RBDMS Products Improve Data Quality for Analysis and Decision-Making
RBDMS (Risk Based Data Management System) is used by 26 state agencies across the nation to track all aspects of oil and gas regulatory processes as well as environmental variables related to water quality. Millions of data points are stored in RBDMS systems to ensure proper regulation. However, reports generated to drive regulatory action are only useful if the data is accurate and complete. RBDMS eForm was primarily built to increase efficiency for agencies and oil and gas operators when fulfilling regulatory reporting requirements. It even allowed the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to go paperless, but another equally important outcome of eForm implementation is a significant improvement in data quality.
eForm allows for electronic filing of applications for drilling permits, monthly production reports, and other forms by operators. eForm decreases the opportunity for errors when compared to old systems where errors could be introduced when operators filled out paper forms or when the agency entered data from paper forms into a database system. Basic electronic form capabilities like dropdowns and checkboxes ensure that the data is collected in a standardized way. eForm also checks the data and does not allow poorly entered or incomplete data to be submitted. Operators are able to see and fix any issues detected by the system before submitting information to the agency.
“RBDMS eForm helps us ensure data quality,” said Kirk McQuillan, Deputy Director of the Alabama State Oil and Gas Board. “The database is only as good as the data and eForm gives us reliable data that can be used for meaningful comparison and analysis.”
The accuracy of information entered into the system by state agency inspectors is just as important as the data submitted by industry operators. Inspectors create data about sites every day they are in the field, but it can be difficult to gather this information in a useful format. GWPC is currently beta testing a mobile and offline-friendly Field Inspection application. This application will allow inspectors to record information in the field from real-time observations and will standardize data even more, allowing for detailed analysis of things like the causes of spills.
Accurate data is necessary when used by researchers, agency staff, and industry operators to make recommendations to improve safety and environmental outcomes. “Online forms reduce the potential to introduce errors from the form to the database and provide real-time information,” said Lauren Patterson, Policy Associate at the Duke Nicholas Institute. “They provide more accessible data and more standardized data. It becomes easier for everyone to pull data once you have electronic forms.”