Data and Decision Making eBook

Why are good decisions so hard to come by? Learn how the make the right weather-related decisions no matter what industry you’re in by reading this eBook!

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Information vs. Indecision

A red stick person with their left arm under their chin so they look like they're thinking

Why are good decisions so hard to come by?

Because decisions need data, and bad data can lead even the best leaders astray. Data can be bad in a number of ways:

  • Old data sabotages intelligence needed for new situations
  • Inaccessible data wastes time better spent strategizing
  • Unreliable data stops us from acting in the moment
  • Disjointed data disconnects us from our teams and our goals


In an ideal world, data wouldn’t do any of that.

We at Earth Networks believe actionable automated weather data, pulled from our advanced weather stations and lightning detectors in real-time, sets a valuable precedent for what data is capable of accomplishing.

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Quintin is a Superintendent of a School District

superintendent of a school district

He needed to improve how he selects engaging curricula and inform families about weather-related closures.

In the past, Quintin would meet with school board members to discuss lesson plans, agree on a core knowledge base to teach and hunt for extant materials, but he wanted to incorporate more real-life applications to deliver a truly innovative STEM education.

When deciding whether to close schools for inclement weather, he used to bounce between watching local broadcasts and calling school administrators in the early morning. Sometimes storms intensified with each passing minute. A few times, after Quintin had already canceled school, conditions improved and his students lost a day of learning.

Thanks to real-time hyperlocal weather capture and configurable alerts from Earth Networks, Quintin now receives school-specific notifications on the severity of incoming storms and closes his schools with confidence. He also empowers his students in their classrooms. Hyperlocal weather data measured at the school can be used for lessons on meteorology and/or self-directed research projects. Data such as wind speeds, rain rate, and lightning strikes bring classroom lessons to life.

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Samantha Coaches a Women’s Collegiate Soccer Team

female soccer coach icon

Her competitive drive leads to intense practices, but she wants to make sure she keeps her players safe in the process.

Since 1979, more than 9,000 people have died because of heat, many of them athletes. In previous seasons, Samantha erred on the side of caution, canceling practice when it felt too hot. All the while, she knew she needed a better system for determining the intensity of the weather so she and her team wouldn’t lose so much precious practice time.

Samantha now brings her smartphone to every practice. After her college invested in Earth Networks mobile alerting technology, she receives real-time updates about wet bulb globe temperatures, which measure heat stress on the human body under direct sunlight. This metric is more accurate than the traditionally used “heat index” to identify potentially dangerous heat conditions.

Access to this data not only helps Samantha make decisions, but it allows a broader school system to generate guidelines for all athletic teams so that each coach operates under a consistent protocol.

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Chris is a Local Parks Director

Director of parks and recreation who uses data and decision making to manage severe weather

He needs to communicate with his dispersed team across several locations, which can add risk to the process when decisions need to be made in an instant.

When forecasts called for thunder and lightning, Chris needed to stay in constant contact with his employees, which was difficult at times because of Chris’ many other administrative obligations. Once storms became noticeably more intense, he would reach out individually to each park manager to dispatch workers. They would do their best to assist park goers off the grounds, secure equipment and close down.

This imperfect system failed to provide the necessary lead time to act safely and did nothing to alert families at parks of impending danger. What’s worse, his delayed decision-making was a key part of the problem.

Chris installed Earth Networks Sferic Siren Lightning Horn and Strobe Systems at all his sites. He programmed his technology to sound and flash as soon the underlying lightning detection network sensed in-cloud or cloud-to-ground lightning within a reasonable proximity to each park, thereby warning any local patrons.

Chris and his team would then receive immediate alerts on their smartphones containing the exact location of the lightning strikes, along with other valuable data like wind gust and direction, the expected storm duration and more – all hyperlocal, in real-time and visualized intelligently.

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Chelsey is an Operations Manager at a Busy Airport

airport director who uses severe weather data to manage weather-related risks

She has an impeccable safety record, but her decision making stalls when she relies on generic weather reports.

Her maintenance teams on the tarmac not only refuel and service airplanes, they carry out necessary emergency response actions in adverse weather. Chelsey cannot risk spreading her attention too thinly between monitoring on-the-ground operations and weather reports. But when severe weather rolls in, she has no other choice but to suspend operations to make sure her crews and equipment are protected.

Now powered by an on-site network of weather and lightning sensors, Chelsey lets her data trigger these decisions. Automated alerts set to particular wind, precipitation and thunderstorm thresholds warn her ground crew about imminent threatening weather. This real-time intelligence also stops her team from delaying flights unnecessarily when the weather could go either way.

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Andy is a Supervisor at a Power Company’s Maintenance Dispatch Center

An energy and utilities director who uses data and decision making

In the old days, Andy would dispatch repair teams according to where his customers called from, always reacting and never predicting.

Otherwise, he watched local forecasts and guessed at where outages might occur. But after 20 years on the job, he found the weather forecasts were wrong more times than right. Besides, he found it difficult – not to mention costly – to draw conclusions about outages with general weather reports that were not specific to the locations of their infrastructure. If he made a single mistake, he could strand team members in dangerous situations or accidentally send them to areas with a low probability of experiencing outages.

These days, Andy trusts real-time data from Earth Networks severe weather sensors, which alert him whenever high winds or lightning storms are inbound. The Sferic API with real-time weather forecasts allows Andy to run detailed outage models and deploy technicians cost-effectively. And with mobile integration, his technicians can take the intelligence on the road with them and collaborate remotely with other teams.

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Always Make the Right Call

Decision makers are never without the risk of human error.

Reliance on real-time, hyperlocal weather data helps significantly reduce that human risk and improve decision-making outcomes.

Backed by the power of the world’s largest proprietary networks of environmental and lightning sensors, Earth Networks offers decision support, collaboration tools and access to real-time data that cuts away ambiguity wherever and whenever business leaders have to make weather-based decisions.

VISIT WWW.EARTHNETWORKS.COM TODAY for more information on how commercial weather data and advanced sensor technology powers smarter operations everywhere.

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Thanks for Reading!

Thank you for reading our eBook: “Data and Decision Making: Weather the Storm of Uncertainty with Better Information.”

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Now that you have some examples of how people improved their decision making, you can learn how to do it for yourself!

We designed our industry-specific buying guides to help you build a comprehensive weather safety solution. Check them out and make sure your weather safety tools are as effective as possible.

Click here to browse our buying guides so you can read the one that makes the most sense for your industry and learn what an effective severe weather alerting solution looks like for you!

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