There are numerous reasons why organizations need to go out into the field for data collection. The main issue that arises when they're pressed to carry out these tasks is how they should go about doing the work. Recently, Alaska Public Radio reported the Center for Water Advocacy, which is working with a local tribal council, is aiming to collect information related to a mineral exploration firm's activities near an important water source. Beyond the legal barriers inhibiting the project, they also face logistical barriers.
Environmental Regulators Demand Data Accuracy
Another organization concerned about the environmental impact of industrial processes is Antea Group. The international engineering and environmental consulting firm works with regulatory groups, in addition to companies in petroleum and industrial sectors. The company helps organizations analyze a variety of environmental resources and uses the data to help ensure they're complying with governmental regulations. Before partnering with RFgen for mobile data collection solutions, Antea Group depended on manual processes that resulted in an abundance of errors.
Take, for instance, Antea Group's working relationship with a state environmental regulatory agency. Antea Group was in charge of collecting drinking water samples from local public water systems and sending them to a laboratory for analysis. Among just 20 workers out in the field, between 40,000 and 60,000 samples would be taken each year, and each sample was accompanied by four documents. These sample collectors had to write in all information by hand, and the form wouldn't enter the company's central database until roughly two weeks after the fact. While the four forms were sent out to various agencies, the paper-based system resulted in hundreds of mistakes. In fact, Antea Group Project Manager Patrick Marty explained there were anywhere from 400 to 600 rejected samples annually due to missing data, transcription errors and other documentation mishaps.
Mobile Data Collection Aids Workers
As a result, Antea Group invested in mobile technology to aid samplers out in the field. Specifically, the company chose tablets to reduce the burden of manually duplicating information on various forms, and selected RFgen as the software provider because of its flexibility and ease of use. Built in quality control features prevent workers from sampling the wrong water source, as well as requiring standardized entries for specific metrics like pH values. In addition, data can be transmitted to the central database immediately. Within just one month of deployment, the company saw its sample rejection rate drop by 95 percent. Clearly, mobile data collection solutions help create an information infrastructure that oil and gas industry stakeholders can depend on.