USGS Data Management

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Overview of Data Management

Overview of Data Management

Good data management enables the location, sharing, and reuse of data, and reduces the redundancy of data. These attributes of good data management reduce costs in terms of time and money.

Why Manage Your Data?

If your data source is well documented, you know how and where to look for your information and the results you return will be what you expect. In addition, accurate data are legally and scientifically defensible. Such data may aid the agency by reducing litigations and appeals. Learn more about why data management is important.

Data Lifecycle Overview

U.S. Geological Survey Data Lifecycle Diagram

When we start thinking of our data as corporate assets with value beyond our immediate need, the idea of managing data through a whole lifecycle becomes more relevant.

All the questions of documentation, storage, quality assurance, and ownership then need to be answered for each stage of the data lifecycle, starting with the recognition of a need, and ending with archiving or updating the information. Learn more about the data lifecycle.

Value of Data Management

Poor data quality, redundant data, and lost data can cost companies 15 percent to 25 percent of their operating budget. What would a 15 percent cost reduction be worth to your Project or Program? Learn more about the value of data management.

Data Management vs. Master Data Management

Master Data Management are the processes that control management of master data values to enable consistent, shared, contextual use across systems, of the most accurate, timely, and relevant version of truth about essential business ethics (DAMA-DMBOK Guide, 1st edition, pg. 171). While this Web site addresses important aspects of Master Data Management, it will not guide the establishment of a full Master Data Management system.

What the USGS Fundamental Science Practices Require:

SM 502.2 - Fundamental Science Practices: Planning and Conducting Data Collection and Research require:

  • Data collected for publication in databases or information products, regardless of the manner in which they are published (such as USGS reports, journal articles, and Web pages), must be documented to describe the methods or techniques used to collect, process, and analyze data (including computer modeling software and tools produced by USGS); the structure of the output; description of accuracy and precision; standards for metadata; and methods of quality assurance.
  • The data collected and the techniques used by USGS scientists should conform to or reference national and international standards and protocols if they exist and when they are relevant and appropriate. For datasets of a given type, and if national or international metadata standards exist, the data are indexed with metadata that facilitates access and integration.

What the "Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)" Requires:

As of February 23, 2013, a memorandum from the Presidentís Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was released, titled "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research [PDF]." It is intended to ensure that, "the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community". The USGS, "must maximize access, by the general public and without charge, to digitally formatted scientific data created with Federal funds...".