Background

The North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission was established under a convention signed off by various contracting countries including Canada and the United States. Its primary objective is to promote the conservation of Anadromous stocks in the North Pacific Ocean. When they contacted us, they had recently received a file containing thousands of salmon records for the last 20 years. The file contained North Pacific Ocean tagged released and recovered salmon at various locations.

The Problem

Because the file had never been maintained by one source, the data was inaccurate, inconsistent, referenced external documents and was scattered throughout the file. Because of this, it was tedious to work with, hard to make sense and impossible to maintain. Furthermore, NPAFC couldn’t search for specific records very easily. Lastly, the data was not accessible by the public, which meant the staff had to go out of their way to provide them with some of the information. As a result, productivity decreased due to the time spent to accomplish all of these tasks.

Bound State produced a new application that met our (exact) needs. During the development process, they were responsive to our questions and explained everything so we could understand it.

Nancy Davis, Deputy Director, NPAFC

The Solution

Our solution involved creating a web based database system that would be accessible by two separate users: 1) NPAFC to maintain/update 2) Public users to search and download. To begin with, we consolidated all their information and organized it so searching could be done effectively and easily. We consolidated all the external references and created reference tables so that the users would not have to interact with numbers but instead could view actual labels matching those ID numbers.

The web database system allows NPAFC to easily and efficiently filter (search) data by any specific attribute. The system stays responsive to the user by loading data in chunks, so the user gets the best possible experience. To update the information, the staff can easily navigate to a record or create a new one. The database is also able to handle bulk entries by uploading a CSV file. To maintain data integrity and to help the user, the system quickly notifies the staff of any errors within the input file which need to be fixed prior to completing the transaction. To help the public obtain the information they require, we created an intuitive portal for them to query and search the database using various search criteria. The system quickly returns an Excel friendly file.

The Results

NPAFC now saves large amounts of time when maintaining this data. Within seconds they can get data for a specific location, specie or individual fish. Updating these records is just as easy. Furthermore, their efforts in servicing the public has dramatically decreased since now people can do it themselves. Lastly, the numerous years of work that was put into collecting this data can now be preserved with the confidence that its integrity will remain intact.