Improvements for user access are needed (especially for interdisciplinary and nontechnical users).
Data centers should focus on tools for finding data and for decision making.
Technology is but one of the challenges facing data centers.
Some of the technological challenges facing data centers have already been addressed in the information technology fields for other applications.
Humans are the limiting factor in adopting and adapting to new technological capabilities.
What technologies can be resource multipliers (near versus long term)? If there’s one you’d apply in the short term, which would it be?
Techniques for tracking, searching, and sharing metadata, especially through standardizing the use of a format such as XML Schema, would be a substantial benefit for data search and access. In addition, on-line datasets and databases and market-driven technologies have great potential applications in data center operations.
What have we missed?
Data centers and their sponsoring agencies must still consider the interaction between people and technology, rather than simply focusing on technology. One panelist suggested that it would be useful to improve the way available resources are promoted and communicated to users. Data centers should define the true metric of their performance carefully: better user services, decreased costs, increased number of users?