NASA Working Group for Data Quality


Data (information) quality is perhaps one of the most valuable yet misunderstood and unresolved elements of the science data life cycle. The Data Quality Working Group (DQWG) was a newly established within NASA’s Earth Science Data System Working Groups in April 2014. The DQWG has focused on the following set of challenges to be overcome over the near-term and long-term: 1) identifying the data quality goals and needs over a broad, interdisciplinary collection of data users and data providers, 2) improving the characterization of data quality and relevant application of standards and best practices, 3) promoting a more uniform and ubiquitous application of existing solutions while identifying new opportunities where existing solutions do not fit the bill, and 4) identifying key synergies of cross-cutting solutions, across heterogeneous datasets and science disciplines. Part of the problem is awareness and understanding of the specific data quality concerns. Use cases help by extracting relevant goals and needs, which are then translated into a set of recommendations, thus leading us toward a mapping of solutions to relevant data quality recommendations. A use case template was developed and further modified by the DQWG to provide improved relevancy and functionality, including a web-based use case submission form and a data-quality specific keyword lexicon. In addition to providing a set of goals and needs, use cases ultimately provide success criteria that drive towards recommendations for actions by DAACs, NASA Earth Science data producers, ESDIS, and NASA HQ. Looking beyond the NASA realm, our hope is to gather a more complete set of use cases along with applicable solutions leading potentially to a more robust concurrence and adoption of data quality standards and best practices by both domestic and international Earth science satellite remote sensing communities.

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