Survey123 Allowing For Paperless Fish Health Reporting
Reducing the use of paper at Mowi Canada West has become as easy as “123” –
as in Survey123, a new and innovative Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application to create a customizable Fish Health Reporting System (FHRS).
GIS Analyst Jed Jackson says Survey123 “has allowed us to replace paper forms with a customized and smart electronic survey, where we can collect data from our many remote field locations, classify and standardize the incoming data once at the source to prevent errors, and upload that data to a Web database as soon as within cell coverage.
“Then we can automatically analyze that data on the fly in real time, and as a GIS software, it provides informative graphs, charts, maps and reports seamlessly.”
Jackson has been compiling all data from Mowi’s Fish Health teams into one database with the tool, allowing users to easily access detailed information. Survey123 has enabled Mowi Canada West to use GIS, used in a variety of industries, for the first time, and it greatly improves the utilization of data.
GIS Analysts are spatial data experts that work at the intersection of data management and analysis, programming, innovation and visualization, particularly with maps.
“I was hired in December 2018 after a lot of lobbying for the creation of the position from the Fish Health and Environmental Protection and Certification department Managers,” Jackson notes, adding he shares his time between the two departments.
Mowi’s Fish Health department needed an innovative new system to compile, catalogue and classify the vast amount information they acquire during their site visits and health checks. The collected data included the sites they visited, who attended, any training of site staff that occurred, any visitors who attended, what pens or year class of fish they sampled, what kind and number of samples taken and track the lab results of those samples, any biological samples sent to them, as well as any concerns or other valuable information gathered on site.
“All this vital information is collected in support of reporting requirements to government, our public license and relationships with communities and Indigenous Partners and to help us grow the best, healthiest fish we can,” he explains. “Our project was to create a unified system to compile all this data into one digital and cohesive database that would allow easy tracking, analysis, timely retrieval, and mapping of this information for the last 10 years to turn data into knowledge to facilitate decision making.”
Considering that the Fish Health department has to visit each site at least once a month and conducts well over 500 visits or submissions a year, and uses 3-4 paper forms for each visit to track over 50 different fish health and welfare concerns, the amount of paper used can mount up quickly. With Survey123, it’s now a virtually paperless process.
The idea to incorporate GIS to solve some of our business challenges was originally the vision of Diane Morrison, Sharon DeDominicis, Meghan Mills, Greg Gibson and Brad Boyce, and using Survey123 to solve this particular problem started as the brain child of Brad and Jed.
“Survey123 has centralized our data, allowing us to have years of diagnostics in one place. It is a great tool to understand historical and present Fish Health in our farms, and allows for better data analysis,” states Lab Manager Jaramar Balmori, who is in charge of internal diagnostics and data tracking for all external diagnostics.
It has saved time, standardized data collection, reduced paper (and thus waste), and made it easier to review and evaluate results and see new and emerging trends, as well as past history of Mowi sites.
“This has helped change data into information and information into knowledge to help support better decision making,” Jackson notes.