Locus Technologies

Quarterly Newsletter: Spring 2017


Locus

Happy birthday! We are 20!

Locus is 20 years young on April 11, 2017. Our success is a direct result of our amazing customers! Thank you!

Read about our 20 years of innovation

Locus

EIM's new Query Builder... one amazing tool!

EIM's Query Builder tool is one of a kind in the environmental data management industry. The tool, exclusively in Locus' EIM environmental information management software, provides users with a graphical "drag-and-drop" interface to design, save, and share customized SQL queries with their teams via the EIM interface.

EIM has always allowed users with advanced access and expert knowledge to write custom SQL queries against one site in the database. However, the existing tool required you to be extremely knowledgeable in both SQL and EIM's database structure.

The new EIM Query Builder tool allows all users (even those with less knowledge of EIM's structure and the SQL language) to access their data via an interactive tool for one site, multiple sites, or across a site group. The Query Builder tool saves time through a number of new, useful functions, such as including lists of EIM tables and columns, automatically populating table relationships, joins, and on-the-fly query debugging. It even includes "friendly names" to make table querying even easier. Additionally, users can save and share queries with colleagues and team members. The new version of Query Builder is now available to all customers and is included in the basic subscription pricing.

Read more on the Query Builder

Locus

Do you have to prepare a Consumer Confidence Report? EIM Water configuration can help!

EIM Water configuration just got even better. Locus has just released the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) module as an addition to Locus EIM Water. The Locus EIM Water configuration is designed for water system owners and operators to simplify the sampling, management, tracking, and regulatory reporting of drinking water compliance data.

The new CCR module streamlines a complex and often tedious process of preparing the annual calculations required for the report. The module guides the user through the steps of calculating the required statistics for the various analytical groups, as specified in the regulations. This tool also provides access to both the raw data used in the construction of the report, as well as various intermediate calculations. It also addresses contaminant groups not sampled in the current year, making complying with the requirements significantly easier.

The EPA Safe Water Drinking Act requires that water system owners and operators annually prepare the CCR for their customers. This report is something most people are very familiar with throughout the U.S.; in most cases, the local water provider directly provides a copy of the report to consumers. By design, the CCR is a simple and easy-to-read view of drinking water quality for consumers. What is not apparent in the report that consumers see is the complex process behind creating the report, including a structured review of one or more years of compliance data.

Read more on the CCR module

Locus

Manage & track waste in Locus Platform's updated Waste module

Locus has updated our powerful waste management application within Locus Platform. The Waste app redefines and standardizes how your company organizes and manages its waste profiles and waste containers, and how to support EPA reporting requirements for hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

The robust, reliable, and easy-to-use Waste app includes notifications to generate reminders and track preparation of waste containers for shipment and tracking, prepare shipping labels, generate manifests, and prepare standard reports (e.g. Waste Summary Generation Report) for facility and corporate-wide use. The Waste app brings an organized approach and workflow process to schedule, sample, and analyze results associated with waste.

Locus Platform's Waste app is ready out-of-the-box to track, manage, and report waste at any number of facilities. Our robust business analytics toolkit provides total flexibility to build most common types of reports and dashboards that you might need to summarize and analyze data inputs. In addition, the views and dashboards export to Excel, so you can easily integrate with commonly used tools and further mine the data. If your company prefers a different visualization or reporting tool, we can integrate with those solutions to meet your business process needs.

Within the Waste app, you will also have real-time insight into your generator status. If your facility is expecting growth, we can help you understand when you may reach a different generator status, setting up notifications when you approach the threshold limit. Forms will automatically adapt to a change in status, prompting users to provide different data points when your generator status has changed.

And of course, the Waste app is fully mobile-enabled to track container location and ensure storage compatibility in satellite accumulation areas. When paired with Locus' EIM system, the tool can also track all waste sampling and characterization processes and use that information directly to generate waste profiles.

Contact sales@locustec.com for more information (or your Locus account manager if you are an existing customer).

Read more about the Waste app in Locus Platform

Now supporting WQX exports in EIM

Locus just added WQX exports in EIM. The tool, exclusively in Locus' EIM environmental information management software, provides users with simple, intuitive interface to load data with the EPA's Water Quality eXchange (WQX) into the EPA Storage and Retrieval (STORET) data warehouse, following the standards and protocols of the National Environmental Information Exchange Network.

Locus customers that need to share water quality data with EPA via WQX and STORET, such as tribes, states and their data partners, now have an easy way to translate EIM data to WQX-compatible formats for simplified data submission. This allows customers to take advantage of the many benefits of a sophisticated environmental data system and still easily provide data to EPA per their agreed upon requirements. They can use EIM to seamlessly integrate laboratory deliverables, manage time series field data, complex analytical data, spatial data, and also take advantage of Locus Mobile for field sampling.

Contact sales@locustec.com for more information (or your Locus account manager if you are an existing customer).

Read more on WQX

Locus

GHG season kicking into high gear! We just released a "tips and tricks" white paper, just in time for verification season

With GHG verification season just starting, we want to share some "insider tips" to help our customers achieve a successful verification. After completing hundreds of verifications for greenhouse gas reports, Locus' team of verifiers has identified thousands of errors and missteps that GHG reporters commonly make when assembling their reports.

Unfortunately, verifiers like Locus are prevented from providing consulting advice directly to their reporters (due to regulatory conflict of interest requirements), so we aren't allowed to share findings with our reporters that would make their job easier, or that would make their reports more accurate. The verifier is only allowed to state whether or not the report meets the requirements of the regulations.

So we've compiled a list of the most common issues that are causing reporters additional time or cost, and how to avoid them.

If you want more information on our GHG verification services or software apps, visit our website or contact us at sales@locustec.com.

Download the free white paper

Locus

Advisory Panel: Updates from our winter meetings

The Locus EIM Customer Advisory Panel has quickly become a valuable part of the EIM development process. Over the winter months, the Advisory Panel has been discussing EIM features that the Locus Development Team is actively working to design and enhance.

January and March— Sample Planning
The EIM development team has been working hard to streamline the Sample Planning module and ensure that users have the best experience possible. For that reason, the Advisory Panel met twice during the first quarter to discuss the Sample Planning module.

The Advisory Panel provided valuable feedback on how to further enhance and streamline the popular EIM tool. Many of the Advisory Panel's suggestions focused on how the Sample Planning module can help with communication and ensuring that all parties involved in the sample planning, collection, and analysis process (including laboratories) understand their role in the process. Additional discussion centered around how to streamline implementation of the module, using data from previous sample events. Discussions also involved how to make the tool more accessible to all user levels by designing an interface that provides dropdowns and familiar screens that mimic typical field forms.

February— Document management in EIM
February's Advisory Panel meeting focused on document management in EIM and a new tool (currently in development) that will allow users to manage documents within the EIM Interface. The tool will allow users to integrate with existing data management systems (such as SharePoint), associate locations with photos and other documents, and more.

While the Locus team had a basic outline of the core functionality needed for this new tool, the Advisory Panel was able to provide Locus with a deeper understanding of the practical use cases and more nuanced requirements. For example, the Advisory Panel agreed that a key functionality is associating locations with photos and other documents, but they also suggested it would be incredibly helpful to be able to associate documents with Sample Delivery Groups (SDGs), thus better organizing laboratory PDF reports within EIM. Additional topics of discussion included security, strategies for enforcing logical document organization, and methods for uploading documents.

The Locus team truly appreciates the input of the Advisory Panel, and we look forward to future discussions to help continue making EIM the best solution possible for our customers. If you are interested in participating in the EIM Customer Advisory Panel, or would just like to learn more, please feel free to contact your Project Manager or the Locus Help Desk.


Locus

Spring conference season recap

NAEM's 2017 EHS & Sustainability Software Conference
March 6-8 in Houston, TX

Locus had a great time in Houston, TX visiting with customers, presenting Locus Platform with Grain Processing Corporation, and meeting industry professionals. The presentation slides are available for folks interested in looking at how one customer implemented our latest configurable platform software. NAEM is always a great conference— we look forward to attending the NAEM EHS Management Forum in October and hope to see you there!

 

Waste Management (WM) 2017
March 5-9 in Phoenix, AZ

Locus' Dr. Sean Sandborgh co-presented a poster with our customer Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on the Waste Data Summary module that was added to EIM to support LANL's waste review and disposal processes. We had a great reception with lots of interest, and it was a great example of Locus' ability to configure advanced automated data reviews inside EIM. Take a look at the video and poster for ideas about how this can work for your waste management processes.


Upcoming conferences and events

Locus

ICEDM
May 10-11, 2017
Indianapolis, Indiana

Locus is excited to sponsor and present at the upcoming International Conference on Environmental Data Management (ICEDM) on May 10 and 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference is popular among data managers across the world and provides a valuable venue for exchanging ideas, developing strategies and learning from each other.

Several of Locus' team members have been involved in this year's ICEDM Best Management Practices (BMP) committees, which are dedicated to developing and communicating best practices for the industry. As leaders in the environmental data management community, Locus has been committed to attending and assisting with ICEDM's BMP efforts.

We hope to see many of our user community at the conference in Indianapolis to hear David McConaughy, Sr. Project Manager at Locus, present about a large Locus EIM implementation's success and lessons learned!


Latest Locus news

In case you missed our most recent new customers and other developments, check out some of our recent press releases.

Locus Technologies receives EBJ Business Achievement Award
Environmental Business Journal (EBJ), a business research publication which provides high-value strategic business intelligence to the environmental industry, granted Locus the 2016 award for Information Technology in the environmental and sustainability industry— for the eleventh year running.

Locus Technologies performs a record number of GHG verifications in California
We performed 74 verifications for the reporting year 2015 for the California Air Resources Board AB32 Program— more than any other accredited verification body.

Data mining gains more cachet in construction sector
Locus is mentioned in ENR's article about data mining, discussing how Locus software helps our long-time customer Los Alamos National Laboratory manage their environmental compliance and monitoring.



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