SUMMARY: Data Preparedness is a deliberate effort to ensure your organization has the right data in the right format and is ready to act with confidence when called upon. These efforts normally focus on the following three types of data:

  • Static data you prepare and hold in your organization like asset inventories
  • Static data you may periodically or dynamically access from other organizations like HIFLD or a partner agency
  • Situationally created data that is provided from an external organization such as models or assessments.

Because data is dynamic, this process is continual, starting with discovery and advancing through retrospective analysis where its value is assessed and opportunities for improvement are identified…leading to more discovery.

BEST PRACTICE: Data Preparedness is a state of readiness that ensures an operational entity either is in possession of or ready to receive external data in known formats that are optimized for use and validated for appropriateness. It includes all activities necessary to ensure proper access to and full knowledge of the best available data to support mission activities. The concept of preparedness is typically associated with workflows that have a combination of “Steady-State” work and “Operations” or an activity that departs from the normal workflow, but can be anticipated to occur as part of the mission of the organization.

The following list includes some, but not all key elements required to ensure data preparedness:

  • Discovery – Understanding all potentially useful data, where it can be acquired and any use constraints. Simultaneously, this ensures that your data creation actions can be focused on gap filling and not replication.
  • Formal Data Access Relationships – To ensure the free flow of access to critical data, as well as to ensure accountability and proper recognition, data sharing agreements should be formalized and codified. (See future best practice on this topic)
  • Data Creation – Where important data does not exist or is of insufficient quality, data will need to be created. This is an expensive and long-term burdensome project that should be minimalized. In some cases it may consist of attribute enhancements rather than the entire creation of new geometry. (See future best practice on this topic)
  • Physical Data Access – In addition to conventional data storage, data is increasingly made available through federated system to system connection allowing access to highly current and authoritative data sets. Each organization must ensure that the means of storage and access are suitable for connected and possibly disconnected or deployed scenarios.
  • Data Cataloging and Metadata – Data should be discoverable on your organization’s architecture and should be sufficiently documented to ensure clear understanding for new staff and surge scenarios.
  • Retrospective Analysis – Following operations, a formal critique should be completed to ensure that the data was in suitable condition and availability for the mission. This “after-action” should include capturing successes, identifying shortcomings and seeking opportunities for improvement. Any ideas for improvement should be explore as described in the discovery

Links to Related GeoCONOPS Resources

Stakeholders: The following organizations have operational or response mandates and may be resources to share experiences and additional best practices.

  • FEMA
  • USCG
  • CISA
  • CDC

GeoData and Products: The resources listed below are a selection of key sources to support data preparedness:

Capabilities: The resources listed below are a selection of key sources to support data preparedness:

Tradecraft: The resources listed below are a selection of key sources to support data preparedness:

Examples: The following case studies demonstrate the value of data preparedness:

Updated on May 28, 2020