Understanding the role of metadata in finding and using statistical information
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Understanding the Role of Metadata in Finding and Using Statistical Information. Carol A. Hert, University of Washington, Tacoma, USA Sheila O. Denn, Simmons College, Boston, USA. Background. 7+ years working with the US Federal statistical agencies on aspects of dissemination to end-users

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Understanding the role of metadata in finding and using statistical information

Understanding the Role of Metadata in Finding and Using Statistical Information

Carol A. Hert, University of Washington, Tacoma, USA

Sheila O. Denn, Simmons College, Boston, USA


Background
Background Statistical Information

  • 7+ years working with the US Federal statistical agencies on aspects of dissemination to end-users

    • What types of users?

    • For what types of tasks are the using the info?

    • What would improve their experiences?

      • Help systems

      • Discovery tools

      • Metadata to support finding and use

      • Metadata schema development


Why user studies
Why User Studies? Statistical Information

  • Rationale for user studies

    • Help identify additional elements

    • Indicate which elements are most useful in supporting certain tasks

      • Thereby enabling prioritization of metadata creation for an item

    • Provides insight into utility of a metadata schema


User studies to date
User Studies To Date Statistical Information

  • User Uncertainties with Tabular Statistical Data

  • Metadata Needs During Integration Tasks

  • The Metadata Requirements to Support Statistical Comparisons

  • Key Metadata Elements in Assessing Relevance (in finding tasks)

    • Study in development


Some key findings across the studies
Some Key Findings Across the Studies Statistical Information

  • Findability requires different metadata than understandability

    • For understandability: rationales, definitions, and more depth in general is required

  • Comparing is a key activity (both in finding and understanding)

    • Comparisons require metadata beyond basic description (such as information on periodicity of a statistic, smallest (largest) geo unit included, etc.)

  • While some metadata are relatively accessible to end-users, some are not: most importantly, rationales are challenging to find and may not exist


Current status of our work
Current Status of our Work Statistical Information

  • Schema development:

    • Using DDI3.0, assessing need for non-DDI elements (based on our user studies, in-depth interaction with experts)

  • Further questions:

    • To what extent do needs for metadata “transcend” a particular statistical domain

    • Metadata to support all end-user tasks

    • Tool development based on the metadata schema

    • Assessing the quality of metadata creation efforts


Contact information
Contact Information Statistical Information


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