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Data and Informatics Consulting for Engineering

Focus

Our focus is to support researchers at the different stages of research projects:

  • Proposal Development
    • More and more funding agencies require a Data Management Plan (DMP) with grant proposals.
    • Funding agencies want to know if you have a plan to make your research reproducible.
      • How will you describe your data?
      • What meta-data conventions will be used?
    • We provide DMP consultation services.
  • Experiment Design and Data Management
    • During the experiment and data collection stage, minimizing data loss and maximizing usability is desired.
    • Simple logistics such as how files are organized, file naming conventions, and file format considerations can play an important part in the success of a project.
    • We can aid researcher to make informed decisions during this process including documentation practices and strategies.
  • Data Sharing and Analysis
    • We can facilitate solutions for sharing data and results during a project to other project members.
    • We have an in-house data analytics expertise that can aid researchers with their analysis, help guide this process, and suggest tools and analysis approaches.
    • We also provide support for:
      • Tool/software development for specific analytical needs.
      • Tool/software development support for transforming, formatting, and manipulating data.
      • In-depth data analysis.
  • Sharing Results
    • Making the results and resulting dataset(s) available to the larger research community as this allows other researchers to learn from the efforts of the project.
    • If other researchers use the data, the datasets can be cited, giving the dataset authors citation(s).
    • We can help in the assignment of DOI's to datasets and facilitate making the final product publicly available.
    • We can also help in supporting data-driven challenges by providing hosting space and a persistent link to the data through our data repository VTechData.

Why?

  • So researchers do not neet to be experts in all aspects of a project inorder to be successful. Let the researcher focus on their own domain expertise and let our experts support that process.
  • The last thing any researcher wants is
    • to be delayed by data analysis challenges
    • data loss due to an unforseen circumstance,
    • burdened with creating a robust infrastructure to prevent data loss, or
    • have a publication retraction because results cannot be reproduced.
  • We can help facilitate solutions and allow researchers to focus more on what they do best: research!

How?

  • Consultations - walk-ins during office hours or by appointment.
  • Attend a project meeting.
  • Become an active member of a project.

Involvement can occur at any stage of a project.

Scenario

Here we present a hypothetical scenario to exemplify how DICE can help.

Stresses on a Pedestrian Footbridge

  • Description
    • An engineering research group is embarking on a research grant to study the long-term usage of and stresses on a pedestrian footbridge instrumented to log such data.
  • Proposal Development Stage
    • We provide DMP consulting to help finalize a solid DMP.
    • We suggest some meta-data conventions to strengthen their grasp on the data they will be collecting and working with.
  • Experiment Design and Data Management
    • We provide input for their data management strategies so as to minimize data loss.
    • We suggest several hardware solutions to minimize data loss while data is being collected, some of which the group were unaware of.
    • Based on the kind of data being recording, we inform the group about specific data formats that may facilitate their analysis.
    • We suggest file naming conventions and file organization strategies that can help streamline their project.
  • Data Sharing and Analysis
    • We facilitate sharing among colleagues through secure storage practices using cloud storage or other secure storage option.
    • Based on the data being recorded, we suggest several analysis tools/algorithms.
    • Our in-house analytics expert(s) suggests multiple ways they can approach their data and help identify interesting findings.
  • Sharing Results
    • Once the results are compiled and the dataset finalized, the group is able to get a DOI for their dataset, and deposit into the University Library's data repository VTechData making their findings and data available to the larger research community.
    • The research group then is recognized for their contribution through other researchers using and citing their dataset.