A lot has happened technology-wise since the Windows XP days, when most software was expensive, had to be installed on your computer, and was not exactly easy to use. Most of that stuff had substantial learning curves. Some required server software to be installed on-premise, meaning it was out of the realm of possible for smaller consulting shops looking for something inexpensive and quick. EQuIS fell into this category. Unless you had an IT department and large enough projects to justify the cost, implementation phase, and learning curve, migrating from Excel or other simple tools to something like EQuIS just wasn’t feasible. So most of those smaller shops just kept using the same tool they used before: Excel.
Are you one of those? Are you still using Excel for this stuff because the alternatives “ain’t worth it“?
Browser-Based Software Alternative
Well, that was then. Today, there’s all sorts of software that runs right in your browser. No need for super expensive installable and complicated software with huge user guides. No need for admin rights to install something. No need for server racks. No need for an IT department. Heck, even the billing for these newer breed of tools is simple and affordable, sometimes even free!
DataConcourse is one such modern tool built specifically for the environmental scientist and consultant. It does one thing and one thing really well: it produces environmental lab reports. And it runs inside any browser, with nothing to install, no need for an IT department, and even no need for a thick user guide.
Lab Reports Right From Your Browser
The DataConcourse user-interface is simple and understandable because it contains a straightforward workflow with just a few options at each point. Inside DataConcourse, all you need to do is specify which environmental standards to apply to your dataset, and what formatting you want to use to highlight exceedances.
Want to display exceedances in bold-face with yellow background? No problem.
Want to apply two different standards to your data, and display exceedances differently for each? No problem.
Validation Qualifiers and Comments
Another area where DataConcourse shines is its ability to handle multiple qualifiers. Any qualifiers added by the lab will automatically be inserted and displayed on your browser screen, and you can also add validation qualifiers, final qualifiers, and comments for each analytical value in your data.
Data Tag Maps and Charts
Beyond the above, DataConcourse also allows you to create data tag maps. You know, those site maps that have little blocks containing analytical parameter values next to each sampling location. You can also use DataConcourse to plot graphs of your analytical parameter values. These two areas of the system are still in their infancy and will be undergoing some major improvements in the months ahead.
Exporting to Excel
Once you have your exceedances formatted and highlighted how you want them to look, you can then export everything to Excel for further manipulation and printing. Note that ALL of the formatting is retained…you won’t lose any formatting when exporting from DataConcourse to Excel. So all of those highlighted yellow background cells? They will appear in your exported Excel file, either horizontally or vertically. Think of these two different export options as Excel’s pivot table feature, where you can switch rows to columns and vice versa.
And all of those qualifiers and comments? Those get exported to Excel too! Nothing is lost or missing.
At $69/Lab Report, Definitely Affordable (unlike others)
With DataConcourse, there are no software licenses to buy or install, no server costs, no implementation costs, no IT support time, and not even any monthly bills either. Just pay one small fee per lab import file (aka lab Sample Delivery Group). That’s it.
Here’s how that works: Let’s say that you sent 20 groundwater samples to TestAmerica a couple of weeks ago. TestAmerica then produced the DataConcourse EDD and either emailed it to you or emailed it directly into your DataConcourse account. Once the file is in there, you can use it, analyze it, and so forth. And when you want to export it to Excel, the system will prompt you to pay a one-time fee of $69, which gives you a full year to do what you need to do. And if you want to extend this timeframe and have that file stored longer, you pay an extra $20 to maintain it accessible for another year.
Tight Integration with Element LIMS from Promium
I saved the best part for last. DataConcourse is tightly integrated with Element LIMS from Promium! That might not sound like a big deal, but it is a big deal because there are nearly 300 labs that use Element LIMS (about 40% of the entire environmental lab market in the USA). This means that every single lab that uses Element as their LIMS can produce DataConcourse EDDs automatically right out of the box, with no additional programming work.
Part of a Larger Fully-Electronic Initiative
The goal of the Promium/Provalent Solutions LLC initiative is to create a sort of cradle-to-grave electronic process, whereby an environmental consultant uses modern technology at each point, from sample chain of custody data collection all the way to lab report completion. Think of it this way: an environmental scientist uses EnviroChain to collect sample chain of custody information using their smartphone. That data is inserted directly into Element LIMS electronically. The samples get analyzed, and the analytical data stored in Element is then pushed into DataConcourse for lab report preparation by the consultant. An entirely electronic workflow, from beginning to end, with no human data transcription in between. None.
We think that this will be the future for the environmental lab industry. Promium is aligned with this future. We are too.
Try it, for free
Want to be a part of this and give it a try? It’s easy and there’s a free trial, meaning your first 10 report files are completely free. Click the button below to find out more.