Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Summary of National Dialogue Session with EPA’s National Quality and Statistics Conference Attendees
April 24, 2008
What types of information do you use?
Endangered species information for pesticide registration reviews in particular
- Fish and wildlife
- Nature Serve (contact Office of Information Collection for more information)
- Supporting research planning and find collaborators
- Common interests
Directions on future planning
- Where are we going? New directions.
- Need to anticipate needs to help plan work, like research RFAs
Internal information sharing
- Having most current information, need to be aware of revisions/changes in process
- Within offices, across offices.
- Find data at states
Need to consider quality of data and how we provide access to information
- Example: NEI not consistent with input. Transparency of calculations and algorithms not there. State provides data but cannot tell what happened to it or explain results
- Data owner may update data but users (e.g., NEI) do not update the calculation that used the data.
Need to start with idea of what we need to know to affect change.
- What are we interested in in this geographic area? What are we trying to affect? What data do we need?
- (Land Use Laws, Conditions, Extent, Facilities.)
How Do You Use the Information?
Secondary data users – Citations of source data are needed
Get Generators to attach pedigree
- Users need to understand value of information,
- Have metadata “stick” to the data file
- Recognize sophistication of data generators and users
Metadata Hotline! Where to find it, what it means (is it good enough?)
- Databases across the Agency are so different that it is hard to find and keep track of what they mean (different terminology, metadata, etc.)
Data Quality ‘Indicators’
- Grade the data: peer reviewed, we collected it, other agency collected it, States. etc.
- Data dictionary associated with data set
When is quality most vulnerable? Lab component vs. field component, knowing relative quality/uncertainty values.
Annual Performance Reports to Hill, links to performance/environmental results, connecting activities with outcomes, relation to public welfare
How Do You Want to Get/ Access the Information?
- Access Information by chemical, not searching by program
- Two-way communication – States ← → EPA
- Libraries – we need resources that are not electronic, such as methods information
- Search engines need improvement
- Tools to merge Agency databases to support inspections – all the information on a facility in once place/file
- Need to find the people who control the funding to support improved information resources
- Need to be able to track who has touched the data, version control/updates
How Do You Make Your Information Available?
- Information Quality Guidelines (IQGs) – Need to pay attention to documentation
- Error Correction Processes – How to make it easy for people to update/correct things
- Web 2.0/Wikis/Blogs are new way of making available
Debate: Balance of Quality and Access
- Put it out there with pedigree vs. access control based on quality of the data
- Data generators/States need to attach pedigree
Last comments: What needs to be fixed?
- Search engine
- Organize web by function not organization
- Set goal for access
- What is END we are trying to achieve?
- Ability to find people with common interests/knowledge
- Connect environmental data with health data
Specific data requests:
- Congressional districts for facilities
- Easy way to merge databases to get all facility and compliance information in one place to facilitate multimedia activities such as inspections