Enviro Data Key Features
Enviro Data has many features that work together to make your data management process pleasant and efficient, contributing to a significant increase in project quality. Some of these features are described briefly here, and then in much more detail in the User Documentation.
Easy to use - Enviro Data has been designed from the ground up to be easy to use for people who are not database experts. Menu-driven operation and extensive use of wizards to guide you through common tasks, combined with an on-screen tour and extensive documentation, make it easy for you to get the software going, and keep it going for years.
Open-ended system - Enviro Data runs within the popular Microsoft Access data management system, and you can easily expand the system to your specific project needs by adding your own tables, queries, forms, reports, and program code. While many Enviro Data clients use the software as-is without modifications, the capability to expand the system yourself is always open to you. You should, however, consult Geotech before making changes to the software to avoid possible problems in the future.
Normalized relational data model - The data structure of Enviro Data has been carefully crafted using relational database theory to provide data integrity while minimizing storage requirements.
Store one or multiple projects in one database - Enviro Data lets you store as many projects, called “sites”, as needed in each database. You might want to do this if you have several projects with similar requirements.
Create multiple databases - You can create as many databases as you need. You might do this if your projects have more differences than similarities, or to protect client confidentiality.
Lab data checker - Geotech provides a lab checker version of the software, so your lab can check the format and consistency of your electronic data deliverable file with your existing data before they send it to you. Many labs around the country have licensed and can use this checker on your projects.
User classes and site security - Enviro Data lets you assign users to classes, which determines whether users can edit or only view data. You can also specify which users can have access to which sites in the database.
Database of databases - For users with a lot of Enviro Data database files, Enviro Data helps you manage them, showing summary statistics, and letting you open them with just a couple of mouse clicks, rather than having to navigate to the file each time.
Management of bulk data - You can easily manage data that does not easily fit into the samples/analyses data model. This works well for time sequence data such as from level loggers and multi-parameter probes, down-hole data such as direct push sensors, and two- and three-dimensional survey data. .
Support for Windows and Office Keyboard Shortcuts - Enviro Data support the common keyboard shortcuts. Note that these may vary depending on the version of MS Office or Windows you are using. There may be other keyboard shortcuts and a comprehensive list can be found here.
Self-guided tour - To help you get started using the software, Enviro Data comes with a self-guided tour that walks you through the major features of the software.
Activity logging - The software can keep a permanent record of activities in the software that can change data. And, in many cases, the software will even enter a description of what you did, which you can then edit and save. Then you can select a subset of the activities to view and/or report.
Split administrators from users - If you want you can provide different user interfaces for administrators, who build the database, and for users, who can only view data.
Support for many data types - Enviro Data is designed to handle data from a variety of different project types. Data can be stored for soil, air, water, tissue, rock, or any other matrix. The software can combine field data such as water and NAPL levels with lab data for metals, organics, biology, radiology, operating parameters, and almost any other constituent you need to track for your project.
Configurable lookup tables - The list of lookups or valid values for parameter names, flags, units, and so on, will often change from project to project. Enviro Data gives you complete control of these lookup tables, and you can customize them to suit the needs of each of your projects.
Lookup Libraries - You can set up libraries of lookups (valid value lists) that can be shared between databases. This is very useful if you have several projects with the same lists, such as Air Force ERPIMS or Army ERIS projects, or multiple projects in one state with the same maximum concentration levels. Contact Geotech to learn more about this advanced feature.
Sample event planning - Prior to going to the field, Enviro Data helps you plan your sample event. You can create events from scratch or clone previous events. You can also assign stations and parameters to the events. The software can print container labels, field orders, and chains of custody. Then, after the event, you can run a completeness report to make sure you got everything you expected. You can even have the software tell you what stations need to be sampled in future events.
Remote field tool - Users can set up their sample events in the office, and then go out in the field, where they can make changes as necessary, print container labels and chains of custody based on the revised samples, and then update the main database once they get back to the office.
Field data entry files - Based on the sampling plan, Enviro Data can prepare a file for field data entry using almost any mobile device - smartphone, Android tablet, iPad, etc.
Store geologic and lithologic data for stations and samples - Enviro Data lets you specify the geologic unit for each station, such as the screened interval or the formation at total depth. Geologic information for each sample can include the geologic unit, lithology, and a lithologic or soil description. Enviro Data can also create a boring log display.
Store site stratigraphy and geology - You can also store geologic units and lithology information at each location independent of samples, making it easier to set up your site conceptual model.
Store engineering data for stations - You can store engineering data for your stations, such as ground and datum elevations, total depth, and screened interval information. You can have multiple intervals of each type, such as multiple screened intervals in a well. You can also store general information for your stations, such as driller, installer, installed date, GIS coordinates, driving directions, and so on.
Manage permit information - The Enviro Data Permit Management system allows you to store permit and related data, including general and detailed information about the permit, as well as station, disposal options, and regulatory limits (target levels or MCLs) for stations and options.
Advanced handling of STORET, CAS, PARLABEL and other data - Enviro Data has features to work with industry standard fields for describing parameters. These numbers can be assigned to your parameters, and EPA STORET codes can be by parameter and matrix.
Importing and data checking - The two goals of the Enviro Data Import Wizard system are to get your data in cleanly and quickly. Comprehensive data checking is integrated with problem resolution features to help you work through the problems that inevitably come with field and lab data.
Multiple import formats - The software can import data in many different formats, or you can define your own, to make it easy to get your field and lab data into the software.
User-defined import formats - Create your own import formats to match the columnar data files that you are trying to import. This is particularly useful for historical data where you may have no control over the format that you receive.
Import data in crosstab format - Enviro Data can even import data in crosstab layout files, such as those with samples across and parameters down, or vice versa. And it knows how to interpret entries like “<0.01 J” or “1.37 ± .03.”
User-defined import of related files - Users can define imports that include multiple files in the same data deliverable.
Support for “blind” samples - You can import data from your lab without identifying the location of the sample using the field sample identification number. This works particularly well if you set up your samples in advance using the Enviro Data Sample Planning Tool.
Optional content filtering during import - For situations where certain types of data might have issues if imported into the database, Enviro Data lets you set up filters to notify you of certain data content, and optionally not import certain data into your database.
Optional method checking during import - You can have Enviro Data check the data being imported to ensure that valid methods were used for each parameter.
Set up defaults for missing data - You can set up reasonable defaults, so if some required data is missing from the import file, the software will add it for you. Of course, this feature should be used with care.
Use parameter aliases during import - You can set up global or site-specific parameter aliases to help with variability in naming conventions from project to project or lab to lab. Parameters can then be “unaliased” on the way out.
Use station aliases during import - You can set up aliases for stations to help with variability in naming conventions from project to project. Station Alias Types let you have multiple sets of names for stations, or the aliases can be used to help with misspellings. Stations can then be “unaliased” on the way out.
Add data during import - If your database is missing data required for the import, you can add stations, parameters, matrices, and so on, and then proceed with the import, minimizing lost time and maximizing quality.
Undo import - You can undo an import at any time after the data has been placed in the database. This can be useful if, for example, your lab re-issues your data file with more complete data, and you want to take out and replace the previous import. It is also great if you accidentally import reanalyzed data in the wrong order.
Full control for power users - View data imported in various formats, easily correct missing data, and run your own queries any time during the import to help clean up problem files. You can even create a complete database from scratch using one or more electronic deliverable files.
Avoid importing the same data twice - Enviro Data looks for duplicated data at the sample and analysis data levels during import to help avoid importing the same data twice.
Flexible handling of QC data - Quality control data is critical for many environmental projects. Enviro Data can handle QC data from the field, such as duplicates, matrix spikes, matrix spike duplicates and trip blanks, as well as lab QC and related data such as calibration samples, spikes, tentatively identified compounds, and surrogates.
User-configurable validation - Enviro Data has a set of software tools to assist you with data verification and validation. The combination of “verification” and “validation” activities will be referred to collectively as “validation”.
Automated quality tracking - As your data moves through your project quality control processes, the software helps you keep track of the quality levels that have been achieved, and lets you choose to see only data of a specific quality or higher.
Robust handling of non-detects - Non-Detected results are common in environmental data, and Enviro Data has a complete set of tools for handling them. You can store up to five detection limits for each result, and specify just how you want the results displayed, with many options such as < .01, .01u, ND, and so on. You can even specify a numeric factor or value, such as zero or half the limit, to report for the result, for special situations like contouring, statistics, or risk analysis.
Easily find and remove duplicated data - Enviro Data will search and identify improperly duplicated data, such as might happen if a file is imported more than once. You can even move analyses from one sample to another, and then delete the unnecessary sample. You can also easily clean up data that was erroneously imported with multiple spelling of station names or parameters.
Charge balance and TDS calculations - Help check the quality of your data by calculating a charge balance, adding up individual constituents and comparing to the total dissolved solids value reported by the lab.
Robust handling of duplicate data - Enviro Data can easily handle duplicated data at the sample and analysis level. For samples, duplicates are often related to quality control activities, which are described below. For analyses, existing results can be “superseded” by newer results, and then you can select which one or more results to display.
Track station status - Stations (wells, etc.) can be assigned a status, such as active or abandoned, so you can work with just the appropriate stations for the task at hand.
Handling of water levels and NAPLs - The software has a special set of tools for working with field data such as water levels and non-aqueous phase liquids. You can set up the software to automatically convert from depths to elevations during import or retrieval. You can have the software correct the water level for the presence of NAPL, using either a constant fluid density, or one from your lab data. And you can graph analytic values against fluid levels to better understand your site.
Handle filtered, diluted, and leached data - Enviro Data is set up to handle the various issues that arise with site analytical data, including field- and lab-filtered samples, multiple dilutions, and data resulting from TCLP and other leaching techniques. The program lets you choose the appropriate result from all the various values entered.
Handling of multiple regulatory limits and target levels - A big component of environmental projects is comparison to maximum concentration levels from multiple regulatory standards. Enviro Data lets you set up as many regulatory limit types as you wish, and assign limits by parameter, matrix, and site. You can also set up groups of limits for comparison, and several of the reports and exports let you compare each result to multiple limits at a time. Limits can be imported and exported.
Work with conditional regulatory limits - Enviro Data can evaluate results for regulatory limits where the limit for one parameter depends on the value of a second parameter such as pH or hardness, i.e., the limit for a metal may depend on the value of the pH.
Manage labs and contractors - Enviro Data lets you store information on the labs and contractors working on your projects and assign them to individual sites. This information can then be used in creating reference files for them to use in checking your electronic deliverables, and in preparing container labels and chains of custody.
Organization of documents - With Enviro Data you can enter information on documents in the database, and then assign documents to stations, samples, permits, and sample plans. You can then click on the document and open it. So, for example, you could bring up a list of your soil borings, and then click on each one to bring up its boring log.
Intuitive data selection - One of the key components of Enviro Data is the Select Data form, which makes it easy to retrieve just the data that you need. Pick the data selection criteria from drop-down lists, and then proceed with generating whatever output you need. Criteria can include lists and ranges, and the software understands common phrases like “last year”.
Dynamically filtered selection list display - As you choose data at higher levels, such as sites and stations, selection lists at lower levels such as samples and analyses can be limited to show only appropriate data, such as just the parameters for the stations you have selected.
Assign stations, samples and parameters/methods to groups - Enviro Data lets you assign stations (borings, wells, etc.) to groups so you can easily manage them together. You can do the same thing with samples and parameters/methods. Each item can be in one or more groups. This makes it easy to retrieve and display just the data you need. It also makes it easy for parameters to be in more than one summary category, such as naphthalene by volatile and semi-volatile methods.
Save selection sets - Once you have specified your selection criteria, you can save those criteria with a name for later use.
One-click output - Combine selection sets, display options, and output formats under one name, and create the output (report, graph, map, export) with just one click.
Optional SQL interface - The Select Data form puts data selection in the hands of non-technical users. For the “power users,” Enviro Data lets you use the SQL (structured query language) interface of Microsoft Access, SQL Server, and Oracle to provide almost infinite flexibility in data retrieval. You can even have Enviro Data create a SQL statement based on the Select Data form, and then modify the selection to fit your needs.
Easily display just “hits” - You can optionally display only detected results, or results that exceed the currently selected limit, or both.
Multiple output options - Enviro Data lets you display or output your data in a variety of formats. The Tree View makes it easy to “drill down” to just the result you need. Several dozen report formats let you print your data just the way you need it. An on-screen graph display and several printed report graph formats make it easy to see trends. The report graphs will also calculate and display various types of trend lines. And a map display right in the database shows you your results in their spatial context.
Modify or create reports - Enviro Data comes with a large assortment of report layouts, but people can be very specific about how they want their data displayed. You can use the Access report writer, the crosstab export, or other of the reporting tools of your choice, to modify existing report formats or create new ones. And these reports can take advantage of Enviro Data’s advanced data features such as unit conversion, limit comparison, trailing zeros, and value and flag display.
Statistical calculations, including outlier - Statistical reports are included with the software. These range from simple statistics to more sophisticated comparisons between current data and data from a historical period.
Detailed control over print order - You can specify the exact order that your parameters appear on your reports, which groups the parameters are contained in, and even the order of groups on your reports. If you want to have your field data first, or last, you can easily do it.
Automated unit conversion - Often the units in which parameters are reported can change over time, or between different data sources. Enviro Data can automatically convert your data to consistent units, either when you import it, or when you retrieve it. And the program will also convert related data such as detection and regulatory limits, so everything matches.
Automated calculation of derived parameters - Enviro Data can be set up to automatically calculate derived parameters in a variety of ways. The calculation can be as simple as multiplying a concentration times a flow rate to display an effluent amount. Or you can do calculations on groups of data, and nest multiple calculations, to perform sophisticated data manipulation. These calculations can be performed at import or retrieval time..
Sophisticated formatting of results using values and flags - This is one of the strongest features of Enviro Data - you can specify exactly how to display each result, based on its analytic or validation flag. This lets you get the most out of each displayed result, and the formatting of the results can be used in all your output, so you can be sure that your reports match your GIS maps, and so on.
Numerous options for display of numbers, dates, etc. - Enviro Data gives you a lot of flexibility in how your results are displayed, including scientific notation, delimiters such as commas or periods in large numbers, dates with and without times, and so on. You can also display rad counting error and other advanced data fields.
Save display option sets - After you have specified how you want Enviro Data to display your results, you can save these specifications with names, so you can easily switch between different sets of display options or combine a display option set with a selection set and output format in a Retrieval Set.
Listing of data – Many features of Enviro Data create lists. Two of these are found on the Select Data form with buttons to select a Quick List or formatted List. Most of these lists, regardless of where they are found can be modified by either right click in the list header and selecting one or more columns and dragging them to a different location in the header.
Multiple export formats - In addition to the various built-in display formats, your selected data can be exported in many different formats. These include XYZ file formats for external software like Surfer or RockWare, formats for various regulatory agencies and other data management products, or tables and other outputs for you to look at or include in your reports.
User-defined export formats - Create your own export formats to match the columnar data file formats that you need. This is particularly useful for regulatory and other reporting.
Crosstab Wizard - Enviro Data has a very powerful tool to define your own Excel exports, with the layout that you need - samples across and parameters down or vice versa - and just the data fields you need in the column headers, row headers, and data cells. In addition, you can easily add descriptive statistics to your tables.
User-defined export of related files - Users can define exports that include multiple files in the same data deliverable.
Create Excel and Access files - Many users like to use Microsoft Excel or Access to perform further analyses on their data. Enviro Data makes it easy, with various output formats to these popular programs. You can lay your data out in a line-by-line or a crosstab format, and some options will highlight exceedances in the target application.
Strong GIS interface - Enviro Data has a built-in tool to create simple maps of your data without needing any other software. Geotech also offers the Enviro Spase software for creating a variety of environmental-specific displays in your ArcGIS system. And it is easy to display data from Enviro Data in your GIS in a variety of ways, either by connecting directly to the database, or working from saved files.
Strong GIS interface - Enviro Data has a tool to create simple maps of your data without needing any other software. Geotech also provides the Enviro Spase software for creating a variety of environmental-specific displays in your GIS system. And it is easy to display data from Enviro Data in your GIS in a variety of ways, either by connecting directly to the database, or working from saved files.
Easily save to a web page - Enviro Data makes it easy to prepare your data for display on the Internet. You can save any Enviro Data list or report in HTML format to put on your web site, to get the most from your investment in data gathering.
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Header photos by Dave Rich