its visual and interactive structure to propose a cleaner layout which brought the information the client wanted to a higher level. Novel features include a time selector which provides a quick insight into relative project load and conflicts (interfaces) across the months, and dynamic clustering of interfacing projects, events and private developments.
Many challenges have been handed to us, and while at times daunting to simultaneously be working on multiple large projects, it’s allowed us to gain a great understanding of the potential Arup’s data offers both internally as well as to clients. We’re humbled by Arup’s investment in us to produce these tools and the feedback received so far, and hope we produce some valuable applications.