Automated Data Submission for the Data Center

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Daine Wright, Tammy Beaty, Yaxing Wei, Harold Shanafield and Suresh Kumar Santhana Vannan, ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN, United States
Data centers struggle with difficulties related to data submission. Data are acquired through many avenues by many people. Many data submission activities involve intensive manual processes. During the submission process, data end up on varied storage devices. The situation can easily become chaotic. Collecting information on the status of pending data sets is arduous. For data providers, the submission process can be inconsistent and confusing. Scientists generally provide data from previous projects, and archival can be a low priority. Incomplete or poor documentation accompanies many data sets. However, complicated questionnaires deter busy data providers.

At the ORNL DAAC, we have semi-automated the data set submission process to create a uniform data product and provide a consistent data provider experience. The formalized workflow makes archival faster for the data center and data set submission easier for data providers. Software modules create a flexible, reusable submission package. Formalized data set submission provides several benefits to the data center. A single data upload area provides one point of entry and ensures data are stored in a consistent location. A central dashboard records pending data set submissions in a single table and simplifies reporting. Flexible role management allows team members to readily coordinate and increases efficiency. Data products and metadata become uniform and easily maintained. As data and metadata standards change, modules can be modified or re-written without affecting workflow.

While each data center has unique challenges, the data ingestion process is generally the same: get data from the provider, scientist, or project and capture metadata pertinent to that data. The ORNL DAAC data set submission workflow and software modules can be reused entirely or in part by other data centers looking for a data set submission solution. These data set submission modules will be available on NASA's Earthdata Code Collaborative and by request.