Transportation organizations are transforming the way they manage, maintain, and share data. The rapidly growing use of ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS Server as one of the pillars in this modernized environment is resulting in the establishment of a new type of role. The person in this new role is responsible for the overall formation of ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS usage patterns and policies. They are a thought leader who has both the technical and change management skills needed to help lead the overall web gIS charge. This role is less of an ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS administrator position and more of a Czar.
The Czar devotes their expertise toward the establishment of ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS as the single place for accessing, visualizing, analyzing, and sharing transportation data. They succeed by orchestrating people, processes, and technology to create a sustainable environment where users across their organization can use any device at any time to get to what they need with just a few clicks.
I will admit I have yet to see the job title “Czar” in an any HR handbook. You might want to start with a more official designation like “Architect”, “Manager”, “Senior System Analyst”, “Technology Specialist”, or something else. As an example, take a look at this position that Michael Urley at Virginia DOT has open: https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/44692. Mike uses the title “Information Technology Specialist III”. However, you will notice in the write up that he is looking for a person that can drive ArcGIS Online adoption across all groups in VDOT.
Regardless of the title you use, there are key characteristics this person should either possess as an individual or have access to in others. I have listed a few of those characteristics below. So, if you need to hire a new person to help you transform your IT organization or if you want to create a new role for yourself, feel free to use any or all of the below items as you see fit.
And by the way, if you are successful in establishing “Czar” as an official job title in your organization, do me a favor and give me a call. I would love to hear how you got that done!
The ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS “Czar”: Some Key Skills and Responsibilities
- Expert knowledge of ArcGIS Server and Web GIS. Ability to manage and configure map, image and feature services for use in the ArcGIS portal. Develop a plan for utilizing modern tools and methods to expose data from existing business systems through ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS
- Configure maps and apps to create useful information products for users across all business units
- Configure and maintain the portal with an approved branding style and featured content
- Create and maintain groups that align with the organizational structure. Create a portal that can be navigated by users of all skill levels in a logical and intuitive manner
- Develop processes to effectively add and delete users, move content, and change user profiles
- Develop programs for the effective administration of organizational account. This includes:
- Identification of posted data or information products that fall outside of established standards
- Management of credit usage to include the development of processes to allocate credits and the associated costs to individual business units
- Full use and understanding of Esri’s administration tools as well as third party administration tools (i.e. GeoJobe and Voyager Search)
- Establishment of policies the define the roles of ArcGIS Online/ Portal users
- Establish and enforce standards for all published data and user profiles
- Equip users at all levels in the organization who have no previous hands-on GIS experience to utilize ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS
- Establish training and education strategies to ensure users’ capabilities are continuously improving
- Establish and proliferate self-service branding tools with the goal of developing a common look and feel within all organizational groups and all public information products
- Gain full knowledge of all available out-of-the box tools (Smart Mapping, Field Productivity Apps, Data Enrichment, etc)
- Continuously stay abreast of new capabilities and features in ArcGIS Online / Portal. Identify how these new features can best support the DOT’s business units
- Engage business units and educate them on ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS capabilities. Work closely with the business units to support current or needed workflows with out-of-the-box tools and capabilities
- Develop a training program for all new ArcGIS Online Users
- Build resiliency into the ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS program by:
- Encouraging and stimulating user feedback on their peers’ posted content
- Develop a formal award/recognition program for users who demonstrate exceptional and unique ways to utilize ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS
- Develop policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of unintentional sharing of sensitive or confidential data
- Consider performance, development costs, recurring costs, and ease-of-use to assist in the development of data management strategies that utilize ArcGIS Online’s cloud capabilities versus existing onsite GIS infrastructure, or other cloud options
- Establish methods to review future GIS-related projects with the goal of maximizing the use of configurable, commercial-off-the-shelf tools versus custom developed applications
- Become a recognized ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS expert who is sought out across the organization
- Develop an in-depth understanding of ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS. Understand the differences as well as the advantages/disadvantages of each. Educate internal personnel as necessary
- Develop a rational and valid business case for the deployment/expansion of Portal for ArcGIS versus ArcGIS Online and vice versa. If Portal for ArcGIS is deployed, develop a plan and secure the resources necessary to maintain and sustain the user-maintained system