The Ultimate Guide to Environmental Data 2021
What is Environmental Data?
Environmental data is a data based on the condition of the environment, measurement of environmental pressure, and adverse effect on the ecosystem. It is typically a PSI of DPSIR model where D is for drivers, P is for pressure, S is for the state, I is for impact, and R is for the response. In simple terms, we can say that it is the information that describes qualitative, quantitative, and geographically referenced facts that showcase the condition and changes in the environment.
Some of the common environmental data types consists of; weather, air quality, and pollen data.
NGOs, environmental ministries, Statistical offices, and institutions usually collect and use this kind of data. A new method for data collection, dissemination, and analysis offers a good opportunity to make the data error-free and accurate.
Satellite and sensor technology offers users the potential to garner environmental data remotely with no data entry necessary.
Who Uses Environmental Data and for What?
Scientists are always in the hunt of high-end observational data sets mixed with simulations to understand and predict the behavior of the ecosystem with time. They collect, aggregate, and analyze environmental data to know more about the earth processes, test location, and parameterize and offer information to the common public and specific user groups. It helps them in solid planning related to infrastructure, environment, and energy usage.
The general public uses detailed environmental data to stay up-to-date on the existing condition of the environment. It helps them to take the necessary steps in order to minimize their carbon footprint on mother earth.
Policymakers do a thoughtful analysis of environmental data and use it to implement vital environmental policy changes. They also effectively harness advanced technology to close data gaps that have long hampered good policymaking and helps them find out the issue in time to take preventive action.
Companies across the globe are nowadays setting up specific goals in order to become more sustainable. They use environmental performance data not just to stay compliant with regulatory requirements but also to boost their image.
What are Typical Environmental Data Attributes?
Collecting the following environmental data metrics is important:
- Wind speed
- Rain or snow
- Humidity level
- Species abundance
- The total number of specific species type
- Species size or weight
- Population growth rate
- Mortality rate
- Life span/longevity
Socioeconomic and Occupational Health Data
- Total number of slums in a specific area
- Affected population per the state
- Health status of the communities
- Existing infrastructure facilities in a particular area
- Air quality
- Groundwater quality
- Particulate matter
- VOCs, Ozone, and nitrogen dioxide levels
- Number of wildlife fires and open area burns
How is Environmental Data Typically Collected?
Environmental data collection typically includes solid planning, technical expertise, and a wide knowledge of environmental rules.
The elements of systematic planning include goals, schedule, project organization, data requirements, data collection methods, data quantity and quality, QA and QC needs, analytical methods – all of which ensure that the relevant and accurate data are garnered properly for the intended use.
Sources of environmental data are:
Statistical Surveys – You can carry out surveys to garner environmental statistics from a specific part of the population of interest
Administrative Records – Administrative data stored by the governments and other organizations can also be used for the generation of environmental
Remote Sensing and Thematic Mapping – Remote sensors obtain high-quality environmental data about the inaccessible or deadly regions and objects for a certain distance, usually with the help of satellite or air aircraft. This technology is usually used to collect and analyze forests, changes in soil erosion, pollution level, an estimate of the animal population, and the impact of natural disasters.
Monitoring Systems - Use field monitoring stations that capture all qualitative and qualitative environmental data aspects such as soil, air, water, or quality; meteorological or hydrological parameters. The best thing about this technique is that data is typically collected using verified scientific methods and constantly uses modeling to enhance data quality.
Scientific Research - Accurate environmental data is also collected via scientific research. This kind of information is usually available for free or low cost.
How to Assess the Quality of Environmental Data?
Environmental data quality matters a lot when it comes to making important decisions, evaluations, and conclusions related to the environment. That is why it is crucial to use appropriate data quality models and methodologies to achieve the desired outcome.
Here is a step-by-step guide to use while assessing environmental data quality:
Step 1: Understand the Sources and Collection Methods Well
When evaluating environmental data, make sure you are familiar with the sources and data collection methods. Also, the source must be legal, ethical, and 100% original to avoid any potential issues in the coming years.
Step 2: Ask for References
Ask your data provider to provide you references of their past customers so that you can validate the quality of data. You can also reach out to their previous customers directly.
Step 3: Apply Data Testing (Sample Set)
Ask your data provider for a sample data set and then test it well. Analyze the results carefully and check if this is what you want.
How is Environmental Data Typically Priced?
If you fail to plan appropriately and model your unique environmental needs in advance, you will end up paying your data company more. Some of the more common pricing models we see are:
1. Subscription/Licensing: You need to subscribe to the data provider. After you get access to API, and this model type provides regularly updated datasets.
2. Pay Per Large Batch (one-time payment): You can also make a one-time payment for each larger batch of environmental datasets.
3. Tailored Quotes for Special Needs: If you have unique needs, you can explain this to your environmental data provider. Remember, your pricing will differ depending on your needs.
#1 Challenge in Handling Environmental Data
Collecting long-term environmental data is crucial when it comes to assessing changes in the environment, whether globally or regionally. Assembling and managing high quality environmental data sets is the biggest challenge for the researchers.
Though they can close data gaps with the latest technologies, there will always be specific problems that are hard to fix. Thus, thoughtful analysis is needed to interpret available environmental data.
What to Ask Environmental Data providers?
Following are the key questions to consider asking your next environmental data vendor:
- Where and how was the data collected?
- How do you process and validate your environmental data?
- Can you provide me with a sample for testing?
Environmental data volume is tremendous, and it is tough to judge the quality within a reasonable amount of time. Also, if you are buying data for a big facility or a group of facilities, it’s easy to get lost in the piles of paperwork. Thus you need proper planning to handle and assess the quality of the vast amount of data. The information mentioned above will help you during your vendor selection.
Who are the best Environmental Data providers?
Finding the right Environmental Data provider for you really depends on your unique use case and data requirements, including budget and geographical coverage. Popular Environmental Data providers that you might want to buy Environmental Data from are Ambee, CustomWeather, Meteomatics, Storm Glass, and OikoLab Weather.
Where can I buy Environmental Data?
Data providers and vendors listed on Datarade sell Environmental Data products and samples. Popular Environmental Data products and datasets available on our platform are ISS ESG Environmental and Social Disclosure Data QualityScore (CSR) by ISS ESG, CustomWeather - Global Historical Marine Data and Analytics - 10 Years by CustomWeather, and Ambee: Air Quality Data API - Global Coverage, Real-Time Delivery, 1M+ Postcodes by Ambee.
How can I get Environmental Data?
You can get Environmental Data via a range of delivery methods - the right one for you depends on your use case. For example, historical Environmental Data is usually available to download in bulk and delivered using an S3 bucket. On the other hand, if your use case is time-critical, you can buy real-time Environmental Data APIs, feeds and streams to download the most up-to-date intelligence.