A Capability Maturity Model for Research Data Management

5.4 Process Assessment

Last modified by Arden Kirkland on 2014/05/18 23:18

5.4 Process Assessment

Process Assessment includes Measurement and Analysis and Verifying Implementation. Measurement and Analysis describes the need to measure the process and analyze the measurements, and typically includes examples of the measurements that could be taken to determine the status and effectiveness of the Activities Performed. Verifying Implementation describes the steps to ensure that the activities are performed in compliance with the process that has been established, and typically encompasses reviews and audits by management and quality assurance.

5.4.1 Measurement and Analysis

Projects should develop and implement metrics for the data storage and preservation process. Example metrics include the amount of data being stored vs. the available storage space, hardware failure rates, how long data backups take to complete, or how long it takes to recover from a backup.

5.4.2 Validate data storage

Projects should routinely check the integrity of data stored on hard drives, discs or tapes (DataONE, 2011c). Such checks are particularly important if data are being collected automatically over time. For example, a checksum might be stored for each file and periodically checked to ensure that the files haven't changed. The readability of files might be checked as part of the regular backup procedure.

5.4.3 Validate backups

Data backups should be regularly checked to be sure that the backups are being made and that the backup copies are identical to the original data (DataONE, 2011a), e.g., by periodically retrieving the backup file, opening it on a separate system, and comparing it to the original file (DataONE, 2011b). Drills should be run periodically to validate the procedures for recovering data and systems from the backups.


Rubric for 5.4 - Process Assessment
Level 0
 This process or practice is not being observed
No steps have been taken to establish procedures for measurement, analysis, or verification of data storage or backups
Level 1: Initial
 Data are managed intuitively at project level without clear goals and practices
Measurement, analysis, and verification of data storage and backups have been considered minimally by individual team members, but not codified
Level 2: Managed
 DM process is characterized for projects and often reactive
Measurement, analysis, and verification of data storage and backups have been recorded for this project, but have not taken wider community needs or standards into account
Level 3: Defined
 DM is characterized for the organization/community and proactive
The project follows approaches to measurement, analysis, and verification of data storage and backups that have been defined for the entire community or institution
Level 4: Quantitatively Managed
 DM is measured and controlled
Quantitative quality goals have been established regarding measurement, analysis, and verification of data storage and backups, and both data and practices are systematically measured for quality 
Level 5: Optimizing
 Focus on process improvement
Processes regarding measurement, analysis, and verification of data storage and backups are evaluated on a regular basis, and necessary improvements are implemented 


DataOne. (2011a). Backup your data. https://www.dataone.org/best-practices/backup-your-data

DataONE. (2011b). Ensure integrity and accessibility when making backups of data. https://www.dataone.org/best-practices/ensure-integrity-and-accessibility-when-making-backups-data

DataONE. (2011c). Ensure the reliability of your storage media. https://www.dataone.org/best-practices/ensure-reliability-your-storage-media

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