Those Awkward Teenage Years: The Maturing of Data Commons

March 10, 2021 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET

The term “data commons” is used across NIH to describe data-hosting repositories. But data commons can differ widely in what they offer, from simple storage and infrastructure to full data harmonization, aggregation, and interoperability. At the very minimum data commons usually have a common architecture (i.e., cloud-hosted, multi-tenant) and allow access to data, tools, and computational workspaces. Other non-technical aspects also may be provided, such as data governance; that is, the policies that guide data collection, access, storage, and use in a consistent and structured manner.

In this webinar, Matthew Trunnell will describe how a capability maturity model (CMM) can be applied to the concept of a data commons as a framework for characterizing current projects and prioritizing future efforts. A CMM is a methodology used to guide process development, particularly in areas of software and applied technology. This approach has been applied successfully to enterprise analytics, master data management, and other organizational capabilities. A CMM for a data commons can address both the technological aspects of a commons and the processes supporting its development and operations. As noted by Mr. Trunnell, on the whole, most data commons are relatively early in the maturation process, and this may be sufficient for the majority of efforts. A CMM becomes useful, however, when considering a more inclusive vision of a “data ecosystem."

Matthew Trunnell

Matthew Trunnell is acting executive director of the Pandemic Response Commons, a not-for-profit consortium advancing regional data platforms in support of COVID-19 research, including the Chicagoland COVID-19 Commons. As a self-described data commoner, he helps organizations enhance the impact of their research-data assets through engineering, stewardship, and data-centered collaboration.

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