Glossary

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Glossary

Action Levels – Values against which analytical results or parameter measurements are compared when reporting in EQuIS. Action levels may also be referred to as standards, comparison criteria, cleanup levels, etc. As defined by users, action levels may apply to the entire database or may be specific to a facility or subfacility, a limited time period, a particular matrix, land use, analytic method, fraction, depth and/or geologic unit. Additionally, Advanced Action Levels can be configured to look up and/or calculate a sample-specific action level for an analyte using lookups and/or formulas.

Amendments – Amendments record instructions from the client to the laboratory in response to Sample Receipt Notifications (SRNs) that can include correction of errors or other communications. Example errors may include incorrect sample codes and sample dates, and example communications may include directions to proceed or cancel analyses, prioritize one analysis over another in a scenario of limited volume, etc.

Analyte – The substance being analyzed for or quantified by an analytical procedure. Many different names can be used to mean the same thing: Analyte, chemical, compound, constituent, contaminant, determinant, parameter, etc.

Analyte Group – User-defined collection of analytes for reporting and graphing.

ArcEQuIS – ArcEQuIS is an add-in for Esri ArcGIS Pro to easily view and analyze EQuIS data by directly connecting to an EQuIS Enterprise site.

CAS RN (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number) – The CAS RN, often referred to as the "CAS number", is a unique identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service to chemical substances. There is only one identifier per substance. The registry designation serves as a link to a wealth of information about a specific chemical substance.

Check – EQuIS DQM is organized around data quality checks, to which any data set may be compared. One or more checks can be selected to run against the data set at one time. A check is a group of one or more rules. There are a variety “out-of-the-box” checks available for use in DQM, and each of the checks may be modified to desired specifications.

Classed Posts – Two-dimensional single constituent plots that have color-coded symbols posted at monitoring locations, which are based on grouping the data into discrete classes (bins). The color and radius of the symbol are dependent on the value of the selected constituent at that monitoring location.

COC (Chain of Custody) – In legal contexts, laboratory chain of custody procedures refer to the  documentation or paper trail that records the quality of all samples during collection, transportation, and storage prior to analysis. The COCs provide documentation of analytical instructions to the analytical laboratory, are a record of samples sent to the laboratory, and guarantee samples were handled appropriately (not available for tampering) prior to analysis. An electronic COC (eCOC) is an XML file containing the sample and laboratory information.

Commit – The process in which created data is compared to data already in EQuIS via the primary keys. Depending on which commit type is selected, the commit process will determine how the data are imported into EQuIS.

Completeness Reports – To verify that all of the anticipated samples, results and activities have been loaded into the database, run the completeness reports. These reports may be run manually from EQuIS SPM, Professional, and Enterprise, or they may be setup as EIAs to run automatically.

Contracts – Contracts represent the specifications agreed upon with service providers, such as laboratories and field sampling crews. At least one contract must be defined per plan. Method Analyte Groups (or contract-specific analyte suites) must be defined. MAGs must be associated with a contract to make them available for selection when adding samples to planned tasks.

Create The process in which data in the EDD is mapped from the structure of the format to the structure of the EQuIS database and the “Package” is created. The data are compared to the rules of the EQuIS database and each record in the newly created package is assigned an EBatch number.

Crosstab Reports – Crosstab reports are an EQuIS tool that enables the reorganization and summary of data into an easier-to-understand format with column headers, row headers and tabbed data in a tabular format. A crosstab report does not change the data in the EQuIS database.

Dashboards – Dashboards are pages within an EQuIS Enterprise site that serve as containers for one or more widgets. Dashboards can be user-defined to collate information and provide overviews (e.g., reports, charts, maps, etc.) about projects (i.e., facilities). Dashboards may contain data from one or more facilities.

Data Tables – Data tables contain information acquired from, derived from, or describing some part of a specific project. Data tables are designated by the prefix DT_ (e.g., dt_sample).

DQM (Data Qualification Module) – Review data quality based on defined criteria, setup and customize data checks and rules, and review previous history with DQM within EQuIS Professional.

DQM Event – Each data validation effort is performed as a distinct event in DQM, which entails selection of analytical results data set(s) that are run through any or all of the automated checks for the selected DQM QAPP and is followed by a user review of the DQM generated flags.

EBatch – The EDD Batch, or EBatch, number is how EQuIS tracks data when it is uploaded via EDP. As each EDD is loaded into the database, a unique EBatch number is assigned based on file name, username, date and time, machine id, etc. Every record created by the EDD contains that EBatch number and can be traced back to the EDD from which it was loaded.

ECC – The EarthSoft Community Center, which provides access to many EQuIS product and support resources.

EDD (Electronic Data Deliverable) – EDDs are electronic tabular formats for sharing, manipulating and using data. Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and tab-delimited text files are examples of EDDs.

EDGE (EQuIS Data Gathering Engine) – Application installed on laptops or tablets for field data collection (samples, measurements and inspections) using configured forms. Import EDDs from SPM for planned events. Field data is checked as it is collected and may be submitted immediately to the EQuIS database.

EDGE EDDs – Generated from EQuIS SPM, EDGE EDDs are templates that include facility, task, sample and activity information and are then provided to the field crew. The EDGE EDD is facility-specific, but may include one or more sampling events.

EDMP (Environmental Data Management Plan) – A written document that defines standards for data structure, content, and format, and supports data quality objectives.

EDP (EQuIS Data Processor) – Desktop or web user interface for checking and importing data into the EQuIS Database. Check data for formatting and logic, and find and correct errors easily.

EIA – EQuIS Information Agents can automatically email alerts and send reports. EIA can also be used as data sources in certain EQuIS Enterprise widgets and Microsoft Power BI. EIAs are triggered by one of the following:

Each time new data is submitted

By calendar frequency (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly) or scheduled event

Action level exceedances

Enumerations – Enumerations are a way to enforce vocabulary on fields that have no reference tables. Enumerations can also restrict the vocabulary of fields that do have existing reference tables. They are used in EDP and in EDGE to enforce specific look-up values for key fields.

Enumeration File – An auxiliary file (e.g., EQEDD-enum.xml) that remains unencrypted and is editable by the user. The enumeration file must be in the same directory as the rest of the format files and properly named and referenced within the format file, otherwise an error will occur when opening the format.

EQuIS (Environmental Quality Information Systems) – Customizable Schemas for environmental and geotechnical data management. Platform runs on Microsoft Azure or Microsoft SQL Server. Each database may have one to thousands of projects (i.e., facilities).

EQuIS Alive – EQuIS Alive is designed around ecological surveys. EQuIS Alive includes a separate Schema that is added to an EQuIS Database and enables the collection and reporting of ecological data within the other EQuIS applications.

EQuIS Collect – A mobile field application for collecting any type of data on a phone, tablet, or laptop. Custom forms to capture data can be created, published, and made immediately available to selected user groups in the field. Manage field data workflow using Collect Enterprise dashboards. Collect, verify, and enforce data quality in real time.

EQuIS Enterprise – Web user interface, designed for end-users. Gain overviews of projects in highly-configurable web dashboards, and download and visualize data instantly and in real-time.

EQuIS EnviroInsite – Desktop application used for analysis and visualization of environmental data available with EQuIS. Create two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) plots and cross-sections, generate boring logs, evaluate geochemistry, and more.  

EQuIS Link – An advanced tool in Professional EDP for migrating legacy or historical data into EQuIS from a wide variety of input source files to standard EQuIS EDDs.

EQuIS Live – EQuIS Live enables management of high-frequency, high-volume logger data in EQuIS Enterprise.  EQuIS Live includes a separate Schema that is added to an EQuIS Database and enables the collection and reporting of data coming from data loggers within the other EQuIS applications.

EQuIS Professional – Desktop user interface, designed for power-users and data managers. Run queries and analyze and manipulate data with EQuIS Professional.

Facilities – The physical (site) or logical (project) extent of data made available for reporting or modeling. Each facility is stored in EQuIS as a FACILITY_ID.

Format File – Structured in XML, the EQuIS format file set contains the definitions and restrictions for each individual field in available data tables and is the essence of data checking in EDP and EQuIS. The format files control data checks, such as range checking, reference values, formatting and enumerations. Format files are typically encrypted.

Format Definition File – Each EQuIS Format Definition (EFD) has at its foundation an XML Schema Definition (XSD) to define the structure of the EDD file. The XSD file defines the format sections (EDD tables) and the columns in each of those tables. In addition to table definition, the XSD file defines the data mapping to the EQuIS Schema and any associated business rules, including data type consistency, lookup values, and custom handler code. The EFD is denoted with either an XSD (unencrypted) or XSE (encrypted) file extension.

Groups – The collection of multiple individual analytes, locations, materials, sub-facilities and/or facilities. Used primarily for reports and for planning sampling tasks using EQuIS SPM.

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) – The standard markup language for creating web pages.

Land Access Module – For some sampling events, land access permissions may be required. The SPM Land Access module captures the details of locations requiring access permission and generates reports for automated notification of upcoming tasks requiring access permission.

LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) – A software-based laboratory and information management system with features that support a modern laboratory's operations.

Locations – Uniquely designated sampling points, typically on the ground surface, that can be identified spatially by X, Y and Z coordinates. Each location is stored in EQuIS as a SYS_LOC_CODE.

Location Group – User-defined collection of locations for reporting and graphing.

MAG (Method Analyte Group) – Analytes may be grouped based on sampling requirements, reporting requirements, or laboratory contracts. User-defined group of analytes are referred to as Method Analyte Groups, or MAGs. Within SPM, MAGs are used to facilitate logical and efficient scheduling and reporting processes.

Matrices – Describes the media from which samples are collected (e.g., groundwater, soil).

One-to-Many Relationships – Relationships in which a record in one database table can be related to many records in another database table.

Package – The package is the EDD data that have been converted into the EQuIS data structure (tables and fields) before they are committed to EQuIS.

Parent-Child Relationships – Rules that enforce organization in a database by requiring a record in a child table to have a corresponding record in a parent table. The structure allows repeating information using parent-child relationships: each parent can have many children but each child has only one parent.

Permissions – EQuIS Enterprise includes a flexible and powerful permissions infrastructure to assign and manage user privileges for accessing tools and data within the application. There are four types of permissions that control how a particular user may interact with particular object types (e.g., dashboards, facilities, and reports) and individual objects (e.g., an administration dashboard, a specific facility, specific reports): Owner, Editor, Viewer, Creator.

Plans – Plans are collections of tasks and/or sampling events in SPM in support of one common goal (e.g., groundwater and surface water monitoring, water levels, and other field activities). Plans are defined by: (1) the Plan Code (required), (2) dates and details, and (3) naming Schemas for tasks and samples.

Power BI Data Connector – The EQuIS Data Connector allows users to access EQuIS facilities, locations, and user reports as data sources directly in Microsoft Power BI.

Post Data – Two-dimensional single constituent plots that have simple labels with observation or result values posted at monitoring locations.

Primary Keys – Fields or sets of fields in a table that constitute a unique record within that table.  Primary keys are required. Primary keys must be populated (not null) and unique.

Published Report – A report that is saved to the database using the Report Publisher. This allows use of the report in Enterprise. The published report will be the version used by all users of the database, unless a user has a newer version installed on their system.

QAPP (Quality Assurance Project Plan) – A written document that provides a framework for environmental data collection, which will meet specific project objectives and includes procedures to obtain data of known and adequate quality. Basic Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) elements should be addressed in the QAPP, including: precision, accuracy, sensitivity, representativeness, completeness, and comparability.

Qualifier – Data qualifiers are flags assigned to laboratory analytical results by the laboratory and/or the data reviewer when QA/QC criteria are not met and are intended to assist the data user to use the data appropriately in a manner consistent with project objectives. Within DQM, the qualifier is the value applied to the data set if a rule is violated. Each rule has its own qualifier, but more than one rule can have the same qualifier.

RDB (Relational Databases) – Relational databases store their data in tables and can enforce restrictions on the data by a set of rules called relationships.

RDL (Report Definition Language) – An XML representation of an SQL Server Reporting Services report definition, which contains data retrieval and layout information for a report.

Reason Code – Provides a short reference to a longer description of why that qualifier has been added to a result.

Reference Tables – Reference tables contain lists of reference values, valid values, or look-up values. Reference tables are designated by the prefix rt_ (e.g., rt_analyte).

Reference Value File – For each EQuIS database, reference values are defined and can be exported to a reference value file. This file is part of the EDD file format set. File is denoted with an RVF file extension. These reference values are required to process an EDD for errors.

Referential Integrity – Referential Integrity is the collective set of rules that ensures consistent data within the database, including: Primary keys, one-to-many relationships and parent-child relationships.

REST API (Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interface) – EQuIS is interoperable with other software with our REST API, which is used to receive or send information from an EQuIS Enterprise URL (that has a REST API License applied) to perform specific tasks. The EQuIS REST API includes an implementation of OData (Open Data Protocol) that allows users to interact directly with tables, columns, and records in the EQuIS Schema. EQuIS users assigned the REST API role can also connect to an EQuIS Enterprise site with Microsoft Power BI and ArcEQuIS.

Risk3T – Risk3T for EQuIS is an action level calculator. Risk3T evaluates default or site‐specific Risk‐Based Corrective Action (RBCA) levels for environmentally impacted sites, and generates site-specific multiple risk scenarios and corrective action goals. These risk levels can be loaded into EQuIS Action Level tables.

Rollback – The process in which data may be removed from the EQuIS database, based on the EBatch of the data. Rollback will not permit Parent-Child relationships to be broken. Rollback will not return a record to a previous state—the entire record will be removed from the EQuIS database.

RSS (Rich Site Summary) – A format for delivering regularly changing web content.

Sample Type – Refers to the classification of samples based on the sampling purpose and procedure.

SDG (Sample Delivery Group) – An SDG is a group of samples sent to a laboratory for analysis in a single consignment. This is distinct from a laboratory batch.

SPM (Sample Planning Module) – Desktop and web user interfaces for planning, scheduling and tracking field sampling events. Generate field Electronic Data Deliverable (EDD) templates, view and download calendars, and monitor the completeness of tasks within SPM.

SQL (Standard Query Language) – Used for querying and maintaining databases.

SRN (Sample Receipt Notification) – A document generated by laboratories to acknowledge receipt and condition of samples. SRNs are also used to identify any issues with the received samples. SRN EDDs are formatted SRNs that can be imported to the EQuIS database through EDP.

Swagger – EarthSoft uses Swagger to document our REST API. A Swagger document is machine readable data formatted in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), which is available in every installation of EQuIS Enterprise.  

System Report – A report that comes standard with EQuIS Professional, if the EQuIS Library is installed.

Tasks – The planned tasks consist of sampling events that have a specific set of locations, parameters, activities, and recurrence. After tasks are planned and approved, they need to be scheduled to begin the tracking progress. Field data and laboratory data are linked to the task for which they were collected.

Third Party Interfaces – Methods for generating output that may be displayed in non-EQuIS ("Third Party") applications, such as ArcGIS, AutoCAD and many more. Some interfaces connect EQuIS directly to the third party applications. Other interfaces generate output files within EQuIS Professional that may be opened in their respective applications.

Time Series Graphs – Georeferenced charts to display concentrations of multiple constituents over time on plan view plots. Options include multiple axes, trend-lines, and presentation of regulatory standards.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) A global address that identifies a specific web page or file on the Internet, and usually includes the protocol identifier (e.g., https) followed by the domain name.

User Administration – Enterprise includes a powerful and flexible permission system that lets administrators configure system security according to specific needs. User roles can be created and are configurable to allow different levels of access to the application and the data maintained in the EQuIS database. Administrators can add or remove users, create and assign roles for groups of users, and assign permissions to users and roles.

User Report – Report parameters for a published report can be saved to the database as a user report.

Widgets – Widgets are the individual elements added to dashboards that perform specific functions, such as the display of data or other system information. An individual widget is specific to a single facility or facility group. Multiple widgets of the same type may be added to a single dashboard. Most widgets must be configured to show specific information once added to a dashboard. Enterprise supports numerous types of widgets.

Workflow Service – Enterprise workflow service is a Microsoft Windows service that automates processing of EDDs and report generation.

XML – Extensible Markup Language. Used to write format files.