ESTI and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment "Fish" for Data

The Province of Saskatchewan contains over 100,000 lakes and streams, of which an estimated 50,000 contain commercial and sport fish. Presently, 69 species of fish reside amongst these waters. The Saskatchewan Fisheries Management Unit's primary goal is to conserve and protect the fishery resource and habitat, while providing optimal use to humans. None of this is possible without recording and storing a lot of data along the way.

Early in 2008, ESTI provided business analyst expertise and together with the Fisheries Management Unit (FMU) work commenced to identify the many different types and formats of fisheries data across the province. In order to accomplish this task, visits were made to each of the seven regional offices within the province. ESTI business analysts worked closely with FMU biologists and staff. Highlights of this task include:

  • Metadata created for each group of raw data, including electronic and non-electronic data.
  • Data catalogue compiled of all metadata information.
  • Electronic data transferred to an accessible, centralized file location.
  • Regional offices visited in Regina, Saskatoon, Meadow Lake, Melville, Fort Qu'appelle, Prince Albert, and La Ronge.

In addition to data cataloguing, ESTI consulted FMU staff and compiled a document of Data Management Standards which are recommended in order to keep data recording consistent across the Unit, and provide the initial steps toward a future goal of a centralized database. These recommendations cover areas such as data storage, data format, and the standardized use of codes and measures.

Finally, a sample of historic data was selected and applied to ESTI's recommended standards. As part of completing this, ESTI provided:

  • Standardized spreadsheet templates for data conversion (and collection of new data)
  • Sample conversion of paper data into electronic data.

To close out the project, ESTI presented its findings and recommendations at a Fisheries Management Unit meeting. ESTI would like to congratulate the FMU on the successful completion of this project and feels that the first important steps have been taken to standardize data and protect data currently at risk.

Project Team

  • Ben Sawa - Ministry of Environment, Project Manager
  • Steve Porter - Ministry of Environment, Project Team
  • Mark Duffy - Ministry of Environment, FMU Lead
  • Jeff Banow - ESTI, Principal Analyst, ESTI Project Manager
  • Geoff Beauregard - ESTI, Senior Analyst
  • Stacy Lloyd - ESTI, Partner, Principal Analyst

Jeff Banow, Geoff Beauregard - FMU Presentation

Ben Sawa - Ministry of Environment