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Do-It-Yourself Data

Selina Sandoval

Remember Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, the ultimate Do-It-Yourselfer from Home Improvement? Every week we’d laugh through a half-hour of electrocutions, runaway power tools, the destruction of a variety of vehicles, things getting set on fire, things exploding, and Tim (literally) going through the roof – sometimes from above – compliments of a Christmas light installation gone awry, and sometimes from below – like the unforgettable pneumatic drywall stilts. If there’s a message to be had here, it’s this – sometimes you really should just call an actual electrician. Or plumber. Or Al, the voice of reason.

Doing it yourself can be rewarding – a sense of accomplishment, something learned, saving money – but sometimes it’s just not a good idea, which may not be obvious until after the fact, as you’re chasing the lawnmower down the street.

DIY data is tempting too. There’s a great deal of free data available on the Internet, and downloading it to build your own databases might seem like a logical approach. Is it, really? Most often, the answer is no. There’s a reason we have an entire technical staff devoted to data creation and maintenance. It takes time – lots of time, and lots of effort – to get it right. If managing grid, culture, and well data was that simple, WhiteStar wouldn’t exist, and neither would the other data vendors.

It’s our job to deal with the unknowns, with data currency, with homogenizing data models, with catching and reconciling errors, with finding and evaluating sources, with positional accuracy… and the list goes on. We do this so that you can focus our your job without the stress and risk of data-induced mistakes, and the time and effort spent, not just searching for data, but keeping on top of it as well. And because we do this work once, and deliver the results to all of our customers, your organization isn’t paying for the substantial number of man-hours it actually takes to do this right.

“Free” sounds attractive, but when it comes to data, it really isn’t free. And so, if you’re contemplating incorporating it into your work, please consider calling the data specialists at WhiteStar first. We’re standing by, power tools and quality databases at the ready!  

Houston WhiteStar User Meeting – Save the Date

Join us at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 for our first Houston WhiteStar User Meeting. We’re planning information sessions, outside speakers, good eats, and your attendance includes access to the museum too.

Invitations will be going out in early January – to request one, please email Adam Cordova at WhiteStar. See you there!