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environmental-database-management-system-collaborationOne of the most frustrating issues you face when working on environmental projects is the fact that sites, facilities and people are usually spread out. Sometimes quite far from one another. That creates an inherent barrier to collaboration. An environmental database management system transcends that issue, not just facilitating but strengthening collaboration among your team.

Without effective collaboration, you cannot expect to devise the best solutions. Nor can you expect key individuals who feel left out of the process to be supportive of whatever solution you do develop. And the truth is, the more brains you direct toward each project, the better your results will be.

Here are just three ways an environmental database management system can help you strengthen collaboration.

1. Data for all, all the time.
An environmental database management system is the essence of automation. You can gather and upload data any time, from anywhere you have internet connectivity. If you can’t connect from a remote field site, you can simply capture information as you enter it for easy upload as soon as you have service. All data is stored on a central database, so each of your project team members has immediate access to whatever they need.

You can’t collaborate without sharing information. An environmental database management system enables you to bring people together without literally bringing them together. That saves time and money associated with traveling to meetings as well as costs and delays associated with transporting project-related documents back and forth among your team members.

2. A picture’s worth a thousand words.
Nothing you do is simple. And when it comes to environmental engineering projects, visualizations are worth more than mere words. The right visuals promote understanding.

An environmental database management system integrates seamlessly with any type of 2D, 3D, contouring, mapping or other visualization application you want to use. You get quick, comprehensive site views that clearly show the big picture. And you can zoom into the visuals, to see the precise chemical make-up of each location where core samples were collected.

Rather than sending incomprehensible reports to your non-scientist team members, or spending hours trying to translate the data into lay terms, everyone can immediately comprehend situation. You’ll save time overall, but more importantly, you can focus project time on collaborative discussion to develop the best solutions.

And speaking of solutions, your environmental database management system also automates all those tedious, time-consuming calculations. You don’t have to manually convert metrics to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples. You can pose unlimited complex queries to explore possible solutions – and get quick answers. You can run cost estimates on possible solutions to determine the best choice.

3. You can collaborate with anyone.
Not just team members, outside scientific or regulatory consultants, additional attorneys or anyone else you need to bring in. You can provide them with exactly the information they need to review, no matter where they are, right away.

For client-based projects that require some type of remediation, it’s not just your team and your client who are involved. The collaborative capabilities of your environmental database management system not only support thorough evaluation of data and careful consideration of potential actions, they ensure your remediation partners and contractors will have all the information they need to get work done well, on time and as expected.

And as unlikely as it may be, if something unforeseen occurs during remediation, everyone will be best positioned to collaborate further on whatever modifications are needed.

An environmental database management system also prepares you with detailed, complete, timely and accurate information needed for compliance and other official reporting. Building a reputation for accuracy and openness will help you create pleasant, collaborative relationships with regulators. And there’s a lot to be said for positive working relationships, especially with public agencies who have control over your property and how you manage it.

Photo Credit: buddawiggi via Flickr

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