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ABACUS is a cloud-based marine data management tool developed by Ocean Ecology. ABACUS provides a single standardised platform for recording, quality assuring, storing and exporting marine ecological data whilst ensuring compliance with nationally and internationally recognised data standards.

Validated and Compliant

Through its live link to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)ABACUS ensures data records and exports are based on the most up to date and authoritative list of species names available. Users can search for data in the same way they would on the WoRMS website and ABACUS will automatically retrieve the most up to date record for the taxa. In the event of the WoRMS website being unavailable, users can enter as much data as they have available and ABACUS will flag that the record has not been validated against WoRMS so this can be corrected later.

ABACUS has been developed to facilitate single click exports of general and detailed metadata required for compliance with MEDIN, GEMINI and ISO standards. Custom exports can also be created within ABACUS by selecting subsets of surveys, stations, samples, and analysis types (macrobenthic, particle size analysis, chemical types, etc.)

High performance

ABACUS is a cloud-based tool and utilises the performance and scaling benefits that come with cloud infrastructure. Combined with an efficient export and import modules (including rich data validation features), and utilising technology to manage and run tasks seamlessly in the background, ABACUS is designed to handle large datasets. This has been used to import data for a 40 year historical project consisting of over 35 surveys containing 11,000 samples including both macrobenthic and chemical data.


ABACUS offers workflows to guide the sequence of tasks performed during analysis of samples. These workflows ensure samples are processed consistently and in a standardised way by all analysts and also allow for improved project management and insight with real-time statistical reporting.

Currently available within ABACUS are Macrobenthic and Particle Size Analysis (to NMBAQC standard).

A number of workflows come ready set up in ABACUS, including Macrobenthic (with and without biomass) and Particle Size Analysis (to NMBAQC standard). Additionally, workflows can be configured to suit the individual needs of subscribers.

Data privacy & ownership

Each organisation that subscribes to use ABACUS is provided with a private instance of ABACUS and their data is only accessible to users within that instance.

ABACUS is wholly owned by Ocean Ecology Limited (OEL). OEL, as a marine survey, analysis and consultancy organisation, also use ABACUS as a tool for conducting its own project work. To reassure clients that data they record in ABACUS is secure and protected OEL confirm that they will at no time view a clients’ data for any other purpose than to support and maintain their ABACUS subscription and will at no point share clients data unless requested to do so. Any access to data held within client instances of ABACUS will be conducted by OEL's team of dedicated software professionals with the upmost consideration for data privacy and confidentiality and will be covered by a non-disclosure agreement between OEL and each of its clients when required.

Real World Tested

ABACUS has been around since 2017. It was originally developed as a tool for use by Ocean Ecology and has since been used by them for all their surveys and to analyse thousands of samples.

ABACUS was also used to to cleanse, bulk load and store data for a large long-running project (40 years of data containing approximately 40 surveys and 11,000 samples with macrobenthic and chemical data).