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DataPipe Implementation

After contract signing a number of things will take place, some of them in parallel with each other.  This is a guide for what to expect in the EH&S software implementation process.  One word of warning:  this differs greatly from client to client so this is only a rough guide for what to expect.  Each client will want to do this in their own way at their own pace and with their own business rules.  DataPipe has been designed to adapt to each organizations needs independently.

  1. Immediately after contract signing, we will schedule an onsite consultation visit that will put everyone on the same page for implementation.  We will do many things during this visit that will help ensure that the entire implementation process goes smoothly and that you have thought about things that need to be done before we come onsite to install (or if at an ASP, before we install there).  Here are just a few things that we will do during the visit (varies greatly by client)...

    • Organizational Structure:  The org structure is one of the most important components of DataPipe that gives it its flexibility and power.  We allow DataPipe to mimic the structure of your organization when defining data.  In doing this, your data has meaning and integrity.  So, if you have facilities and departments and another organization has plants and that splits up into building and waste centers, then each of you can have your own pre-defined org structure.  Now your data goes into the system YOUR WAY.  This allows for smarter reporting and validated data entry.  For more on this important and unique feature to DataPipe, see our info on Org Structures.

    • IT Team Meeting:  During this meeting we will go over your network infrastructure and make sure that you have what is needed in place.  We will discuss how the installation will proceed and walk through the general process.

    • End User Team Meeting:  We will meet with your end users to go over any final discussions that need to be made.  This includes decisions about the following bulleted items.

    • Code Tables:  Some decision needs to be made about certain code tables.  Every organization has its own set of codes that it uses for recording types of data.  These code tables will need to be loaded into the DataPipe system.

    • Personnel Data and Other Feeds:  How will you update your employee info as people enter and leave the company and their status changes?  Typically customers integrate their HR database with DataPipe and create a data exchange feed either nightly, or weekly.  This is very common and needs to be considered so that all your employee info is up-to-date.

    • Legacy Data and Data Conversions:  See below

  2. While in parallel with the server preparation, our team here at DataPipe USA will begin to build your custom system based on the modules you selected and the concurrent users you licensed.  This typically takes under three weeks (varies by client system). 

  3. Next a series of documents and files will be sent to your IT team to help them prepare your server for installation of DataPipe.  If you are running DataPipe on an ASP outside your own network then this wont be necessary.  If you do not have an IT team, then we can certainly act as your IT support during installation.  How ever much you want us involved in the installation process is your call.

  4. Again, while in parallel, you will want to think about how to gain access to any legacy data from old systems that you want to bring into DataPipe once it is online.  You will want to download this legacy data to a flat file (CSV or excel will do).  Before bringing data into DataPipe we want to be sure that fields from the old data set are mapped to the correct fields in DataPipe.  Then we can do an upload.

Installation and Training

A joint DataPipe USA/customer team typically installs DataPipe systems. This can typically be done in a day.  If your network infrastructure allows for it and your IT team sets this up, we can also install remotely without ever coming on site. Installation usually includes initial System Administrator (SA) training. DataPipe SAs are people who will typically maintain the system by adding new users to the security module and providing access for users to the database, patching any updates and otherwise generally supporting their system Users.  SA training is typically followed by two to three days of onsite training for a core group of users. Hands-on access to the system, PowerPoint presentations and handout materials are utilized in the training process. Source materials for the PowerPoint presentations and handout materials are available to the customers who want to do their own training, or DataPipe USA Inc. can conduct training classes at locations and dates chosen by the customer.  We provide DataPipe installation and training throughout the world. 

In addition to the training materials, DataPipe documentation consists of on-line, cross-referenced manuals – with many “screen shots” and examples – for System Administrators, DataPipe End Users, and users of the DataPipe Form Designer. 

Legacy Data and Data Conversion

Conversion of existing data to DataPipe, whether it comes from a customer’s current database system, Microsoft Excel or Access files, or a data collection instrument, is a service we offer or we can show you how to do it too. Some customers choose to do this themselves utilizing tools provided in DataPipe and other applications. However data conversion is rarely a matter of just taking a file and importing it.  Fields need to also be mapped correctly so that the data goes to the correct location within the system.

Our experience in this is extensive.  DataPipe USA was founded in 1979 to interface small computers to EH&S instruments.  We have considerable experience in data importing and conversions and can help you with a one time import or an ongoing data feed from an HR database or other data sources.

Someone knowledgeable in the content, the customer’s subject matter experts (SMEs), must be involved in the process to make decisions about what data in the old system(s) are to go where in the new system. Individual data fields may need to be re-formatted, split apart, combined or otherwise manipulated before they can be inserted into the new system. A conversion should be viewed as an opportunity to make needed changes to processes as well as data, perhaps not simply continuing in “the way we’ve always done it.”  In an integrated data system converging many different kinds of EH&S information, things will be changing, if only by allowing integration of information formerly maintained in separate, unconnected systems. 

The schema – database fields, etc. – of a DataPipe system can be provided to the customer in several formats. Typically an ER model of the entire database is provided initially and also at every system update. Simple field-to-field mappings may allow directly importing the old data into appropriate locations in the new system. More complex processing on the data may require one-off programs to do the necessary manipulations on the data as part of importing it into the new system. 

Nearly every customer deals with data conversion issues; it is something we are accustomed to, and we work towards a solution that meets the customer’s needs.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss this or any other implementation issue.

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