Data for a process at a specific facility are often the most useful for analysis. Development teams may be able to generate their own data for in-house activities, but detailed information from outside sources is necessary for other life cycle stages. Sources of data for inventory analysis include:
Predominately In-House Data:
• Purchasing records
• Utility bills
• Regulatory records
• Accident reports
• Test data and material or product specifications Public Data:
• Industry statistics
• Government reports including statistical summaries and regulatory reports and summaries
• Material, product, or industry studies
• Publicly available LCAs
• Material and product specifications
• Test data from public laboratories
Analysts must be careful in gathering data. The data presented in government reports may be outdated. Also, data in such reports are often presented as an average. Broad averages may not be suitable for accurate analysis. Journal articles, textbooks, and proceedings from technical conferences are other sources of information for an inventory analysis but may also be too general or outdated. Other useful sources include trade associations and testing laboratories. Many public laboratories publish their results. These reports cover such issues as consumer product safety, occupational health issues, or aspects of material performance and specifications.
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