krumm04 introduction to earth science

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Addressing Agency Database Needs: A Recent Experience From Illinois Donald McKay, Damon Garner, Deborah Griest, Stephen Gustison, Donald Keefer, Robert Krumm, Alison Lecouris, Brent Lemke, Daniel Nelson and Barbara Stiff Illinois State Geological Survey Introduction • • • Recent Effort to Access Data Management Needs of the Illinois St Geological Survey Internal Effort Database Needs Assessment Background Info • • • • • • Illinois Survey – about 200 people 20 years as a GIS user site (Arc license #27) More staff using technology – GIS, database, graphics, web to accomplish project goals Oracle, Access, ArcGIS, Rockworks & more Many concerns about database issues – access, archival of data, conversion from paper to digital, database structure, policies – both operational and administrative Concerns about the agency’s ability to provide better support for IT operations – databases, GIS, web, more Background Info • • • • • • • • Support staff stretched thin Annual project planning cycle indicates key staff members are in very high demand Oracle, ArcGIS, ArcIMS, SDE, application development, web Many demands, expectations and desires A recipe for disaster….? To address concerns, a consultant to perform a review of database operations, assess needs, and make recommendations…? Show me the (no) money Decision was made to form an internal team to conduct the review The Process • • • • • • • • Form an internal team – Sept 2003 Database Management Coordinating Comm Chaired by Don McKay, Principal Geologist & Chief Scientist, an Experienced GIS User Nine team members from many program areas Scientists from Oil & Gas, Quaternary Geology, Groundwater, Environmental Studies and Assessments Sections Key support staff from Geologic Records Unit and Financial Office Technical staff - Oracle DB Admin, GIS DB Admin Representation from many sectors – experience with database issues Data Management Coordinating Comm • • Initial Meetings - Sept 2003 Identified issues including the need for easy desktop access to database holdings, consideration of data at all levels – digital and paper, level of staff support, training needs, application development needs, providing web access to data, and more Mission Thrusts Programs Products ISGS 3-D Geologic Mapping Chief Carbon Management Centers Applied & Education, Basic Operations Tech Asst & Research & Support Outreach Data & Information Sections Assets Data Management Coordinating Comm • • • Talk with staff – provide an opportunity to gather input from all staff ‘Interviews’ with Managers and Program Directors of all Centers, Sections and Units – provide an opportunity to meet with staff members, listen to their comments and key concerns Before the interviews, committee prepared a 3page list of bullet points on various DB topics The list of topics and questions served as a guideline Discussion Topics -General • • • • • Imagine years from now What would you like to be able to with your projects and your data? What are the principal barriers to capturing, automating or using the data needed or generated by your section? What are your most important data mgt needs? Which of your unit's important jobs would be most improved by better data management? What examples of good data management in your section might be generalized for others in the Survey? Discussion Topics – Data & Information • • • • • What you consider to be data? What mission-critical data does your program require? What type of data does your program generate? How much of the data that your program generates can be described as: - map/spatial data; tables of data; digital documents? - other digital images; hardcopy documents? - physical collections; other? How much of your data use involves: - mapped views of your data? - tabular views or summaries of data? Adopt A Radically New Strategy • Focus on ISGS: serve ourselves 1st • Clarify & distribute DBM responsibility • Formalize a Database Management Oversight Team Designate Center/Section/Unit Liaisons Formalize a Core Database Staff • • Strategy (cont.) • • • • • Collaborate on priority solutions Hire expertise in DB Coordination & DB Design Provide guidelines, tools, and techniques Provide training Implement coordinated distributed database management, including • • • Individual Data Center, Section, & Project Data Shared Data Repository Assume New & Altered Roles Managers • • Support improved DBM for the long haul Provide appropriate staff & funding Oversight Team (advisory to Chief & SMT) • • Represent all Survey sectors Recommend Survey priorities Core DB Staff (Oracle & GIS DBAs, new hires) • • • Provide DB design & coordination Provide guidelines & techniques Maintain shared data repository New & Altered Roles cont Liaisons • • • • Communicate priority needs Become expert in appropriate tools Oversee section/project data Help section & project staff Everyone • • • • Assess the status of your data Learn to use appropriate tools Adopt standards as they emerge Prioritize & communicate your needs Hiring Hire Key Expertise • • • Database Coordinator-Programmer Database Designer-Programmer Applications development - Mapping, Energy, Web, Business • Technical Assistants Adjust Hiring General Practices • Favor qualified, database-capable candidates Distributed Information Management, Liaison Role, and Coordination Environment A database liaison represents and provides support for a given unit, project or service Together, liaisons and core database staff cooperatively build the ISGS information system Liaison Liaison Section Liaison Liaison Core Staff Liaison Center Liaison Service Liaison The database management oversight team provides a formal mechanism for communication, input, and participation, and recommends policies and priorities to management Liaison Shared Methods & Goals Shared Liaison Liaison Liaison Project Liaison Liaison Service DMOT Liaison Liaison Liaison Section Center Project Section Center Service Project Core DB Service Center Project Section Unit- and functionspecific databases are related yet distinct They are developed as needed and are integrated with core and other databases as appropriate Database Applications Development* Core DB Staff, Application Developers, Liaisons • • Develop New Needed Applications Acknowledge/Document Current Applications • • • • Various IMS Applications SDE Support and Expansion Web Development Applications Share Applications Across Survey * Refers to both the graphic look and feel of the software interface and to the software and data manipulation functions to be performed Training Topics • • • • • • Data Storage & Long-term Preservation Data Organization & Quality Control Data Documentation Software Training Data Management Guidelines Special Topics (Oracle, ArcGIS, IMS) Training Opportunities • • • • General Software Training • Spreadsheets (Excel) • Databases (Access, Oracle) • Other (IMS, SDE, OCR Software) Specific In-House Training Data Management Guidelines ISGS Data Resource Website Overall Funding Recommendation The funding strategy should be flexible enough to provide project managers the ability to meet data management needs without placing unnecessary obstacles or regulations in their path Existing IT Categories • Application Development • PC Support Network • Plotter Operations E-Mail • Web • Specialized Software • Database • GIS Support • • Summary • ISGS recently completed a database needs assessment • An open process; entire organization was represented • Team of 10 staff members, lead by senior staff member • Interviews with 50 staff members & written input provided the basis for report to senior management • People came to the table with many issues • A tremendous amount of interest and enthusiasm Summary Critical issues: • Lack of easy access to digital and hardcopy data • Lack of a comprehensive catalog of database holdings • Poorly understood or non-existent policy • Support infrastructure overwhelmed by the rate of acquisition of new data • A need for key application development to support database use • Current funding and staffing limitations in state gov’t necessitate a solution that leverages existing resources Summary Proposed restructuring of Info Mgt approach – (1) decentralize routine information management tasks, i.e allow/require units to directly manage their own data (2) centralize the oversight for information management by providing comprehensive plans, policies and guidelines (3) link centralized & decentralized components with DB liaisons (experts in administrative units) who provide communication for cooperative development, and who act collectively to execute agency policy New hires were identified (DB Coord & DB Designer/Programmer) Also, exploring ways to alter job descriptions and project funding to reflect a greater emphasis on DB/IT skills Will it Work? Stay tuned for future developments Thanks to the Oregon Department of Geology & Mineral Resources
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