Data and analytics have always been an integral part of improving organizational operations, and continue to drive change management. In the resources and environmental sector, in particular, the collection of field data for laboratory reporting and research is paramount to provide valid results for analysis and maintaining compliance with industry standards.
Move away from the spreadsheets
Employees in a range of roles, including environmental advisors, consultants, supervisors, and managers are responsible for the task of capturing this environmental data accurately and in a consistent manner to ensure its accuracy. This can often amount to an extensive amount of work and data processing, which in some cases is still done manually. An example of this are countless spreadsheets and outdated systems, which result in data having to be manually entered and extracted from numerous sources. This is a time consuming and error-prone process no-one wants when the goal is to drive operations efficiently.
Combine this way of operating with the increasing need to follow the integral compliances and industry standards issued by organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and you have a growing challenge to keep up with the latest industry requirements. This also influences the ability to assure that the systems used to capture field data and has the ability to be processed are reliable. After all, it is important to utilize effective documentation methods and platforms that will help you do your job more efficiently and effectively.
This is one of the main reasons for changing the way we collect data and are looking towards environmental management systems that are able to cover the necessary requirements and beyond. It supports the trend of industries becoming more regulated, and even more centric around topics such as occupational health and safety, risk management, training and competence, and stakeholder relations.
There are numerous industry requirements that need to be met, and finding the right environmental management system to improve the data collection and analysis can be overwhelming. The following are the types of requirements and tasks that are often found in environmental operations:
- Soil sampling
- ISO 14001 and ISO 26000
certification and attainment
- Laboratory correspondence
- Chain of Custody (COC) reporting
- Task scheduling
- Internal team communications
- Audit trails
- Exceedance alerts and tracking
- Reporting and graphing tools
These often require extensive paperwork and processing at multiple stages, which is made a lot easier when they are carried out with web-based systems and managed digitally. Moving away from the time-consuming methods of data collection, processing, and analysis to a more reliable environmental management system that can store all your information in one place is the progressive way we’re changing how data is captured and managed.