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Cost transparency regarding data product use

Table of contents
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Subject area/Theme

User Engagement/Economy

Best Practice:

Cost transparency should be assured for users at all stages of data product development in that the respective data providers elucidate to the degree possible the costs of input data (such as images), their processing, the relationship between costs and accuracy, and the complete future costs of operating the service including the user's own efforts.

Explain why is there a need for this Best Practice?

For user organisations to take well informed decisions as to whether they want to uptake particular services, they must fully understand not only the benefits, but also the costs associated with these services.

Provide an example application(s):

Currently, certain data products are already delivered in an operational way, and the costs for acquiring and using them are well known. The experience gained in this way could be taken advantage of regarding new product development.

How widely deployed is this practice(if applicable)

Within GMES* projects, financial transparency for users is partly given, but in general it needs improvement.

Owner (Originator) Contact Information:


Submitter Contact Information:

GNU - http:/

Detailed Description of Best Practice

If users do not clearly understand the economic aspects of future services, certain products may be developed that theoretically meet the respective user's needs, but in practice become unaffordable. GMES* projects should consider full current and future costs already in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between providers and users. This would not only relate to image or other basic data costs, but to the overall costs of operating the service. Of course it is understood that, especially at early stages of product development, only estimates can be made as costs and certain future cost factors, such as third party data, may yet be unknown. This should then be clearly communicated to the users.

Based on their knowledge of the related market(s), the service providers would develop a business plan for future service provision including cost scenarios or projections. Users must also clearly understand the ratio between price and both thematic and overall data.


)* Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, the European contribution to GEO.


 Editor's Note:

See a related best practice entry - Data Policy.

--H. K. Ramapriyan

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