ESII Tool Unveiled!

Yesterday, at the GreenBiz Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, the ESII (Ecosystem Services Identification & Services) Tool was introduced to the world.

The ESII (pronounced “Easy”) Tool is the result of a collaboration between Dow Chemical and The Nature Conservancy. They’ve been working on it since 2011. Our involvement has been in the past year. It’s a project we are very excited and proud to be a part of.

The ESII Tool has the ability to transform the way businesses view the environment. That sounds like a lot of hyperbole, but for the first time ever, there is a comprehensive tool that allows businesses to identify and measure the benefits of nature on the land that they own. Not only does it give businesses the opportunity to see what is currently there, but it gives them a planning tool to play around with alternative scenarios. 

To find out more and to download the free iPad app, go to esiitool.com.

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on the ESII Tool!


Yes, we speak SQL

We recently finished a project for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) where we migrated old data from a variety of sources into a new, modern SQL database that our team modeled and implemented. In addition, we built a web application that allows DLCD staff (and, coming soon, county staff) to enter, view and edit the data.
For DLCD, this was a mission-critical project to take control over an ever-growing cacophony of data. We were given data that had been stored in Access, FileMaker and even Paradox. Our job was to model a new, modern database based in SQL Server, parse out (and clean up) the old data, and migrate it into the new database.

Our next step was to build a web application that would allow DLCD staff to enter, view and edit data. Something that – before now – only a limited number of people had the ability to do. Our web application offers a modern alternative to paper forms and business rules and logic have been built into the application to enforce quality in the data as it is entered.  While not a revolutionary concept, this practical use of technology represents a major positive change for an agency that has struggled with data management in the past.

The new database/web application was recently launched and is already a hit among the DLCD staff. They will be using it internally for a few months before opening it up to the counties (the data originates at the county-level) for their staff to directly enter data.

As you can imagine, there were a lot of challenges along the way, but we worked with our client and moved past the challenges (did you see the part about the sources of data!?) to build them a tool that we feel will serve them for years to come.