10 Reasons to Stop Using Spreadsheets for Environmental Data Management and Switch to MonitorPro

Spreadsheets are used worldwide for a wide variety of purposes and they are exceptionally flexible and very powerful, however, they were never designed to be a workflow system or a database.

The MonitorPro team here at EHS Data has put together this comprehensive list of 10 reasons why environmental reporting should move away from spreadsheets to a dedicated environmental data management system, and why MonitorPro is the best solution to managing your environmental data.

1 - Environmental Permits

The obligations and conditions in environmental permits determine the environmental department’s monitoring, reporting, and compliance requirements.  They detail the actions to be undertaken in relation to environmental monitoring and reporting and form the basis for a site’s management plan.

Spreadsheets make it difficult to coordinate this information succinctly, which can make it difficult for environmental departments to keep track of permit requirements.

MonitorPro pulls these distinct requirements into a centralised obligation management register to give a holistic view of a site’s environmental performance.

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2 - Validation

Spreadsheets have little or no validation, and manually doing this in a spreadsheet is very time-consuming and unreliable.

MonitorPro is designed to automate data harvesting from emails, loggers folders, and many other places. It will automatically calculate and validate against your permit requirements, alerting you immediately when a potential problem or even a breach occurs so that action can be taken.  

3 - Scalability

Spreadsheets make it difficult to deal with database-level information. Data needs to be stored in multiple spreadsheets or large multi-worksheet files, which are inherently slow and can require complex functionality to manage. It can be difficult to query data across sites, sample points, and years.

MonitorPro is designed to scale with the organisation’s specific requirements and has powerful querying and filtering tools to access data very quickly.

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4 - Planning

Creating and maintaining a monitoring plan in accordance with the requirements of the environmental permit is highly complex.

Spreadsheets make planning, tracking, and managing these consuming and inaccurate.

MonitorPro means you can plug in your entire monitoring schedule, which allows you to plan your monitoring and automatically track that the data coming into the system matches your monitoring requirements. This also links to MP-Field, which allows field technicians to download the required monitoring visits and collect and upload any relevant data.

5 - Security

Spreadsheets: While passwords and other protections can be added onto spreadsheets, there is usually no role-based access to certain functions or specific data sets. There are also no histories of data edits (audit trails), and mistakes (or even deliberate edits) can often not be seen or tracked.

MonitorPro: Role-based access permissions and password protection can be created, and datasets can be allocated per user. Histories of data edits (audit trails) are recorded, meaning mistakes can be identified and corrected. Modern Single Sign On (SSO) can be utilised with Two Factor Authentication (2FA). 

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6 - Uniformity

Spreadsheets: Uniform naming conventions are often unenforced in spreadsheets, leading to inconsistency and a lot of work collating multiple sheets or workbooks.

MonitorPro: Uniform naming is ensured, removing inconsistency.  It’s easy to download data from MonitorPro to a spreadsheet, but merging spreadsheets for reporting usually requires a lot of matching up of fields, which introduces opportunities for errors and increase workload unnecessarily.

7 - Visualisation

Spreadsheets are able to formulise environmental data into tables and graphs but options can be limited.

MonitorPro is a dedicated environmental data system, which means it gives you a more compelling and interactive graphical interface. Richer interpretations, such as dashboards or maps, provide a more professional visualisation of your data. MonitorPro provides dynamically updated dashboards and mapping using the very latest satellite imagery.

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8 - Automated Reporting

Professional reports are critical for maintaining key performance indicators (KPIs) and regulatory reporting requirements.

Spreadsheets require you to create these reports, which is time-consuming, tedious, and monotonous. They cannot format reports or automate them.

MonitorPro comes with built-in report functionality, including the ability to plug in custom regulatory and other reports. These can be sent at certain frequencies to ensure reports are created and submitted in accordance with your obligations.

9 - Standardisation

You may have to work with an external consultant. Many environment consultants prefer to use an environmental data management package.

Spreadsheets can, therefore, hinder your team and consultants in terms of time and cost.

MonitorPro is the global leader in EDMS and new employees will often have experience using MonitorPro so will be able to immediately utilise the software.

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10 - Support

Spreadsheets have no support for managing your environmental data.

MonitorPro has a full support team and can help with day-to-day support, training, customisation, and regular development of the application. They can even take on the entire management of systems, e.g. to cover maternity or sick leave. Environmental data management systems are populated and customised to your requirements by a professional implementation consultant.

Why You Should Switch to MonitorPro


So, while we acknowledge spreadsheets and their accomplishments, it is possible that your loyalty to spreadsheets may hurt your chances of future success in managing your environmental data.

Environmental data management systems (EDMS) such as MonitorPro are designed to hold environmental data together in one centralised place. This key environmental data can include air, surface water, groundwater, noise, dust, and weather, which are accessible by several users simultaneously from multiple devices in any location. This smart approach benefits the overall data consistency, as the collation of data sets is automated for final analysis and reporting. It also drastically reduces the risk of data and human input errors.

Auditors also prefer to work with commercially accepted software, especially if it is quality certified by a regulator, such as England’s Environment Agency MCERTS scheme. There is no certification available for spreadsheets.

About MonitoPro

The complete, professional environmental data monitoring solution, MonitorPro is the IT solution trusted by environmental teams worldwide to manage their environmental compliance and data collection. MonitorPro is a web-based or locally hosted solution for the collation of ALL sources of environmental data, where it is generated by loggers, laboratories, weather stations, calculations, or other data repositories. MonitorPro is the first EHS Software solution to receive an MCERTS accreditation from the Environmental Agency.

About EHS Data

EHS Data is a world leading UK based software company providing Environmental Data Management Solutions to over 1,000 sites in 40 countries worldwide. For over 20 years, our versatile software solution, MonitorPro, has helped organisations save time, improve planning, quality control, site analysis and reporting to manage environmental obligations and sustainability.

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EHS Data is ISO 27001 certified.

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In 2020, EHS Data attained Carbon negative status and is committed to maintaining this status each year.


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