There are seven core services a Regional Data Center (RDC) provides. However, depending upon the resources and technical expertise available, not all of these services will be performed by each RDC. The tools described below may not be the same at all of the RDCs, since an RDC may modify a tool to meet internal or stakeholder needs.
1. Upload and check data
The service of uploading and checking data involves providing an online place for data generators to upload data to the RDC, checking that standard formats, codes, and quality assurance and control standards have been used in a dataset, and then loading results into a database or data mart. Tool development includes web-based data checkers and data-loading and QA/QC review queries.
2. Store and manage data
The service of storing and managing data includes the storage of data in a standard format (e.g., SWAMP v.2.5, star schema, project-specific database, Excel files, geodatabase), updating these data as errors are identified and procedures are modified (e.g., revising codes and adding/deleting fields), maintaining metadata, documentation, and promulgating data standards.
3. Exchange data
The service of exchanging data focuses on the back-end aspects required to exchange data with CEDEN and other systems in an automatic or semi-automatic way and the configuration and maintenance of servers, software, and documentation to facilitate this exchange.
4. Access data
The service of accessing data focuses on end-user interaction with the system, including user-defined queries, data download functionality, and visualization tools, such as dynamically generating charts and maps of environmental conditions, stressors, or management responses to undesirable conditions.
5. Coordinate and transfer technology
The service of coordinating and transferring technology involves working with the Monitoring Council, theme-based workgroups, and other RDCs to design, coordinate, and transfer tool development (e.g., providing code for tools, assisting with code modification, documenting code, establishing version control, sharing technical expertise and advise, troubleshooting).
6. Integrate data
The service of data integration is to integrate, analyze, and model data to produce a categorical answer to ecologically relevant management questions. This service explores new ideas for displaying meaningful ecological information in ways that environmental managers and the interested public can understand, and different approaches for answering theme-based questions and determining which datasets are relevant for formulating answers.
7. Audit data
While each project will perform a thorough QA/QC review of their data, an independent audit will also be performed to ensure the quality and accuracy of results being reported. Outcomes from these audits will be incorporated into the RDC database and used to flag and classify the data for different uses.