International Incident Database Project

Managing Incident Data is Complex...We're Making it Simple

Tracking Incident Data is a critical part of any program’s overall risk management plan. Risk Managers understand the need to track close calls and accidents in their programs. Only by identifying what is actually occurring in the field can managers evaluate trends, and implement effective programmatic responses such as new program protocols, staff training, etc.

Unfortunately most programs do not have an effective centralized method for collecting and evaluating incident data and this has severely limited existing attempts at data collection and analysis. Many programs simply rely on paper forms which prohibit any kind of effective trend analysis. Other programs keep their own data in a variety of formats everything from Excel Spreadsheets to simple databases but there has been no effort to create a consistent format for recording incident data at the program level.

What we need is a ‘common language’ for talking about and comparing incident data. Since even the largest outdoor programs have relatively small numbers of incidents, comparing data across programs is essential to establish the big picture of the types of incidents taking place and for assessing how to make changes in program operations across the industry. The creation of a common database platform allows for different programs to talk about incident data from an 'apples to apples' point of comparison. It also creates the possibility of merging data across programs for richer data analysis.

We began the International Incident Database Project began in 2004 with the express goal of building an effective data storage model that would allow a broad range of program types to collect and manage their own data. That goal has been realized with the introduction of the International Incident Database (IIDB) System to be released in 2012. This is the most comprehensive database model ever developed for tracking incident data for outdoor programs. Utilizing the latest in database technology and Web application programming, the model brings a fully Web-based platform for organizations to collect and analyze their own incident data in real-time.


Why International?

Collecting and analyzing incident data is important for all outdoor programs. Although the locations may be different, the activities themselves such as rock climbing, ropes courses, and kayaking are much the same around the world and therefore the incidents that occur are usually similar. Bringing together the best ideas from around the world means that we can create the most effective solution. In addition:

  • Insurance companies are global entities, developing an international database will help demonstrate that the risk levels in outdoor education are much less than typical competitive sports like soccer and should encourage companies both to provide insurance and to base their rates on actual risk levels rather than perceived risk.

  • A number of outdoor education programs operate internationally so an international standard will make it easier to integrate program data from around the world.


What this will mean for Programs

Building a common database format, using up-to-date database technologies provides programs with a powerful tool for recording and analyzing their own in-house data. At the same time it means that measurements generated by one program can actually be compared against another in a meaningful way. It also creates the possibility of much more extensive research being performed into the causes and responses to incidents, something which will benefit the entire industry.


Web-based Data Management

Collecting Incident Data is no longer something to do on just on paper. By creating a full Web-enabled Data Management System, end users are able to enter Incident Data from anywhere in the world and risk managers are able to review and manage Incident Data in real time. We have built a robust system from the most advanced Web Database technologies from the ground up.


  • Easy Data Entry: well-developed data entry forms provide easy data entry.
  • Data Validation: data submitted is validated through client-side and server-side validation code data to ensure that data submitted by users is verified to be in the correct format to be stored in the database (example, dates and times must be submitted in certain formats).
  • Data Viewing: The true value of the International Incident Database System is the ability for users to be able to query and view data on incidents which show basic type of incident, time of day, injury, etc. Data viewing allows detailed searches to establish broad trends and drill-down capabilities to show detailed data in individual incidents.
  • Data Reporting: Advanced data reporting tools that allow programs to graphically display trends for analysis and to document specific incidents.


How Can I Find Out More?

If you are currently managing your own incident database through paper incident reports sitting in your drawer or in an Excel spreadsheet or desktop database, it's time you looked at the future of Incident Tracking Software - The International Incident Database System.

Check out our Project, Technology and Video pages to get an overview of the project. When you are ready to learn more, get in touch and we can arrange for you to demo the System.

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