Proper data management is essential to every company’s operations. But it’s even more important for businesses to have strong systems in place if, or when, incidents like natural disasters occur. CTEH data manager Josh Blansett explains more:

First, can you explain more about what exactly data management is?
This term often conjures up images of thick glasses and pocket protectors. However, data management is present in nearly every aspect of our society. Take elections and polling data as an example. Consider how difficult it would be to analyze and understand a data set with the entire nation’s political leanings. With a population of almost 330 million, it would be an extremely difficult task. Data management allows us to transform and present this information in an easily digestible format, whether through a simple figure like a bar graph or a fully interactive dashboard on a web portal.

How does a strong data management system help companies during incidents?
A strong data management system means plans are in place, communication is operating at the highest level, and decisions are being made with relevant, accurate, and timely information. Having these programs and practices not only means saving money or preventing damage to the environment, but protecting lives. Everyone is familiar with the adage “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Data management allows us to retain knowledge, information, and lessons learned from past incidents to better prepare for the future.

Are there any easy tips or protocols companies can follow to improve their data management systems and better prepare for crisis situations?
Planning is one of the strongest facets of data management. Conducting realistic scenarios is a smart way to identify both strengths and deficiencies in existing processes and adjust accordingly. At CTEH, we utilize our data management personnel in a variety of field positions so they can gain first-hand knowledge. This helps us better understand the challenges our colleagues and partners face so we can create new and groundbreaking solutions—from custom software to mobile apps.

What types of data management services does CTEH provide during incidents?
Data management is integrated in nearly every service line we offer, including emergency response, industrial hygiene, process design, compliance, disaster recovery, asset management, and others. Rather than field responders with pens and pads who create very localized access to critical response information, we use custom tools such as mobile and web applications; GIS and data visualization platforms; and innovative techniques like aerial photography and photogrammetry. This allows us to collect data in real-time and make it immediately available to experts anywhere in the world so they can make informed, evidence-based decisions and get people or communities the help they need as quickly as possible.

Have questions about data management? Contact CTEH at 501-801-8500 or