OOS 79-2
Making sense of big data: Scientific web portal design with NEON

Thursday, August 13, 2015: 1:50 PM
337, Baltimore Convention Center
Christine Laney, Biological Sciences, NEON
Big data sets are only as useful as they can be accessed, analyzed, and integrated with both internal and external data. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is amassing enormous amounts of highly diverse type of data, including physical, chemical, and biological time-series data collected from ground-based instruments and field sampling, remotely sensed gridded data from aircraft-mounted instruments, and specimen (including genomic) data. In addition, datasets are generated and released to the public at multiple processing levels, from near-raw data streams to highly derived data products that are carefully calculated from multiple data streams. These diverse data are to be made easily available and actionable via an online data portal for a broad audience, from students and educators to researchers and decision makers. How do we build a single data portal to accommodate all of these needs?
The NEON data portal is being developed to provide users with intuitive tools for browsing, visualizing, and downloading data of interest. Improvements are phased in after periods of community input, detailed planning by multiple internal NEON teams, and additions of new data products. This presentation introduces the latest rollout of the data portal, describes the user experience via multiple audience perspectives, and discusses feedback mechanisms that encourage users to provide their ideas and concerns for consideration during the next phase of development. In addition, good practices of the underlying management of NEON data that support the portal functionality will be discussed.