What does a Data Workflows Specialist Do Anyways?

We are very pleased to have Susan Borda join the UM-Library as our very first Data Workflows Specialist.
What exactly does a Data Workflows Specialist do you ask? Well, one of the greatest challenges we face in sharing and curating research data is finding ways to move data from where it is being actively developed into an environment where it can be curated with a minimal amount of loss of data or contextual information. We have developed a form for researchers at UM to deposit their data into Deep Blue Data, UM's data repository, which works well for data sets that are comprised of a few, small sized files. Larger data sets that are comprised of multiple files, or data sets that cannot be deposited through our form for whatever reason, necessitate different workflows and processes to transfer the data to the curation environment successfully.
In addition to getting data into curated environments like Deep Blue Data, we also need ways for people to be able to access and acquire the data from the repository. Here again, larger or more complicated data sets present challenges for us in delivering the data sets in our collection to those who want to make use of them. Furthermore, we want to explore ways to expand the capabilities of Deep Blue Data to enable potential users to view or even interact with the data sets without having to download them. We envision connecting Deep Blue Data to tools and resources through APIs or other means to enable people to do more with the data sets that we host.
Susan has a strong background in Information Technology and experience in addressing issues in managing, sharing and curating data from her work at the University of Virginia, UC-Merced and Montana State University. We are fortunate to have her talents at the University of Michigan.