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Data protocols

  • A key and unique feature of the Standards Map tool is that all information that is accessible online is reviewed and quality-controlled by each participating standard organization.

    Standards included in Standards Map have been reviewed by each respective standard-setting organization, or by individual experts who have been designated by the organization to fulfill the role of data reviewer.

    The Standards Map team has developed these data protocols that address the issues of integrity and credibility of the information loaded into the Standards Map database. These data protocols include external quality controls of the data as well as the participation process for all standard organizations.

    All existing and potential new partners of ITC, and the Standards Map team in particular, who contribute to the filling of information in the database are requested to strictly follow these protocols to enter and validate information in the Standards Map database. Otherwise ITC reserves the right not to accept these datasheets and may remove them from the database.

    While the Standards Map team will maintain an active collaboration with all participating standard organizations, it is also the responsibility of each standard organization to inform the team when changes are made to their standards, so the appropriate corrections can be made in the database. It is therefore very important that a contact point is designated in the standard organization to liaise with the Standards Map team.

    The following data protocols govern the data entry, update and maintenance in the Standards Map database:

    • Initial data entry protocol (first-time loading of data);
    • Ad hoc (48-72 hour maximum) updates;
    • Quarterly data updates;
    • Annual data updates;
    • Standards Map user feedback.

    These protocols are discussed in greater detail below.


    Initial data entry protocol (first-time loading of standards data)

    T4SD Protocols

    Figure 1 aove provides an overview of the initial six-step data entry process for entering information on an additional standard system and its requirements in the Standards Map Database.


    This process involves the Standards Map team loading the data into the database, the engagement of an independent expert to quality control the data entered, and lastly the quality control from the standard organization itself to ensure that no errors of interpretation, etc. were made. Once the feedback from the standard organization has been discussed with the Standards Map team and requisite changes made when appropriate, the datasheet is uploaded to the Standards Map website.


    Ad hoc (72 hour) updates

    In an effort to be as responsive as possible and maintain the greatest level of data accuracy and timeliness, the Standards Map team will make changes and updates to all Standards Map static content that is managed by our ITC-based Content Management System (CMS) within 72 hours of being notified by the standard organization of the necessary change. Static content includes information displayed under the "Quick-Scan" module, standards' logos, and other references to standards available on Standards Map.

    Other changes or updates that involve data residing in the Data Entry Tool may take up to 72 hours to implement on the site given the need to complete a "data dump" with our Geneva-based database hosting provider. The 72-hour window allows for verifying with the standard organization that the data is entered correctly, and ensuring the "data dump" from the database to the website is done correctly and the right information appears on the Standards Map website.

    Please note that while the Standards Map team will do its utmost to accommodate all ad hoc requests, these updates are generally meant for specific changes such as a logo change, address or phone number change, or change to the geographical or product scope of a standard system. More standard-wide revisions or systemic changes should be reserved for the quarterly and annual updates as they require more resources and interactions between the standard organization and the Standards Map team.


    Quarterly updates

    Quarterly updates will be made on or about 1st April, 1st July, and 1st October. A reminder will be sent to each standard organization a month before the first day of the new quarter informing the standard organizations to contact the Standards Map team with any changes that will need to be made to their record in the database as well as to the static content on the website (at a glance sheets, etc.). Once the Standards Map team has received the change requests by email, the team will begin working with the standard organization to make the necessary changes in the DET. These changes will be all made to coincide with one "data dump" that will be run shortly before the 1st day of the new quarter (the 1st of April, July, and October, respectively).


    Annual updates

    Should there be large-scale changes to a standard system (resulting in new versions of the standards documents being published by the standard organization) or insufficient data to update the standard during the quarterly updates, the annual update is the occasion to do so. The Standards Map team will contact each standard organization on September 1st of each year to begin preparations for the annual updates. The team will work with each standard organization to make sure that both static content, geographic and product scope, as well as the standards data itself is fully up to date and any new documents that will come into force in the next year are properly entered into the system and referenced. The updated information will then be uploaded to the site on our around 1st January of the new year.


    Standards Map user feedback

    Should T4SD receive feedback or queries from Standards Map users on specific standards data on the website, the T4SD team will first attempt to answer their queries. Should this not be possible, the team will forward the query to the relevant standard organization for their comments and feedback. It is hoped that where possible and depending on the nature of the query, demonstrable evidence (audit report results, etc.) will be provided to the Standards Map team so we can fully respond to the query. Should the standard organization wish to respond directly to the query, this is completely acceptable as well.


    Organizational contacts

    In order to make communications channels between the Standards Map team and each standard organization as efficient and streamlined as possible, we strongly recommend that each standard organization nominates a key point of contract with whom the Standards Map team can liaise throughout the year regarding all issues related to data updates, etc. In many cases, contact points have already been established with most standard organizations. In cases where there is no dedicated contact points established, this should be done as soon as possible to coincide with the next quarterly update. In this regard, the team will engage with the relevant standard organizations to determine their appropriate contact person.


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