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Welcome to the US AON Benefit Tool!



The Benefit Tool illustrates links between observing systems, data products, and applications and shows how they connect to societal benefit. Capabilities and gaps are given numerical ratings and written descriptions throughout the evaluation.

Ratings are given for a particular context by an individual or small team of experts (called respondents). They are subjective but well-informed representations of reality. The ratings convey the input of the respondents, not US AON's assessment of a given product or system.

Societal benefit ratings present a particular challenge because benefits are context-dependent and often not quantifiable. Like other Western science evaluation frameworks, the Benefit Tool struggles to depict this nuance. US AON is moving towards cohort ratings for societal benefit, in line with recommendations coming out of the Arctic Observing Summit and the US AON Expert Committee on Methods. However, the current version of the tool includes evaluations with more limited assessments of societal benefits.

Individual evaluations can show the importance of critical capabilities -- be that the strength of a long-term observing system, the value of a robust communication system, the impact of data product improvements, or more -- or the impact of specific gaps. As more people use the Benefit Tool, the value of the evaluations grows. We will begin to see more systemic strengths and weaknesses in the Arctic observing system, and opportunities to invest in systems that will have wide-reaching impacts.