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Data Usage Platform as a Federal Data Asset

Aerial view of crowd connected by lines
User experience research and prototyping for a federal data usage platform
  • Client
    The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES)
  • Dates
    October 2023 – September 2025

Challenge

Federal agencies need to measure their data assets’ impact on collaboration and evidence-building activities.

The Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building (ACDEB) and the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act provide authority and recommendations for developing a publicly available inventory of data assets, including usage statistics, which support transparency and accountability across the federal data ecosystem. Future data-sharing infrastructures and tools, such as a potential National Secure Data Service (NSDS), will depend on a centralized platform to help measure the return on investment of federal statistical data projects. Such resources will need to be feature-rich and support a high-quality user experience.

Solution

NORC is prototyping a data usage platform responsive to research, program, and policy user needs.

Through a prototyping process, NORC is building on best practices in user experience (UX) design, data analysis, dashboard, and tool development to meet the needs and future uses of the federal statistical system. Working with external partner Fuzzy Math, NORC is capturing the perspectives and experiences of broad segments of federal data users by conducting in-depth interviews with statistical agency staff and data users. The resulting framework will describe the main user types, types of data assets, and tools needed. It will inform a prototype that supports the vision for a robust and sustainable usage platform that facilitates the collaboration and evidence-building efforts of a broad range of traditional and non-traditional users.

Result

NORC’s work is facilitating progress toward an accessible and transparent federal data ecosystem.

NORC will deliver a high-fidelity wireframe, along with tools, specifications, code, and usage documentation, to ensure a feasible, extensible dashboard that can be updated and integrated into the federal data ecosystem. NORC will also deliver a communications plan to educate potential users about the dashboard. The project's success will be determined by active and sustained engagement with the data usage platform by federal statistical agencies and users outside the federal government.

Project Leads

“Access to easily understandable usage statistics is a critical piece of the infrastructure that will support transparency and accountability within an eventual National Secure Data Service. We are proud to bring our user-centered research approach, award-winning visual design expertise, and deep understanding of the federal ecosystem to the important work.”

Vice President

“Access to easily understandable usage statistics is a critical piece of the infrastructure that will support transparency and accountability within an eventual National Secure Data Service. We are proud to bring our user-centered research approach, award-winning visual design expertise, and deep understanding of the federal ecosystem to the important work.”

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