Elevating environmental data with EMMA

Created out of a need to store and manage large datasets, EMMA has become invaluable in the mining and power generation sectors.

It’s common for Ecometrix to work with large amounts of data. Often, that data needs to be checked for validity, consistency, and matching original samples. Environmental Monitoring Modeling Application, or EMMA, is a software solution designed and developed in-house at Ecometrix, born out of a need to store, manage, and report that environmental data.

“We were going to do a project that required a large amount of consecutive data for weeks in a row at the same stations,” says Joe Tetreault, Associate Director of Environmental Monitoring and Technology, Senior Aquatic Biologist. “We were trying to think of the best way to manage that data that would meet quality control requirements for the nuclear industry while being easy to input data at the start and make reports for display items.”

The answer was EMMA, a solution that started as a means of managing large datasets for the nuclear power industry that has since evolved and adapted to the changing needs of clients.

“From there, it grew to house data used for a variety of clients for annual reports and produce display items for annual reports in a timelier manner,” Joe continues. “Since its inception, we’ve added numerous features and checks both on the data quality assurance side but also on the output side, making it more user-friendly and flexible to generate reports in different formats.”

There are various features that make EMMA so useful.

“One of the biggest powers of EMMA is getting the data in line before you start processing it,” Joe says. “It won’t allow the upload of datapoints for sampling locations that do not exist on its map. This keeps all labelling consistent throughout the data process and ensures data is not missed.”

A screenshot of data within EMMA. EMMA in action

Another feature is being able to set your screening values to determine if there are exceedances. These screenings result in both graphical and tabular outputs for easy visualization of results.

That visual element continues with the option to display a map of a client’s site that includes all the sampling locations. “A lot of other solutions are spreadsheet-based data storage devices,” Joe says. “EMMA is very applicable, allowing you to understand where your sampling locations are in comparison to where you’re getting your data quality. You go into the map and highlight the sampling locations you want to pull the data from.”

What also makes EMMA unique is the fact it’s all been developed in-house. Ecometrix has its own in-house programmer, Gene Shen, who is able to program various computer languages and create different kinds of software. As a result, there's the opportunity to tailor EMMA to a client’s needs and fix any issues quickly.

EMMA isn’t the only software Ecometrix has spearheaded. “The original piece of software was IMPACT™, which Bruce [Rodgers, CEO], Gene, and others had created for the nuclear industry. Then, we saw this need for other things, which turned into EMMA, which then turned into MineMod™.”

At present, all teams at Ecometrix have used EMMA to manage data. Our experts have helped several large, long-term clients store and manage their data, and we’ll continue using their insights to improve and evolve EMMA in future.

Find out more about Ecometrix’s software solutions

For more on how Ecometrix is using software to help clients deliver outstanding environmental project results, read about our environmental pathways and exposure modelling tool, IMPACT.