I am an Environmental IT Consultant working for Huco Consulting. My main role is to implement and support emission calculations in various EMIS (Environmental Management Information Systems) solutions that our clients use. This past week I was introduced to xOvertime, a database solution that helps clients load their data to the cloud, and provides solutions to track their data over time.
The main concept of xOverTime is that a user or business can design Excel templates that can be used to collect data, populate an upload sheet and load the data into the cloud / xOverTime. Through an Excel Add-In, the user can sign in to xOverTime through Excel and directly upload select data. When the data is uploaded, a copy of the entire Excel file is also loaded in the cloud for reference, which alleviates problems associated with file management. Similarly, the data is downloaded from the cloud in Excel and can be used in Excel calculations and graphs, and the results can be pushed back into the cloud. xOverTime is the database, and Excel is the interface for data entry, calculations and reporting.
I enjoyed the process of configuring a solution in Excel while leveraging the cloud database functionality of xOverTime. The simplicity of the system and how it works with Excel was what I liked the most. I could easily understand how data was uploaded, I understood where the data was coming from in a download, and I was able to use preexisting emission calculations sheet to calculate emissions data downloaded from xOverTime.
In less than a week from my introduction to xOverTime, I was able to create an xOverTime demonstration for a potential client. I took their own field data, created an upload to xOverTime, downloaded the data into comprehensible Excel emission calculation sheets, loaded the results back to the cloud for storage and aggregation purposes. Effectively this was a proof of concept in less than seven days. I know that with Excel, xOverTime and leveraging past solutions, we can have an emission calculation tool that can be used to report to agencies. Excel’s familiarity and xOverTime’s simplicity and usability are the key points of success for our demo / proof of concept.