Data Accessibility Benchmark: Organizational Self-Assessment Tool
The benchmark is designed to be used repetitively to measure improvement in the effectiveness and
ease of accessing data and information by users both within and outside the organization. Use of the
benchmark tool on an annual basis would be appropriate.

The aggregate score obtained from the benchmark ladders is less important than the individual scores
for each ladder. It is the relative scoring on each of the principles / evaluation ladders that will be most
useful in focussing initiatives to improve the overall score.

The tool could also be used to separately score different business units or data dissemination
infrastructures within an organization especially if responsibility for data management and data
accessibility is a distributed responsibility.

Organizations may want to weight their scores based upon internal priorities e.g. data management
policies and plans may be considered a higher priority than user support. It is important that the
weightings be explicit and consistently used in each use of the tool.

Wording to assist users in positioning their organization on the ladders is only provided for scores ‘5’,
‘3’, ‘1’ and ‘0’. Score ‘2’ or ‘4’ if a description for level 1 or 3 is less than the situation in your
organization but 3 or 5 describes a situation which your organization has not yet attained.

A PDF guide to using the tool, including the tool itself is available at:

http://coinatlantic.ca/images/COINAtlantic-Data-Accessibility-Self-Assessment-Tool.pdf

***

Acknowledgements:

Funding for the development of the Data Accessibility Benchmark was provided by the Adaptation
Platform Program of the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division of Natural Resources
Canada.

The tool was developed in collaboration with Dr. Bertrum MacDonald, School of Information
Management, Dalhousie University.

Tool testing has been assisted by Robert Branton, Emeritus Scientist, Ocean Tracking Network,
Dalhousie University.

The following organizations have provided comments to improve the CDAST:

1 October 2015: Northeast Coastal and Ocean Data Partnership, "Achieving More Effective and Easy
Access to Coastal and Ocean Data: A Self-Assessment Tool for Data Providing Organizations". Watch
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkfpHDvZ1VY

8 October 2014: NRCAN Adaptation Platform Webinar Series, Managing Climate Change Information
for Adaptation. 13 January 2015: NOAA Data Management Integration Team, "Self-Assessment and
Data Management Tools for Data Providing Organizations"

April 2015: ICAN 7 workshop / CoastGIS 2015 Presentation

18 January 2016: CODATA Webinar (International Council for Science: Committee on Data for Science
and Technology) - https://zenodo.org/record/44966#

EIUI Research group, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

Organization or System
e.g., OTN (Ocean Tracking Network); NeCODP (North East Coastal and Ocean Data Partnership)
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e.g., Headquarters
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e.g., John Smith
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