BIS Consulting is pleased to give a very warm welcome to Van Zandt CAD, who have joined our family. Van Zandt County is known as the Gateway to East Texas, because of its varied landscape. It is also known as the Free State of Van Zandt and there are a number of different opinions why this is! Van Zandt is located in the north east of Texas and the seat is Canton. Van Zandt borders six counties and has a population of approximately 53,000 spread over 843 square miles.
Van Zandt will be using our Website Hosting, Property Search, and GIS Interactive Map services. You can check out their website here http://vzcad.org/, designed to be easy to navigate for both taxpayers and homeowners. The website is compatible with both mobile and desktop browsers and of course, ensures the CAD remains compliant with state requirements.
This Sunday, June 12th, the 82nd Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas Annual Conference arrives at the Waco Convention Center, and runs until Thursday, June 16. For 2016 the TACA’s theme is “REACHING OUT, TO RISE UP”, designed to remind and encourage us that we should “REACH OUT” to meet and exceed the needs of our county, colleagues, and employees, and by doing so, we will “RISE UP”.
BIS Consulting is pleased to announce that our team will be attending the conference with a vendor booth. We will be on hand during the conference to answer questions about our services, as well as giving live demonstrations. Look out for our stand and be sure to drop by to say hello, to put a face to a name, and take a look at what we offer! We will be presenting on Sunday evening at 6pm in the Exhibit Hall where you can also enjoy refreshments, but don’t worry if you don’t get to see us on the Sunday as the conference agenda also includes regular morning and afternoon Exhibit Hall breaks. We look forward to seeing you there!
Chad Prather has been described as a native Georgian and born-again Texan, that has a little something to say about everything. Actually, he has a lot to say! Chad is the host of Ride TV’s “It’s My Backyard,” an equine talk show shot on location throughout the nation which hosts a relaxed and comedic interview style. He started by delivering short, two minute Youtube videos typically shot from his truck detailing his opinions on life, culture, and family; other videos include bite-sized inspirational videos.
In the summer of 2015, Chad released a viral video titled “Unapologetically Southern”. The video was prompted by an insulting message that Chad received about his southern accent, stating that he did not sound intelligent In his response, he politely reminded the sender of the message that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, nor a person by their accent. Chad has since been interviewed by Fox News, Country Living Magazine, MSN, Southern Living Magazine, and many others. Chad being “unapologetically southern” proved to be his game changing influence on the world and is now using this platform to entertain, enlighten, and encourage.
BIS Consulting is proud to announce that Chad will be speaking at the 2016 BIS TechCon, which is being held from Tuesday, November 29th to Friday, December 2nd at the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas. This year’s theme is “Be A Game Changer” and we will explore how to change our own game for the better through a number of informative classes, networking, and most importantly, FUN! For more information on the 2016 BIS TechCon, please visit the conference website at http://www.bisconsultants.com/techcon/ where you can register online or call us at 800-247-9045.
See you at BIS TechCon on November 29th. For now, you can see Chad’s game changing YouTube video below.
A GIS, or Geographical Information System, is designed to handle spatial or geographical data. The information can be captured, stored, analyzed, processed, and manipulated to build reports for all manner of purposes. Sometimes, the data provided by the GIS is used as a framework for further reporting, such as a recent GIS Services’ poster comparing the 2015 Rowlett tornado with one that touched down in 1959.
The Rowlett tornado touched down on December 26, 2015. The GIS team was able to use the data to estimate the likely economic land cost of the tornado at $2.7 billion. The 1959 tornado was on the ground for almost fifteen miles longer than the 2015 tornado but was a lesser EF2 storm (the 2015 storm was a EF4 category); it caused less damage at an estimated $1.9 billion in today’s terms. These numbers are impressive but cannot convey the damage and loss of life caused by tornadoes.
Bre Callear from our GIS Team explained that she was interested in looking at the impact of the 2015 tornado because it occurred close to BIS Consulting’s office and at an unusual time of year. By looking through historical tornado data, she noticed that the 2015 and 1959 tornadoes happened in a very similar part of Texas. The team loaded the path of each tornado into the Esri ArcMap software to see that the southern parts overlapped, which led to the comparison between the economic damage caused.
Collin King, also from our GIS team, has used the tornado data to produce a poster but this was instead designed to determine the safest quadrant to live in Dallas County based on four factors – the safest quadrant was based on coverage, on injuries and fatalities, on the average magnitude of the storm, and ground covered by the tornado per casualty. Collin imported data from the Storm Prediction Center and Government Land Office. Each tornado track was clipped into its respective quadrant and the numbers crunched to answer the questions. The results show that the Northwest quadrant has the least chance of a tornado hitting you based on coverage, but it has the highest ratio of injuries and deaths by land mass. The Southeast quadrant has the lowest average magnitude of storm and ground covered. The Southwest, the safest, has the lowest injury and fatality rate, and best ratio of acreage to injuries and fatalities.
In these two examples, that were presented at SCAUG 2016, the GIS team used tornado data combined with the GIS database for further analysis. However, Bre explained that the data may be combined with many other sources and tasks, but “…the difficulty is finding complete and usable data.”
If you have an idea of what the team can investigate next, let us know in the comments below.
The wait is over! BIS TechCon, our second annual conference geared towards appraisal and tax professionals, is now open for registration. Last year, one in five appraisal districts attended and this year we are expecting to be twice as big.
The theme for 2016 is “Be A Game Changer” and we’ll be bringing you a number of interesting and exciting game changing guests, including Unapologetically Southern, Chad Prather. We’re covering a range of topics and subjects based around motivation, reinvigoration, and disruption. Our motivational speakers will remind you that some of the best companies in the world succeeded by trying something different and changing their game. Our classes will guide you on how you can change your game and make a difference in your office and field of work.
Included in your registration is a nightly happy hour with free drinks, team building activities, networking, chances to win outrageous prizes, dinner Thursday night followed by dancing & drinks with an exclusive DJ that you won’t want to miss.
As requested by last year’s attendees, we’ve added an extra day to the conference. Mark your calendars and meet us at the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas November 29 – December 2, 2016!
For more info, check out our TechCon page here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-247-9045.
Our GIS staff will be attending the 26th Annual South Central Arc User Group Conference, April 18-22, 2016 in Corpus Christi, Texas. This annual technical education conference provides training, workshops, technical sessions, and user presentations in the scope of ArcGIS and other GIS products. ArcGIS is an Esri product that represents the three views of GIS: Geodatabase, Geovisualization, and Geoprocessing. This enables GIS users to utilize critical elements of GIS in differing levels in all GIS applications.
At SCAUG, the BIS GIS team will attend this conference to present their work on map posters at the Abstract Map Gallery as well as to stay up-to-date on the ever-evolving field of geographic information system. We are also a proud sponsor of the event and will be there to demonstrate our GIS services and share information about our Texas County GIS Data website, where you can download GIS mapping shapefiles with property data for counties in Texas.
Will you be at SCAUG 2016? Click here to learn more about the conference.
Brandon Kay, BIS Consultant’s joint Chief Executive Officer, recently stood up to present in front of a full audience at our first ever TechCon and announced: “If you’re not happy with BIS, it’s your fault.” The room fell silent and BIS employees nervously looked at one another. Eventually, a ripple of laughter erupted across the room. Surely, Brandon didn’t actually mean that? It was a joke, right?
It might have been a Freudian slip, but there is more than a grain of truth in the statement: if we are not happy with the level of service received from a business, it is partially our fault.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that not everything goes as smoothly as we would like. However a potential disaster is a way to differentiate between good and exemplary customer service. Good customer service means getting it right first time but exemplary customer services means that when things don’t go as planned, they are made right quickly, efficiently and the same mistakes are not repeated. As a culture, if we receive poor service we tend to complain to everyone -our coworkers, our friends, our family, Facebook- everyone, that is, except the company. If we expect the company to make things right then we have a responsibility to tell them what went wrong.
2015 was a very successful year for BIS culminating in our first annual TechCon. Over 120 attendees from almost 50 CADs descended upon Frisco. We ran numerous training sessions covering subjects from IT to GIS and everything in between. Not everything went smoothly, but we had fun, we addressed every bump in the road with a smile and we’ve learned a lot. We’re planning to be back for another client conference December 2016 and it’ll be bigger and better than ever!
And if you are asking, yes we will let Brandon present at the next conference! If you ‘d like to come see what our CEO’s will
blurt out say next, send us an email for conference info. But, more importantly, if you are a client of ours and you are not happy please tell us. If you don’t let us know where we are missing the mark then we won’t know that something needs to be fixed. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 800-247-9045 or even leave a comment here.
Databases are ultimately only as useful as the information they contain and the same is true of the GIS, or Geographical Information System, that BIS operates. GIS is used to capture, store and retrieve mapping information and can be used to show many different kinds of data for clients. However, when errors creep into the collected data this can distort reports including maps generated from the information. Two examples include how mapping polygons interact with one another: they should not overlap nor leave a gaps between the shapes, as this can cause land to either be double counted or overlooked. To this end the BIS GIS team recently completed a topology data cleansing service, which is to apply topology fixes to the information in our databases.
The result? We removed over fifty thousand errors from thirty three counties in our databases. The main benefit of this process was to remove errors from reports and database queries but it also improved the aesthetics of generated maps and makes editing the information a smoother, cleaner and quicker process. At BIS Consulting we take pride in our work and we want you, as our client, to be confident when you are using your map or sharing it with others.
For more information on what our GIS department can do for you please contact Kenneth Weismuller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-247-9045 ext 120
Our subsidiary site, Texas County GIS Data, just recently completed work on six new counties. Hartley, Montgomery, Lamar, Freestone, Fayette and Burleson Counties are all available for immediate download today!!
Click the image to go to the site.
Freestone CAD has been part of the BIS Family for about two years now. We are pleased to announce that they’ve recently added website design to their growing list of BIS services. Freestone CAD now has a place to conveniently direct their taxpayers to for important information. CAD announcements and alerts, all of the latest forms, ARB information, directions and contact info are just a few of the items listed on the site. In addition there are links to the districts property search, online protest and GIS interactive map.
The CAD as well as the taxpayer will love the convenience of being able to use the website from any device. Not only will the website help with communication between the district and the taxpayer, but it will also keep the CAD in compliance with state requirements. Check out Freestone CAD’s new website HERE.