Guidelines on the management of survey and inspection data

Version history

November 2023 Rev. 1.0 – Full review by Committee; no material change; new template applied

September 2020 Rev. 0.1 – Further revision in two areas. Firstly, updating to reflect current technical practice, and secondly, updating to include reference to use of cloud-based storage.

November 2016 – Minor editorial amendments made during IMCA review process

May 2012 – Initial publication

  • Glossary
  • Introduction
  • Project Preparation
  • Data Handling
  • Data Archiving
  • References and Further Reading

This document provides guidance on the management and transfer of large volumes of valuable or significant survey and inspection data gathered offshore. The intent is to minimise or prevent unnecessary corruption and/or loss of that data. The principles outlined in the document can be applied to any survey or inspection data. They are applicable from the acquisition phase to final end delivery and archiving, irrespective of the volume of data, project duration or complexity. The principles outlined are intended to ensure data security and quality. This document is intended to be of assistance to anyone involved in handling data and provides high-level considerations of some of the risks involved, and how to address and mitigate those risks.

Data volumes collected offshore continue to increase as survey and inspection requirements change to use more data intensive solutions. Technologies to be able to handle this data effectively are also continually adapting and, as such, data management strategies need to be reviewed and kept up to date.

The real cost of corrupted or lost data on a project can be significant, particularly if any reworking is required.

It is important that systems are in place to protect data and ensure it is safely archived and delivered to the end client or end user.

This document has been written from a project perspective. It addresses the various aspects of data management that can occur during the project lifecycle, from the preparation phase through to project completion.

This document does not provide guidelines on how data should be processed, or how a company might organise its IT infrastructure and/or IT policies.

For further in-depth reading, members should check the International Organization for Standardization ISO 27000 family of standards, developed to manage the security of assets, including, but not limited to, data.

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