Cross-Cutting Support Services
CSS designed CMDS as a universal database (implemented on a SQL Server base), to track and provide meaningful analysis of large amounts of scientific data generated by life sciences experiments. CMDS automatically stores streams of data values (temperature, CO2 levels, light levels, etc.) generated by sensors placed on the experiment’s equipment. CMDS allows researchers to peg this data to the specific experiment entities, and then process resulting data sets to provide meaningful research results. The steps in this process include collecting data about the equipment, calibration records, and equipment configuration information. Data sets for each experiment set can be “cleaned,” meaning that some subsets of data, such as data generated by non-calibrated, malfunctioning equipment, or data irrelevant to the specific experiment, can be removed from the original dataset. A positive aspect of the CMDS approach to data cleaning is that ”raw” or primary data are never altered. Cleaning means only that some researcher-provided filters are applied to the raw data. Cleaned or processed data sets can be used for future analyses. Statistical formulae can be applied and also graphical representation of data in user-specified color-coding schemes can be generated. The CSS employees who designed CMDS received a Software-of-the-Year Award from NASA.