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PO024: How to communicate and collaborate on data: easy-to-use tools and techniques for eliminating overwhelm, confusion and ambiguity - Poster pitch
Thomas Clark, CEO, Octue
BACKGROUND / PROBLEM DESCRIPTION When working with on data sources/services published by others - or when creating your own - the first pitfall is commonly wrapping your head around what exact data is present (or required). In a typical collaborative project on data, weeks and months of time are wasted in this initial phase, where teams and individuals strive to establish a clear idea of what's actually needed (spreadsheets, whiteboarding, unclear jargon, emailing example CSV files, emailing responses to ask "what does that column do?"... Sound familiar?). There are plenty of tools and techniques out there to help, but it can be difficult to know where to start, and search results will quickly yield a lot of extremely technical terms (like "ontologies" and "taxonomies") which can often be quite abstract. INTRODUCTION This talk introduces practical, easy-to-adoptOpen Source Software (OSS) tools, processes and new resources to improve this situation. In particular, we focus on data schemas - formal descriptions of data - and how, even from the very early stages of a project when there is a lot of uncertainty, they can be used to help accelerate work. PROGRESS (NEW RESOURCES AND TOOLS) Octue has been working within the IEA Task 43 Metadata Challenge to evaluate (and develop where necessary) several tools and resources: - A glossary has been published (and continues to be improved) by the Task 43 Collaborators, where terms are given context and practical examples to help reduce jargon in discussions about data. - Different ways of describing data and metadata (known as schema) have been evaluated in terms of how fit-for-purpose they are for use in the wind industry. - Open-Source software (the `octue` and `twined` libraries) has been developed to help scientists quickly build, validate and use data from different sources. - A web-based application has been developed to enable scientists to freely and easily create, publish, distribute and use each other's data schemas. CONCLUSION Substantial progress has been made in the underlying groundwork required for scientists and engineers in our industry to effectively collaborate on and exchange data. Much work is left to do before the data ecosystem in our industry is seamless and powerful - the wider Task 43 Roadmap encompasses this but is outside the scope of this talk.