#Sciencedeskdigs: Process Model

close up of a flow chart looking diagram with the words process model atop the photo

NPS Photo/M.Reed

If you are like me and thought this was a complicated flow chart that would answer the question “what should I have for dinner tonight?” then you should read on and let Simon Kingston, the (Acting) National Data Manager for the Inventory and Monitoring Division, tell you how database managers use these process models.

Tell us more!
We monitor natural resources in parks to understand their status and to detect trends. There’s a lot of data coming in and we have to figure out how to keep it all organized and stored long term. We have to think all the way from when that data is initially written down on a datasheet on site in a park to when it’s being analyzed and reported. We also have to look into the future a bit to think about what someone else might need to know to make the data usable. So most of my job is interpreting science to nerd (developer) so we can build systems to house that data. One of the tools we use to understand what our scientists need is process models. They help us to document how the data move from the field, into our data systems, through a series of quality checks, and then out as reports and other products, so that we can build the right system to keep it flowing in 10, 20, 30, or more years.

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