CMI Guide: Data Management System Options for CBM Groups

A survey of BC’s community-based water monitoring data management systems and their capabilities was carried out to assist Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups and their partners in taking steps to improve how they store, share, and use western science and Indigenous Knowledge related data. The project was conceived to fill a need among over 100 community-based water monitoring (CBM) groups in the province to better coordinate, plan for and manage water related data so that it is of higher value for use in existing and emerging watershed level planning and decision making.

The qualitative survey was conducted using a telephone interview format with representatives of 12 CBM related data management systems. These systems in aggregate were chosen to represent a range of data management capabilities on a sliding scale of capabilities described as basic, intermediate, and advanced. Six categories of information were discussed as part of the 12 interviews, including project purposes, data types, system attributes, data management plan/functions/attributes, communication pathways for users and decision makers, and access through web link(s) and other means.

The introductory background information and the outcomes of the survey were used as the basis of recommendations for CBM groups to incrementally enhance data management system capabilities. These recommendations included improvements in data management literacy, especially related to FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) and Indigenous focused OCAP principles (Ownership, Control, Access, Possession), creation of a CBM focused and community of practice for data system development and management, creation of regional coordinated data system collaboratives and a provincial water data catalogue, and potential creation of a non-profit software advisor/provider for CBM groups.

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