Recommendations from the Data Quality Working Group

Summary

These documents (ESDS RFCs 033, 034 and 039) provide a set of recommendations regarding data quality for producers and distributors of Earth science data. The focus of these documents is on collecting and conveying data quality information to end users rather than providing a precise definition of data quality. The recommendations highlight issues regarding capturing, describing and conveying information about the quality of datasets held at the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs).

Data Quality Working Group’s Comprehensive Recommendations for Data Producers and Distributors (ESDS-RFC-033) summarizes the approach and outcomes of the Data Quality Working Group (DQWG), one of NASA’s Earth Science Data System Working Groups (ESDSWG), during 2014-2018, following collecting and analyzing 16 use cases. The document describes the use cases analyzed, the data quality information management lifecycle, and primary focus areas for data quality. It provides a total of 93 recommendations, grouped into 7 categories, as well as proposed solutions and implementation strategies.

High Priority Data Quality Recommendations for Data Producers and Distributors (ESDS-RFC-034) highlights a subset of high-priority recommendations for Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) to plan and coordinate concrete actions to be taken by data producers and distributors. It points to existing potential solutions that can be adopted across the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) and the NASA Earth science research community.

Reuse Readiness Assessment of Data Quality Software Products (ESDS-RFC-039) provides information to the EOSDIS and the NASA Earth science research community about the reuse readiness of various data quality software products that were identified by the ESDSWG DQWG as helpful for managing data quality information. This document offers insight into some of the implementation issues that should be considered when planning to adopt software products, as well as a guide for software developers to produce reusable software.

While these documents targeted NASA Earth science data, other organizations may also benefit from the methodology described here and the resulting recommendations for improvement.

Status

Data Quality Working Group’s Comprehensive Recommendations for Data Producers and Distributors (ESDS-RFC-033) was recommended for use in NASA Earth Science Data Systems in September 2019

High Priority Data Quality Recommendations for Data Producers and Distributors (ESDS-RFC-034) was recommended for use in NASA Earth Science Data Systems in April 2019.

Reuse Readiness Assessment of Data Quality Software Products (ESDS-RFC-039) was recommended for use in NASA Earth Science Data Systems in September 2019.

Recommendations Documents

User Resources Solutions Master List

NASA Earth Science Community Recommendations for Use

Strengths

Recommendations made by the ESDSWG DQWG help data producers and distributors to better capture, describe, and enable the use of data quality information. They also help the NASA ESDIS Project and Earth science programs to identify actions to be taken to encourage and support data producers and distributors to better address data quality challenges. These recommendations are based on real use cases within the NASA Earth science community. They are comprehensive (i.e. total of 93 individual recommendations, consolidated into 12 high-level recommendations) and well-organized into different strategies (i.e. 6 implementation strategies) to facilitate understanding and adoption. The recommendations have been further described and prioritized into what has been termed Prioritized Recommended Implementation Actions (PRIA). In addition to recommendations, the DQWG also identified concrete existing implementation solutions. Reviewers found many of the recommendations are highly relevant to their work and can potentially address the challenges they’ve encountered.

Weaknesses

Data quality is a big challenge to tackle. Though recommendations made by the DQWG cover a wide range of topics and aspects, they still lack concrete example implementation solutions for different types of applications with specific types of Earth science data, e.g. airborne and in-situ observations. There is also a lack of concrete implementation guidance on leveraging the ISO 19115 and 19157 standards for specific types of Earth science data.

Applicability

The Recommendations made by the DQWG are applicable to different types of users (e.g. data producers, distributors, and program managers) in a wide range of areas of the NASA Earth science community. The DQWG purposely generalized the recommendations to ensure the concepts and philosophies behind the recommendations are applicable to the many types of applications and observation systems for Earth science data, some of which may be determined relevant even beyond NASA.

Limitations

Due to limited resources and the broad and complex scope of data quality itself, the DQWG had to limit the scope of its work to help formulate its recommendations in a manner that could be both relevant to NASA Earth science and sustained during the DQWG’s managed periods of study and analysis. For example, the use cases collected and the concrete example implementation solutions identified are limited to the remote sensing and data assimilation missions and projects within NASA. Though the general concepts of the DQWG recommendations apply to other disciplines and observation system, e.g. airborne and in-situ, the concrete implementation solutions and guidance information provided for these communities are limited and will need additional investigations and resources to be more fully addressed.

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2019 at 8:25 AM EDT