Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CFATS Knowledge Center Data Set

I think the folks at the CFATS Help Desk (whom I am assuming maintain the CFATS Knowledge Center page) may have slipped one by me. This afternoon on one of my periodic checks of that page I noted a new listing in the ‘Downloads’ section on the lower right hand side of the main page, ‘All FAQs and Articles’. I’m not sure when it was put there, fairly recently I’m sure, but it is a small thing that I could have easily missed.

Anyway, I’ve got lots of memory (its so cheap, I can buy five 8-gig USB sticks for what I paid for my first computer that had 4K of RAM, yes K not gigs) so I downloaded it and I’m glad that I did. It is a .PDF file listing all of the FAQ and articles currently listed on the site; just like advertised. Now this won’t be something that all CFATS users will want to have laying around, but large organizations with multiple CFATS facilities may find this 115 page .PDF file good to have on file.

I do have two suggestions for DHS to improve this product.

● First, there needs to be a date on this document. I would prefer that it be on the header of the first page, but somewhere please. I’m assuming that the document will be updated any time there is a change to the FAQ/Article database. We need a way to keep track of the version. NOTE: I put the date I downloaded it in the file name.

● An index would be really handy. The FAQs and Articles are listed separately in numerical order. So, unless you want us to browse the ‘Word of CFATS’ every time you go looking for information, an index would be nice.
Don’t get me wrong though, info junkies like me greatly appreciate the effort that went into formatting the .PDF file. It’s just another one of those information sharing projects that ISCD has made such an integral part of the CFATS program.

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