Help us make an impact! One survey, six focus groups and an MSc project how we plan to better evidence our impact

Posted on July 17, 2018 (Last modified on October 19, 2023) • 3 min read • 560 words
Share via

The Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) needs to keep users and stakeholders informed of the latest developments, but also evidence the impact of its services (i.e. the CEDA archive, JASMIN) to its funders. To help do this we have created a new role within the CEDA team; meet our Communications Manager, Poppy Townsend. Poppy is now responsible for our external communications to users, such as social media and website content, as well as working out how best to measure our impact.

Alongside her day job, Poppy is undertaking a part-time MSc in Science Communication at UWE Bristol, where her dissertation is investigating how CEDA can evidence its importance for enabling scientific research. In the past, this has been done by irregularly collecting ‘impact stories’ from researchers who use our services. The term ‘impact stories’ is just our name for a short case study or news item about a piece of impactful research that relied upon CEDA services for its success. We define impactful research as anything that caused beneficial changes to occur in the real world (beyond the world of researchers). Examples of previous impact stories include; using Sentinel data in the CEDA archive for long-term earthquake monitoring, using JASMIN for modelling volcanic plumes (see images below).  

We want to find out how we can best collect these stories in an easy and useful process. For this to work, we need to talk to our key user communities i.e. you! Poppy has already undertaken 6 focus groups at the JASMIN conference, NCAS staff meeting and the Atmospheric Science conference - thanks to all who participated! These provided detailed discussions into why, what, how, when and who to collect impact information from. The output has already proved useful and has been fed into a survey which has been emailed out to a large sample of users in our database.

If you’ve received this email please fill it in, it’ll only take 10 minutes! If you didn’t receive an email, then you can fill in the survey here. The results from this research will really help us to shape the new process of collecting impact stories! 

Poppy’s project aims to provide an easy set of guidelines for CEDA (and other service providers) to utilise when collecting impact stories in the future. And with input from you, our users, we hope that this will make the process of collecting impact stories smoother and more useful for everyone involved.

Ultimately by developing this process, it will help increase our evidence base about CEDA’s impact on researchers (and wider society). Without this evidence, we may not receive funding to continue providing and improving our services.



More information about the survey can be found here: 

The survey closes on 17th August at 4.30pm. It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. You may ask for your contribution to be withdrawn from the study at any time before the end of August 2018 as long as you submit a memorable word at the end of the survey. All data will be treated as personal under the 2018 GDPR regulations and will be stored securely.

If you would like more information on the study, to withdraw your data (before the 31st August 2018) or to see a summary of the findings please contact Poppy Townsend (email [email protected] or telephone 01235 446252).

Follow us

Social media & development