This workshop bought together a group of data management experts to explore how marine socio-economic data is currently being managed, and to develop new protocols for the future. Discussions on the first day focussed on the definitions of “governance” data and the challenges of managing those data. The second day participants contributed to a set of keywords to support social and economic data management. The Group also discussed the key challenges of working with marine management practitioners, and the key points are summarised below:
a) Clarity, certainty and specificity are required in communication between practitioner and data manager.
- It is necessary for the data manager to understand that the practitioner works in an organic manner, and for the practitioner to understand that structure is a necessity when dealing with data
- By continually looking ahead in the project it is possible to manage the number of iterations and changes to project data.
- Standards do not necessarily translate across the data / practitioner boundary.
- The French partners give ‘data practices information’ to field agents. This is always evolving.
- t is felt there is a lack of data and IT awareness amongst practitioners. AAMP are producing a presentation to explain how best to work between data teams and scientists.
b) Managing expectations of practitioners and improving their understanding of how long data and technical processes take will aid planning
- The practitioner needs to be aware of what can and can’t be achieved. e.g. web mapping is everywhere now (Google maps, embedded on websites, Open Street Map etc). There is an assumption that it is quick and easy.
c) Technical language is hard to understand and often confusing
- Perhaps a VALMER data and IT terms glossary will help. AAMP are currently working on a short one for their organisation. This must at least include the different data formats (shp, dbf, xls, txt, ascii etc etc).
d) A problem of practitioners is that they don’t know what questions to ask as they are not sure what is possible
- It will be very useful to the project if we can explain the simple uses of GIS and what outputs can be made
- It is hoped that WP1, WP2 and WP3 could have a meeting during which this can be done
- It’s important for data managers to use the right phrases with the practitioners, e.g.: “What is the information that you require”? Not, “what data do you need to see”?
e) Defining what is relevant and what is out of scope
- It is important that during initial meetings between all WPs and WP2 all parties need to understand what the scope of their WP data requirements are.
f) It will be extremely useful for the data teams to know when practitioners expect to start work or when they are going to make data available to the data centre
- a mutually agreed data timeline
g) Requirement of the data teams to be involved in any tendering processes to ensure scope, technical details, costings, and time allocation are realistic and achievable
h) Early and Clear Communication is key
Presentations from the day are available here: