Why use ESdat?
Many organisations leave it to their scientists or engineers to figure out how to best manage their environmental data, and many of these staff are highly capable in developing sophisticated Excel workbooks or other mechanisms to do that. Which begs the question, why use ESdat instead of continuing to use Excel or systems developed in-house?
Single data repository
Historically, data is often spread around in multiple files, directories, and file formats. This can make it difficult to
obtain all site/project data, and understand how it all ties together.
ESdat consolidates all data into a single database, making it easy to locate,
and consistent in it's arrangement.
Most organizations receive the majority of their environmental data from
consistent sources on an ongoing basis (i.e. laboratories or the field), and
perform the same checks on that data each time; these might include:
- QA Checks
- sampling issues (i.e. RPD values for duplicates, detects in blanks)
- laboratory data issues (i.e. holding times, ionic balance, surrogate
- Exceedance (Non-Compliance) checks
- Email Notifications
- highlight exceedances of environmental standards on tables or maps.
- Analyze the data as a time-series graphs, trend analysis, or
on a map.
ESdat automates all these tasks, eliminating the time required to do it
manually and allowing professionals to focus on assessing the data, rather than
cutting and pasting. In a survey most users saved over 40% of their
office time working with their data (see User Survey).
Excel based methods of data management involve extensive cutting and pasting of
data. Cutting and pasting of data is usually tedious and errors inevitably
creep in. Often multiple copies of the data are needed to produce map,
graph and table outputs.
ESdat can import laboratory data automatically, eliminating the need to
manually manipulate the data. Field data can be entered electronically into Tablets in the field, eliminating double handling.
Combining new data is easy.
Traditionally, whenever additional data is received it is necessary to update two or three copies of existing data, such as tables, graphs
or maps. This is error prone and the multiple copies of the data lead to
ESdat combines all data into a single database, and outputs are easily
re-generated or updated automatically.
Easy to share data among users/organizations
Within any single team there is typically a variety of methods used to manage
environmental data, which reflects each individuals skill levels in Excel or
Access. Thus, sharing of data between team members is usually time
consuming and imperfect as people need to learn how to find and use data managed
If all data is stored in ESdat people know where to find it, and how to use it.
Regulatory and Standards Compliance
Many site holders have a regulatory obligation to be able to access their
environmental data quickly, easily, accurately, and demonstrate an audit process
to confirm the accuracy of that data. ISO 14001 also requires
organizations to have systems in place to manage their data. Clearly,
copying and pasting data in Excel is not consistent with those obligations.
ESdat can store a complete audit trail of the data, including the Certified
Laboratory Certificate of Analysis, Calibration Certificates, and others, as well as tracking edits and
deletions through the Change Tracker. The data is quick to access and
present in required formats.