EOSDIS High Customer Satisfaction Continues
Results from the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey for 2017 indicate continued high levels of satisfaction with EOSDIS products and services.
Josh Blumenfeld, EOSDIS Science Writer
If you use services provided by NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) or download data from EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), chances are you receive an email every fall seeking your participation in the EOSDIS’ American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey. The results of the 2017 survey are in, and for the 14th consecutive year the EOSDIS received high scores for customer satisfaction in all survey areas. In addition, all DAACs received strong individual evaluations.
The survey is administered by the CFI Group, an independent organization that is under contract to the federal government. This annual survey provides vital information that enables the EOSDIS and the DAACs to continually improve customer service and products as well as develop new services in response to data user needs.
The EOSDIS received an aggregate Customer Satisfaction Index, or CSI, of 78 out of 100 in the 2017 survey. This is one point higher than last year’s score and an indication of strong, consistent performance. The EOSDIS CSI score is also eight points higher than the aggregate federal government 2017 CSI. EOSDIS has never received a CSI below 74 (in 2006) and has outscored the federal government every year the EOSDIS ACSI survey has been conducted.
The ACSI model is a set of causal equations linking customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value to customer satisfaction, which is reflected mathematically in the CSI score. Satisfaction, in turn, is further linked to a customer’s likelihood to recommend products and services and their willingness to use products and services in the future. Because the CSI score is based on aggregate weighted scores in several factors that are calculated using the proprietary ACSI methodology, a score in the upper-70s can be considered an indication of “strong” performance. For a detailed description of the ACSI methodology, please see the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI): Methodology Report (available online by clicking on the hyperlink).
One expected result of high customer satisfaction with services is user trust and loyalty. This is accounted for in the ACSI algorithm and reflected by a number indicating the likelihood of a respondent to recommend the evaluated products and services to others coupled with the likelihood of a respondent to use the services in the future. Respondents’ likelihood to recommend EOSDIS and DAAC products and services (87, unchanged from 2016) and likelihood to use EOSDIS services in the future (89, a one point increase from 2016) remain very strong, and are consistent with previous EOSDIS ACSI surveys.
The CFI Group breaks EOSDIS services into six “Satisfaction Drivers” representing specific areas of performance affecting overall EOSDIS customer satisfaction. Each satisfaction driver is further evaluated by its weighted impact, which is a value indicating the leverage an individual driver has on customer satisfaction and the area or areas in which improvements matter the most to survey respondents. The 2017 order of EOSDIS satisfaction driver impacts is unchanged from 2016.
While Customer Support continues to be the primary driver of EOSDIS customer satisfaction (receiving a score of 87—two points higher than the 2016 score of 85), the driver with the greatest impact on EOSDIS customer satisfaction continues to be Product Quality (85, a two point increase from 2016). As noted by the CFI Group, maintaining a high Product Quality score is essential to maintaining a high CSI score due to the high impact of Product Quality (1.1) on overall satisfaction. The EOSDIS 2017 Product Quality score of 85 is the highest Product Quality score received by the EOSDIS since the EOSDIS survey was first conducted in 2004.
With the exception of Product Delivery (84), which is unchanged from 2016, all Satisfaction Driver scores increased from 2016. Product Quality, Customer Support, and Product Search all increased two points from 2016; Product Selection and Order and Product Documentation both increased one point from last year’s survey.
Outside of three survey questions asking respondents to rate their overall expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value of EOSDIS services and products on a 1 to 10 scale (which are required by the CFI Group and used to calculate the CSI score), the remaining questions on the EOSDIS survey are developed collaboratively by the EOSDIS, the DAACs, and the CFI Group. Respondents to the survey are asked to evaluate their experience with the specific DAAC or DAACs from which they receive data and products. In addition, the survey allows respondents to provide open-ended comments. These are some of the most valuable areas of the survey since they allow respondents to candidly express their specific likes, dislikes, satisfactions, and suggested improvements. These comments help DAAC and EOSDIS managers identify strengths, highlight areas for improvement, and discover areas for potential new services and products.
The 2017 survey was conducted between September 7 and October 4. The CFI Group emailed 289,745 survey invitations to individuals who used EOSDIS data and/or products in the past year and received 7,505 completed surveys. This 2.6% response rate is seen as a good response by the CFI Group for calculating a statistically valid CSI score. In fact, NASA and the EOSDIS consistently see a higher participation in the ACSI survey than other government agencies or programs.
In the following summary tables, total percentages may not equal 100% due to multiple responses; all non-percentage values are out of 100.
Survey respondents self-identifying themselves as university students (38%)—which includes both undergraduate (9%) and graduate (29%) students—and Earth science researchers (32%) were the most common EOSDIS data users, followed by university professors (16%) and the general public (14%). The most common disciplines for which EOSDIS data are used are consistent with previous years: land and atmosphere, followed by biosphere, ocean, near real-time (NRT) applications, and human dimensions.
ACSI survey respondents are asked to evaluate their experience with the specific DAAC or DAACs from which they receive data and products. For links to the individual DAACs cited below, please see the Earthdata DAAC page.
The Land Processes DAAC (LP DAAC) continues to be the most frequent DAAC evaluated (38%). Since LP DAAC is the home for NASA Earth observing data related to land-oriented disciplines (including land cover, topography, and vegetation indices), the high frequency of LP DAAC evaluation is in line with the high level of use of EOSDIS data in land-oriented disciplines. The 2017 LP DAAC evaluation frequency, though, is 2% lower than in 2016. The Alaska Satellite Facility DAAC (ASF DAAC) and the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) were the only two DAACs that saw increases in their frequency of evaluation in 2017 when compared with 2016 (ASF DAAC: +3%; GES DISC: +2%).
CSI scores were computed for each DAAC based on individual DAAC survey responses. All DAACs achieved CSIs between 72 and 82, which are consistent with previous surveys and considered strong scores by the CFI Group. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) DAAC (82), ASF DAAC (80), and Physical Oceanography DAAC (PO.DAAC; 80) were the highest-scoring DAACs, and all three saw a +1 improvement over their 2016 CSI. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) DAAC (+3) and the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; +2) achieved the highest increases in CSI from 2016.
Summaries of all EOSDIS ACSI reports are available on the ACSI Reports page on the Earthdata website, and full reports are available upon request to the EOSDIS. Thanks to your participation, the data and comments from the 2017 EOSDIS ACSI survey are being incorporated into service and product enhancements you will see throughout 2018, including potential new services such as cloud-based services. Planning is already underway for the 2018 survey, and you can expect to receive your survey invitation this fall.
Last Updated: May 17, 2018 at 3:16 PM EDT