Data Management Solutions for Large Linear Projects

December 1, 2021


Dealing with thousands of resource specific features and the associated data on a constantly changing 300 km pipeline, powerline or infrastructure project brings unique challenges and considerations compared to a 20 km project with 5 to 10 features.​ In my career I’ve been on a quest to identify the most efficient and cost-effective data management solutions to implement on these large linear projects and with the help of the data management and geomatics experts at Matrix we’ve made some really good progress.

In October, I presented a webinar with Mike Fraser, P.Eng. Director, Project Technology and Project Services​ and Niandry Moreno, Ph.D., Senior Data Scientist on practical solutions Matrix has implemented in the past to help our clients mitigate these challenges. Below is an overview of the key principles from the presentation that are geared towards bringing clarity and confidence for our clients to make data-driven decisions at every stage of their projects.

Data Management Considerations

Based on the magnitude of these projects, the volume of data collected, and potentially long durations of time between project kick-off to construction, there are unique challenges that can potentially occur with large linear projects including:

  • Changes to provincial and federal elected officials
  • Changes to regulatory requirements
  • Changes to regulatory personnel
  • Changes to project team personnel
  • Large ancillary activities
  • Numerous route revisions
  • Data validity (some data may expire and need to be redone)
  • Periods of inactivity
  • Changes in socio-economic climate
  • Climatic events that negatively affect the project

To mitigate the potential negative effects that can occur as a result of these challenges there are various data management solutions that can be implemented including:

  • Having a data management plan
  • Designing for change
  • Incorporating geospatial
  • Building for real-time
  • Defining a single source of truth in the form of a database
  • Centralizing the data to de-centralize the access and usage of the data
  • Employing collaboration tools (online dashboards and on-demand reporting)
  • Future-proofing (recognize your data is an asset, re-use data through the project lifecycle, and keep the database up to date)

Implementing the right data management solutions at the beginning of the project will:

  • Maintain confidence in data
  • Save time and reduce costs
  • Promote clearer communication amongst the project team and stakeholders
  • Provide faster deliverable turnaround times
  • Provide a strong foundation for the full lifecycle of the project

How can Matrix Solutions help?

Matrix has a variety of Data Management and Geomatics service solutions to provide to our clients. From Front-End Engineering and Design to Construction, Operations and Retirement, we work with our clients to identify the right tool for job. Our approach centers on helping you have the confidence you need to make informed data-driven decisions for your projects.

More information

Learn more about our Data Management & Geomatics services.

Jeff Rau, B.Sc.​

Senior Regulatory Advisor​, Midstream Sector Lead

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