6A.3 Establishing a Visualization Framework for the NOAA Observing System Portfolio

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 2:00 PM
Room 17A (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Matthew L. Austin, NOAA/NESDIS, Silver Spring, MD; and L. O'Connor, S. J. Taijeron, and J. Goldstein

In NOAA, the way data is communicated matters significantly. If you want your findings to be understood, internalized, and used, then it is important to report your findings in a way that is easily understood. This is the power of creating data visualizations. The process of building a clear data visualization has become increasingly important in the era of “big data.” This presentation will focus on data visualization techniques that have been applied for integration, optimization, and sustainment of NOAA's observing systems and data management architectures.

The NOAA Technology Planning & Integration for Observation (TPIO) division maintains an observing systems portfolio for NOAA's validated user observation requirements, observing capabilities, and resulting data products and services. In accordance with NOAA administrative policy, TPIO performs data analytics to provide NOAA leadership business case recommendations for consideration in making sound budgetary decisions.

The delivery of information that is relevant to and in the context of NOAA’s users requires a framework to synthesize complex data relationships into actionable, easily understood information. TPIO has developed, tested, and applied an integrated data visualization framework for NOAA’s observing systems portfolio to better communicate the value of NOAA’s observing systems related to NOAA’s data needs. Data relationships have been created to link users to information that is most relevant to what and how they plan to use the data. The complexity of these relationships have been modeled in NOAA’s Observing System Integrated Analysis Capability (NOSIA) which contains the value of observing system capabilities to specific products, the relevance of those services upon NOAA service outcomes, and ultimately upon our nation’s economy and public safety.

A collective understanding and willingness for all parties involved in the data stewardship process is essential to ensuring input and output processes are clear and well documented for visualization use and discovery. The developed methodology combines query, analysis and visualization into a single framework that is easy to share across a broad audience. Research in developing the framework has included data visualization techniques, application of environmental data, and business analytics. The framework has been tested and applied to organization performance management, risk and sensitivity and assessments, and knowledge management.

The newly established visualization framework has improved collaboration in the creation of data visualization tools for NOAA observing systems portfolio customers. Another benefit has been an efficiency gain in the amount of time needed to satisfy a customer inquiry. Outputs from TPIO Data Visualization Framework are improving in quality resulting in higher customer satisfaction as part of the application of a data stewardship maturity process.

In summary, the presentation will show the results of a clear strategy for aligning data collection, analysis, and customer expectations for NOAA observing system and user requirements data. A clear strategy allows analysts to focus on understanding data, discovering insights, and effectively communicating the information to decision makers.

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