ICEDM Best Management Practices Group

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The International Conference of Environmental Data Management (ICEDM) has been a fantastic forum for networking and collaboration among industry leaders in the environmental data management industry. This collaborative atmosphere has resulted in the formation of the ICEDM Best Management Practices Group (ICEDM BMP Group). The Group’s mission is to provide vendor and platform-neutral guidance documents defining the best management practices for the environmental data management industry.

The 2017 ICEDM BMP Group worked hard and created four white papers for the May 2017 Conference: 1) Analytical/Lab EDDs, 2) Data Management Plan, 3) Historical Data Migration, and 4) Valid Values. The Draft white papers are presented below. Final drafts will be ready later this year. The working groups chose the document topics based on the collective interest of conference attendees in past meetings.

ICEDM would love your feedback on how each white paper benefits your data management practice. Links to a survey that will help us improve the white papers are in each white paper section below. Thanks for your help!


Best Management Practices "Highlights" Slide Deck
Download: Best Management Practices Highlights

White Papers

Analytical/Lab EDDs
Download: ICEDM Analytical EDD Requirements (Draft)
Link: Analytical/Lab EDD Reader Input Survey.
This White Paper has been developed by a committee of volunteers from the ICEDM conference attendees, to provide best-practice guidance and information to define minimum requirements for a standardized Electronic Data Deliverable (EDD) for environmental laboratory data.

The paper introduces a scaled approach to determining minimum laboratory EDD structure requirements and standards in guiding the creation of analytical laboratory EDDs, with the goal of producing an EDD structure that makes data use more efficient, thus saving time and money. At the same time, by promoting a scalable structure, the intention is for the guidance to be flexible and useable by all industry groups to aid in improving consistency in process and product that can be used by laboratories and end data users. In addition, the paper promotes the benefits of using EDDs for data transfer and automation, along with decision trees to support defining minimum requirements and communications to achieve successful receipt of EDDs from the laboratory.

Data Management Plan
Download: ICEDM Environmental Data Management Plan
Download: ICEDM Environmental Data Management Plan Template (Draft)
Link: Data Management Plan Reader Input Survey
This white paper addresses some of the central concerns raised in previous ICEDM meetings including: what are the key benefits in having a data management plan; what key content is recommended in an effective plan for an environmental project; how do we address unconventional and new data sources/types; what is the difference between a data management plan and a QAPP, QMP, sampling plan etc; and, what key content is required now or may be required in the future by national and local regulatory bodies. 

This paper  explains why an Environmental Data Management Plan (EDMP) is important for avoiding those issues and will guide you in writing your own EDMP. The process of writing your own EDMP will highlight potential workflow issues, relative importance of different datasets, and communication gaps between data users, data generators, and data managers. The EDMP can guide ongoing and future work, and its development with consideration to all aspects of environmental data management throughout a project’s lifecycle is a benefit in and of itself. Also, the EDMP highlights that the data have intrinsic value beyond their initial purpose. The paper is presented in two parts: a document describing why you need an EDMP, and an outline that guides the creation of your own EDMP.

Historical Data Migration
Download: ICEDM Historical Data Migration Audit (Draft)
Download: ICEDM Historical Data Migration Audit Example Data Inventory (Draft)
Link: Historical Data Migration Reader Input Survey
Data managers are often faced with the task of transferring data from an old system of record to a new system. Changes in the project, such as a transition in the owner of the data or a desire to upgrade to a new technology, may precipitate the need to transfer data. While there is a temptation to charge ahead and migrate all the data to the new system, there are business and technical values in first performing a data audit. Before beginning the audit, it is important to understand how the data will be used in the context of the project’s needs, objectives, budget, and schedules. The data audit should include an inventory of the types of data available in terms of the entities described by the data; for example, location/spatial information, laboratory analytical data, or high-frequency weather sensor data. For any of these types of data, there may be more than once source of information, so the audit should also address the originator of each source, the format, and the quality, completeness, and reliability of each source. A data quality audit matrix can be useful in summarizing the audit process, and an example is provided in the toolkit for this whitepaper. The data audit helps project leadership make business decisions about the value of migrating data in relation to project budget and schedules. The data audit is also useful in establishing a migration plan, prioritizing the order in which data will be migrated, and developing a mapping plan.

 Valid Values
Download: ICEDM Valid Values BMP (Final)
Link: Value Values Reader Input Survey
For some, valid values may seem like a small detail in the big picture of data management, but the data-management community recognizes that a solid system to manage valid values is one of the basic building blocks of a successful data-management system.

This white paper describes best practices for managing valid values in an Environmental Data- Management System (EDMS). It is designed to assist environmental data managers and teams in designing, documenting, and improving their valid values-management program. The primary goal is to increase the reliability of EDMS data. 

If you would like to learn more about the ICEDM Best Management Practices Groups, please contact Dan or Sarah.