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One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal CUSTOMER RESEARCH STUDY Washington, DC • May 2003 This One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal CUSTOMER RESEARCH STUDY Washington, DC • May 2003 This document is confidential and is intended solely for the use and information of the client to whom it is addressed.

Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Customer Research Framework 4 Key Research Findings 4 Next Steps One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 1

The Need for Customer-Driven Research The One-Stop team launched the customer research effort to The Need for Customer-Driven Research The One-Stop team launched the customer research effort to speak directly with end users about their needs and the One-Stop concept 4 In the past, agencies have approached interactions with their customers from the perspective of the agency, focusing on the question, “What do customers want from me? ” Strategies are developed on behalf of the customer, but without the customer’s input or perspective. 4 Agencies are beginning to ask their customers directly: “How do we fit in your life? What do you need? How do you want it? ” Changing customer needs necessitate ongoing agency-customer discussions. 4 The most successful E-Government initiatives have built stakeholder and user input functions directly into their operations, from concept through design and development and into operating procedures. Examples of successful E-Government initiatives include: The Gov. Benefits. gov project team surveyed stakeholders – formally and informally – to develop the project strategy, positioning, branding, and performance measures for the new initiative One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 2 The IRS. gov project team conducted customer research while managing a comprehensive branding review of the IRS site, developing targeted performance measures, and designing standards for the IRS

Developing a Channel of Communication The rise of “citizen-centered E-Government” means a change in Developing a Channel of Communication The rise of “citizen-centered E-Government” means a change in the way products and services are viewed, designed and delivered 4 Definition of “citizen-centered E-Government” – “Citizen-centered E-Government initiatives strategically employ information technology to provide government products or services to intended users resulting in enhanced value” 4 Continued evolution in citizen and government expectations of E-Government means that visibility is high and performance is being scrutinized both internally and externally. The focus is on accountability for and measurement of bottom line results for government initiatives. 4 In designing and implementing E-Government initiatives, agencies are focusing externally more than ever before. Citizen/stakeholder input is critical to validate the goals and objectives of the agency in meeting their mission. 4 Agencies are therefore defining new best practices by creating forums and mechanisms for securing buy-in, consensus, feedback, and ongoing involvement of stakeholder and users. 4 Implementation of E-Government initiatives offers an opportunity for agencies to ask themselves: “If we weren’t doing it this way today, what would we do differently? ” and “How can we better align our goals with our customers’ goals? ” One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 3

Customer Research and Performance Measurement Leading agencies are adopting performance measures based on clearly Customer Research and Performance Measurement Leading agencies are adopting performance measures based on clearly identified customer values and mission-driven outcomes 4 In justifying and evaluating E-Government initiatives, agencies are beginning to survey their users and the values of service they desire. Value-based customer research has been used effectively by the private sector for decades, but is rarely used in government. “What gets measured, gets done. ” Peter Drucker 4 By identifying a customer’s values in relation to the product or service provided, agencies can identify the key issues that need to be improved to gain an overall increase in customer satisfaction. Customer measures are then developed and adopted that align directly to the identified customer values. 4 In an era of tight budgets and high expectations, metrics are needed to assess the impact of a particular project or activity and prioritize resources accordingly. They provide clear and tangible goals, and criteria for project success. With the far-reaching impact of EGovernment projects, the use of outcome-focused metrics (qualitative and quantitative) is even more important. 4 The results of the One-Stop Portal customer research effort will provide initial customer value identification, and help shape performance measurement frameworks. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 4

Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Customer Research Framework 4 Key Research Findings 4 Next Steps One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 5

Customer Research Framework: Overview The research team followed a seven-step process to accurately define, Customer Research Framework: Overview The research team followed a seven-step process to accurately define, create, and analyze customer-centric exploratory research 4 Step one: Develop strategic foundation – hypothesis, key questions, and goals 4 Step two: Determine research design 4 Step three: Identify data types and sources; develop the contact matrix 4 Step four: Design conversation guide 4 Step five: Collect the data 4 Step six: Analyze and interpret the data 4 Step seven: Prepare the research briefing and incorporate results into Business Case & 300 The One-Stop Portal research team worked with the Task Team and agency representatives to finalize the customer research framework One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 6

Step #1: Strategic Foundation – Hypothesis & Key Questions The hypothesis established a working Step #1: Strategic Foundation – Hypothesis & Key Questions The hypothesis established a working theory to be proved/disproved, focusing research efforts and developing a foundation for analysis 4 Hypothesis. Internal and external data users rely on multiple data sources to conduct core activities, wasting valuable resources on overlapping efforts (including labor and technical systems) and increasing the likelihood of error (inconsistent information, damage to USDA brand). A One-Stop Commodity Information Portal would improve service delivery to end users by decreasing user search costs, improving quality and availability of data and analysis, and customizing the user experience through opt-in customer profiles. 4 Key Questions. In order to prove or disprove this hypothesis, the project team will conduct customer market research to answer to following questions: 1. Who are the primary internal and external users of USDA commodity market information? 2. What kind of USDA data and analysis do internal and external users access and at what frequency? 3. How and where do internal and external users access “cross-agency” data and analysis? Are users typically interested in single commodities or multiple commodities? 4. How do internal and external users use the data and analysis? What additional processing occurs beyond the access and capture of the commodity information? 5. What are the key USDA data and analysis usage attributes (e. g. timeliness, security, accuracy, etc. )? 6. What other kinds of non-USDA data and analysis do internal and external users rely on? 7. What is the user reaction to the one-stop commodity market information portal concept? One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 7

Step #1: Strategic Foundation - Goals The project team identified three main goals to Step #1: Strategic Foundation - Goals The project team identified three main goals to guide research design and development and identify key user contacts 4 Goal #1: Validate proof of concept and delivery for the One-Stop Commodity Information Portal with key stakeholder segments 4 Goal #2: Translate user needs and expectations to define One-Stop Commodity Information Portal concept benefits 4 Goal #3: Identify industry best practices among other industry leaders that provide commodity market information, and interpret implications for the One-Stop Commodity Information Portal concept and delivery One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 8

Step #2: Research Design - Key Stakeholder Segments Many different citizen, business, and government Step #2: Research Design - Key Stakeholder Segments Many different citizen, business, and government users rely on USDA’s commodity data to inform business and policy decisions The final one-stop portal solution will be developed based on the needs of these user groups U. S. Government USDA • USDA Commodity Analysts • USDA Agencies • USDA Policy Makers Education & Research Institutions (U. S. ) • Other Federal Agencies • Congress and Policy Makers • State and Local Governments Agriculture Industry (U. S. ) • • Agricultural Producers Agricultural Processors Information Brokers Financial Market Analysts Press & Media (U. S. ) • • Major Newswires Radio & TV Agriculture Publications Agriculture Information Portals One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 Public & Interest Groups (U. S. ) Foreign Interests 9 • Land Grant Universities • University Libraries • Research Institutes • Agriculture Trade Associations • Special Interest Groups • General Public • • • Foreign Agriculture Industry Foreign Governments Foreign Public & Interest Groups Foreign Ed & Research Institutes Foreign Press & Media

Step #2: Research Design - Methodology A qualitative exploratory research process was used to Step #2: Research Design - Methodology A qualitative exploratory research process was used to gain insight into customer information needs and usage patterns 4 Research Rationale. The project team chose a qualitative research approach because of the current project stage and the need to find answers to questions which begin with: why? how? in what way? – Conducting exploratory research allowed us to frame problems more accurately, clarify key concepts, eliminate impractical ideas, and identify further areas of study. 4 Interview Format. Facilitating semi-structured interviews involved asking a series of open-ended questions based on the pre-determined topic areas we wish to cover. There was only one interviewer, which provided greater research control. – The open-ended nature of each question provided opportunities to discuss some topics in more detail, and resulted in data “in their own words. ” – We interviewed representatives from the seven key stakeholder groups listed on the previous page to discuss their experiences and, where possible, identify factors and trends in leading organizations 4 Techniques. The project team used a range of techniques to stimulate discussion and creativity among qualitative research participants, including the common Circle of Influence and Scenario Role-Playing techniques. These techniques were included in the interview guide. – Circle of Influence is used to understand the place a product or service occupies in the user’s life, and is often used in problem-benefit identification work. – The use of Scenario Role-Playing involves the development of hypothetical or “what if” scenarios as a way to allow respondents to express their feelings without constraints. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 10

Step #2: Research Design - Compliance The research approach was developed to comply with Step #2: Research Design - Compliance The research approach was developed to comply with government regulations and the project timeframe 4 OMB Regulations Pertaining to Customer Research. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, and as amended in 1995, requires Federal agencies to obtain approval from OMB each time they propose to collect or sponsor, even under a contract or other agreement, the collection of identical information from more than nine respondents. Our decision to use an exploratory qualitative research methodology based on the goals and timing of this initiative complied with OMB regulations. 4 Project Scope and Timing. The customer research effort was a focused approach to gain insight into user needs, benefits sought, and information usage patterns to inform the development of the Business Case and OMB Exhibit 300. This initial exploratory effort established the foundation for more in-depth customer research that the internal client team may choose to pursue in the future. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 11

Step #2: Research Design – Additional Information Sources ERS, NASS, and other agency sources Step #2: Research Design – Additional Information Sources ERS, NASS, and other agency sources supplied the team with a wealth of data & analysis to review and leverage where appropriate 4 Previous research products include: – General Results of USDA Internal Information Users Survey (ERS, 1997) – Preliminary Results from the Agricultural Market Information Survey (ERS, 2000) – Analysis and Recommendations for Improving ERS’ Web Data Products (ERS, 2001) – ERS Internet Brand Report (ERS, 2001) – The Economics of Agricultural Market Information – Historical Review & Implications (ERS, 2002) – Draft USDA e. Government Program Business Case Study: Online Trade Assistance (FAS, 2002) 4 Contact information sources include: – 2002 USDA Data Users Meeting Roster (NASS) – 2001 USDA Data Users Meeting Roster (NASS) – 2000 USDA Data Users Meeting Roster (NASS) – One-on-one conversations with USDA agency representatives One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 12

Step #2: Research Design - Data Collection Approach Based on the project goals, the Step #2: Research Design - Data Collection Approach Based on the project goals, the team developed a five-step data collection approach to capture important user data RY TO DA N MA Step #1: ID/Screening Step #2: Interview Step #3: Thank You 4 Task: Contact user to verify information and schedule time to speak 4 Task: Conduct a phone or inperson interview using a semistructured conversation guide 4 Task: Send a thank you note and attach project concept paper; encourage feedback 4 Time: 15 min/user 4 Time: 60 min/user 4 Time: 10 min/user 4 Materials: Introductory script 4 Materials: Interview script, Conversation Guide 4 Materials: Thank you message, Concept paper L NA TIO Step #4: Follow-up Step #5: Official Thanks 4 Task: Follow-up to request session data verification, if needed OP 4 Task: Send official thank you note from Gerald Bange, WAOB Chair, if needed 4 Time: 30 min/user 4 Time: 20 min/mass mailing 4 Materials: Email text (custom) 4 Materials: Thank you email One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 13

Step #3: Contacts – Internal vs. External Customer Groups The customer and market research Step #3: Contacts – Internal vs. External Customer Groups The customer and market research sample included both internal and external users of commodity market information Internal: USDA External: US Government External: Non Government U. S. D. A. U. S. Government Education & Research Institutions (U. S. ) • USDA Commodity Analysts • Other Federal Agencies • Congress and non-USDA Policy Makers • USDA Policy Makers One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 • State and Local Governments 14 Agriculture Industry (U. S. ) Public & Interest Groups (U. S. ) Press & Media (U. S. ) • USDA Agencies Foreign Interests

Step #3: Contacts – Planned Segments The customer research contact matrix was developed to Step #3: Contacts – Planned Segments The customer research contact matrix was developed to identify a broad representative base, ensuring a range of user perspectives Summary of Planned Contacts by Customer Segment PLANNED CONTACTS SUBSEGMENTS PLANNED CONTACTS USDA 4 USDA Commodity Analysts 4 USDA Agencies 4 USDA Policy Makers U. S. Government 4 Other Federal Agencies 4 Congress & non-USDA Policy Makers 4 State & Local Governments 4 Major Newswires 4 Radio & TV 4 Agriculture Publications 4 Agriculture Information Portals 5 4 Land Grant Universities 4 University Libraries 4 Research Institutes 4 Public & Interest Groups 4 Agriculture Trade Associations 4 Special Interest Groups 4 Foreign Interests 4 Foreign Agriculture Entities 4 7 4 Agricultural Producers 4 Agricultural Processors 4 Buyers/Distributors/Merchandisers 4 Information Brokers 4 Financial Market & Commodity Analysts SUBSEGMENTS Press & Media 10 SEGMENT Education & Research SEGMENT 11 Agriculture Industry TOTAL PLANNED CUSTOMER CONTACTS: 45 One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 15

Step #4: Questionnaire/Conversation Guide A semi-structured conversation guide enabled open dialogue regarding user needs, Step #4: Questionnaire/Conversation Guide A semi-structured conversation guide enabled open dialogue regarding user needs, interests, and experiences 4 Questions were tailored for each user segment, and were not used in a pre-determined order 4 Free-flow conversation was encouraged, but guided, to accomplish primary research goals: 1. Validate proof of concept and delivery for the One-Stop Commodity Information Portal with key stakeholder segments 2. Translate user needs and expectations to define One-Stop Commodity Information Portal concept benefits 3. Identify industry best practices among other industry leaders that provide commodity market information, and interpret implications for the One-Stop Commodity Information Portal concept and delivery 4 The following generic data collection, analysis, and distribution value chain illustration provided talking points in the event user needed additional guidance Data Collection Data Compilation Data Cleaning/ Formatting Analysis Approval/ Authorization Publishing/ Service Delivery Post-Delivery Maintenance/ Evaluation One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 16

Step #4: Questionnaire/Conversation Guide, Continued Conversation guide questions were mapped to the initial project Step #4: Questionnaire/Conversation Guide, Continued Conversation guide questions were mapped to the initial project hypothesis and key questions 1. From a scale of 1 -5, 1= not important and 5= very important, 10. What other kinds of products and services do you use to what role does commodity market data and analysis play in your complement USDA commodity market data and analysis? job? Why? What do you feel is missing from the USDA data? 2. Which commodities are you primarily interested in? 3. Please lead me through a “day-in-the-life” scenario of your daily information gathering and analysis activities, from start to finish. 4. How many agricultural producers or agricultural processors do you reach? Do you disseminate information to other users, or are you the end user of the information? 5. What type of commodity-related data and analysis do you access for your job? Who provides the data and analysis, and why do you use these particular products and services? 6. Where does USDA data and analysis fit into the process? How do you use the USDA data and analysis? Why do you access USDA data and analysis? 7. How often do you access USDA commodity market data and analysis over a one week period – on average? 8. How many other people use USDA commodity market data and analysis in your organization (estimate)? 9. Where do you access USDA commodity market data and analysis? Which websites? Other information sources like newspapers, etc? Why do you go to those sources? One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 17 11. How do you rely on the public versus private sector for key commodity market data & analysis? How has that changed over time? Is there USDA data or analysis you feel you could not live without? 12. How would you ideally like to access USDA commodity market data and analysis? What kind of format? Through which channel? What level of interaction? 13. How much time do you estimate you spend each week: 1) searching for USDA information; 2) formatting USDA information; and 3) analyzing USDA information? 14. What kind of technology do you use in your organization to do your job? 15. What do you think about a USDA commodity market information one-stop portal? What would you want it to look like? What would it include? How would you use it? 16. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about your day-to-day activities and how a one-stop commodity information portal might help you do your job?

Step #4: Interview/Question Guides and Materials The project team used pre-approved and pre-packaged materials Step #4: Interview/Question Guides and Materials The project team used pre-approved and pre-packaged materials to save time and resources, improving the data collection process 4 Introductory Script – Script described the overall project goals and research goals; verified contact information and scheduled a time to speak with the appropriate contact 4 Interview Script – Script used in the beginning and the conclusion of the interview; established the framework for the conversation and communicated the project team’s appreciation 4 Conversation Guide – Series of open-ended questions designed to stimulate discussion within the project framework 4 Thank You Message – Emailed text communicating the team’s appreciation and encouraging feedback on the project concept outside of the research framework 4 Concept Paper – Pre-developed concept briefing, packaged appropriately for an external audience 4 Follow-up Email Text – Custom email text developed to follow-up on specific areas of inquiry for verification and validation 4 WAOB Chair Thank You Email – Email text illustrating high-level support and appreciation to raise awareness for the WAOB, the other five participating agencies, and the project as a whole One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 18

Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Customer Research Framework 4 Key Research Findings 4 Next Steps One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 19

Key Findings: Strategic Goals The customer research team mapped the findings to the original Key Findings: Strategic Goals The customer research team mapped the findings to the original three goals guiding research design and development… Goal #1 Did the customer research team validate the One-Stop Commodity Information Portal concept? Goal #2 Did the customer research team identify user needs, expectations, and potential benefits? Goal #3 Did the customer research team learn about other best practices? One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 20

Key Findings: Goal #1 - Validate Proof of Concept There is a strong interest Key Findings: Goal #1 - Validate Proof of Concept There is a strong interest and an expressed need for the One-Stop Commodity Information Portal across all customer groups 4 Customers overwhelmingly expressed support and appreciation for the One-Stop Portal concept. – Customers anticipate savings in time and labor, as well as greater access to data and analysis. Others feel the One-Stop Portal will lead to better coordination among participating agencies through the use of recognized standards, instant notification of new cross-agency publications, and consistency in updated materials. – The unanimous consensus is that the One-Stop Portal would be a welcome improvement to the current situation. 4 Customers view USDA as the authoritative source for commodity market information, but see a role for private sectors firms who provide unique analysis and niche information products across commodities (ex: hogs in Missouri) or topic (ex: the Farm Bill 2002 effect on small soybean producers). – Customers have come to expect customized products and services from the private sector, and hope that the One-Stop Portal can provide them with a personalized experience. 4 USDA has a strong and established brand name among its core customers. USDA is trusted and respected, and customers appreciated the customer research effort as an opportunity to provide feedback on the One-Stop Portal concept. – Customers view the One-Stop Portal as a sign that USDA is continuously trying to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 21

Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Needs, Expectations, and Benefits The research team gathered Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Needs, Expectations, and Benefits The research team gathered a wealth of information regarding customer needs & benefits, developing detailed customer profiles The “customer needs, expectations, and benefits” section is divided into the following sub-sections: Section Description Final Contact Matrix Table illustrating the planned versus actual contacts in each market (demographic) segment and subsegment Customer Profiles Description of presentation of findings, a snapshot of the four customer profiles, and a list of relevant customer quotes Customer Benefits Matrix mapping benefits discussed in the One-Stop Portal Financial Study deliverable to the four customer profiles Data and Analysis Interests Listing of the products customers seek and where they access them Commodity Interests Types of commodities customers are interested in Functional Interests Business and technical features customers specifically identified as valuable One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 22

Key Findings: Goal #2 - Final Contact Matrix The One-Stop Portal research team was Key Findings: Goal #2 - Final Contact Matrix The One-Stop Portal research team was able to reach a far greater number of customer contacts through referrals and the Ag. Forum Summary of Final Contacts by Customer Segment ACTUAL CONTACTS (PLANNED) MARKET SEGMENT SUBSEGMENTS USDA 4 USDA Commodity Analysts 4 USDA Agencies 4 USDA Policy Makers 14 (10) U. S. Government 4 Other Federal Agencies 4 Congress & non-USDA Policy Makers 4 State & Local Governments 9 (7) 4 Agricultural Producers 4 Agricultural Processors 4 Buyers/Distributors/Merchandisers 4 Information Brokers 4 Financial Market & Commodity Analysts 18 (11) Agriculture Industry MARKET SEGMENT SUBSEGMENTS Press & Media 4 Major Newswires 4 Radio & TV 4 Agriculture Publications 4 Agriculture Information Portals 4 (5) Education & Research 4 Land Grant Universities 4 University Libraries 4 Research Institutes 4 (4) Public & Interest Groups 4 Agriculture Trade Associations 4 Special Interest Groups 5 (4) Foreign Interests 4 Foreign Agriculture Entities 4 (4) TOTAL CUSTOMER CONTACTS: 58 TOTAL PLANNED CUSTOMER CONTACTS: 45 One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 ACTUAL CONTACTS (PLANNED) 23

Key Findings: Goal #2 - Presentation of Findings The choice to present findings in Key Findings: Goal #2 - Presentation of Findings The choice to present findings in a segmentation vs. profile style reflected the research goals and research type 4 The customer research team developed profiles that reflect the qualitative analysis of user behavior, and reveal user motivations and usage patterns. 4 In comparison, market segmentation provides a quantitative breakdown of the market and identifies attitudes and market sizing potential. It would not provide an accurate picture of the qualitative research findings and would lack the depth of the data collected. 4 Throughout the analytical process, the customer research team identified four key customer profiles. These profiles reflect information usage behavior, not job descriptions. They are analyzed across five major descriptor categories: – Principle benefit sought: customer needs and goals driven by behavior (“what”) – Demographic correlate: market segment description (“who”) – Behavioral correlate: time spent searching, formatting, and analyzing information (“how”) – Personality characteristics: main theme or attitude personified by each customer profile – Lifestyle characteristics: environmental pressures and lifestyle decisions that drive action One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 24

Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Profiles Snapshot The primary variables influencing the customer Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Profiles Snapshot The primary variables influencing the customer profiles are based on role behavior and needs, not demographic information Just the Facts New Day, New Issue Bundled Pack Scholarly Pursuit Principle Benefit Sought Same data and analysis every time, just want the “what, ” will get the “why” later if needed Customized data and analysis for further analysis, based on changing environmental need and macro/micro trends Bundled data and analysis by role – “what are people like me using? ” Uncover the “why” and “how” in each situation – what are the trends and implications for the industry Demographic Correlate • Agricultural Processors • Information Brokers • Financial Market Analysts • Major Newswires, Radio & TV • Agriculture Publications • Agriculture Information Portals • Research Institutes • Foreign Interests • Other Federal Agencies • USDA Policy Makers • Congress and Policy Makers • Research Institutes • Agriculture Trade Associations • County Marketing Clubs • Special Interest Groups • Foreign Interests • Agricultural Producers • Agricultural Processors • Foreign Interests • USDA Commodity Analysts • USDA Agencies • State and Local Governments • Agriculture Publications • Land Grant Universities • University Libraries • Research Institutes • Foreign Interests Behavioral Correlate 4 Less time searching, more time formatting for personal analysis 4 More time searching and formatting for personal analysis and customized government analysis 4 More time searching, less time formatting and analyzing 4 More time searching and formatting for personal analysis 4 Daily data & analysis needs, more data than analysis 4“Just enough” data & 4 Cyclical data & analysis needs (usually (sometimes multiple times a day, weekly or monthly) sometimes weekly) Personality Characteristics “Time is money” “Policy depends on me” “This is very important, but not my primary role” “If I don’t dig deeper, these questions won’t get asked” Lifestyle Characteristics Time crunch and information overload One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 25 4 Ongoing daily and analysis needs (depends on the project, usually daily or weekly)

Key Findings: “Just the Facts” User Profile USDA “Just the Facts” customers know what Key Findings: “Just the Facts” User Profile USDA “Just the Facts” customers know what they want and where to get it, but want it all faster and in a form able to be manipulated “Just the Facts” Overview • Tagline: “Time is Money” • Customers feel pressure to show immediate results in their daily activities • Customers need to find and quickly act on relevant market-moving information • Customers see USDA as a valuable benchmark, the only objective source of data Information Usage Patterns • Customer seeks the same data and analysis every time • Customer is interested in just the “what” – the final number, a specific graph, etc. • Customer will get the “why” later, if it is relevant and provides material gain • Customer spends less time searching; more time formatting for personal analysis • Customer has a daily reliance on data, with less emphasis on analysis Demographic Market Segments • Customers include: Agricultural Processors, Information Brokers, Financial Market Analysts, Major Newswires, Radio & TV, Ag. Publications, Ag. Portals, Research Institutes, and Foreign Interests • Why? Because a significant majority of these segments exhibit the “Just the Facts” attitude and associated information usage patterns for their own success in the market. Differentiation From Other User Profiles • Why do the “Just the Facts” customers act the way they do? Because they want be the first to find important data and analysis. That’s their distinguishing characteristic. Speed is everything. • Customer seeks nuggets of data and analysis that provide money-making opportunities • Customer wants to manipulate data and scan succinct analysis, but do not have time for more • Customer does not spend much time searching during each visit, but the frequency of visits and volume of searches accumulate “Day-in-the-Life” Example Customer begins the day by reviewing what happened overnight all over the world. Customer begins taking action on that information prior to the start of the daily trading session. After the trading bell rings, the “Just the Facts” customer searches through pre-identified information sources to find market-moving information. Customer concludes the process by gathering relevant data and analysis and developing own analysis for publication (internal & external to organization). Same process repeats daily, with a focus on quick search and action. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 26

Key Findings: “New Day, New Issue” User Profile USDA “New Day, New Issue” customers Key Findings: “New Day, New Issue” User Profile USDA “New Day, New Issue” customers are challenged with developing “what -if” scenario analyses under aggressive deadlines “New Day, New Issue” Overview • Tagline: “Policy Depends on Me” • Customers need to remain flexible to deal with unexpected demands driven by the “issue of the day” • Although customers operate under aggressive deadlines, developing “what-if” scenarios is more important than immediate action • Customers see USDA as the benchmark, an objective source for data and free informed analysis Information Usage Patterns • Customer seeks different data and analysis almost every visit • Customer seeks customized data and analysis for further analysis, based on changing environmental need and macro/microeconomic trends • Customer spends more time searching and formatting the data and analysis to perform additional analysis, and has cyclical data & analysis needs (sometimes multiple times a day, sometimes weekly) Demographic Market Segments • Customers include: Other Federal Agencies, USDA Policy Makers, Congress & Policy Makers, Research Institutes, Trade Assoc. , County Marketing Clubs, Special Interest Groups, Foreign Interests • Why? Because a significant majority of these segments exhibit the “New Day, New Issue” attitude and associated information usage patterns as they seek to meet their constituent’s needs. Differentiation From Other User Profiles • Why do the “New Day, New Issue” customers act the way they do? Because they need to find the relevant data and analysis to make their case and drive policy, under constantly changing conditions. • Customers seek data and succinct analysis, and will drill down for the “why” behind the numbers, if necessary. Customers want easy access and smart search capabilities. “Day-in-the-Life” Example Customer usually begins the day by taking care of daily “maintenance” tasks, including monitoring international/domestic/local conditions relevant to the needs of target constituents. At some point during the day there is a “trigger” – a change or potential change in policy that requires research and analysis. Customer then begins to learn about the situation, identifies relevant sources of information, and conducts a thorough search to be able to develop “what-if” analyses. Customer then formats the information and performs a specialized analysis for external publication. Process is cyclical and sporadic. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 27

Key Findings: “Bundled Pack” User Profile USDA “Bundled Pack” customers are overwhelmed by USDA Key Findings: “Bundled Pack” User Profile USDA “Bundled Pack” customers are overwhelmed by USDA and want a customized experience to block unnecessary information “Bundled Pack” Overview Information Usage Patterns • Tagline: “This is very important, but not my primary role” • Customers need data and analysis to do their jobs, but they are overwhelmed with options • Customers are often driven to act quickly, but it’s a self-imposed deadline (ex: selling at the optimal price, signing up for programs, etc. ) • Customers see USDA as the benchmark, but often get information from personalized private sources • Customer seeks packaged, personalized information by role to answer “what are people like me using? ” • Customer seeks an expert guide to navigate the influx of information and identify when action is needed • Customer spends more time searching, and less time formatting and analyzing the information • Customer fulfills primary role, then spends “just enough” time – usually weekly or monthly – searching for data and analysis Demographic Market Segments • Customers include: Agricultural Producers, Agricultural Processors, and Foreign Interests. Customers can also be found in other market segments when those customers are battling a learning curve. • Why? Because a significant majority of these segments exhibit the “Bundled Pack” attitude and associated information usage patterns as they seek to manage information needs as a secondary role. Differentiation From Other User Profiles • Why do the “Bundled Pack” customers act the way they do? Because they are focused on opportunity cost, and want to do “just enough” to minimize risk and take advantage of opportunities. They don’t have the ability (intellectual expertise) or time (other priorities) to do a full search and analysis. • Customers seek personalized, bundled data and analysis that they can act on and move on to more important primary role responsibilities. They need a trusted guide to tell them when they need to act. “Day-in-the-Life” Example Customer spends the main part of the day doing tasks unrelated to commodity information collection and analysis. After primary needs have been met, customer searches for specific data and analysis. This includes price information, policy analysis, and analysis on a range of international, domestic, and local issues. Customer usually seeks the assistance of private sector firms who can offer personalized assistance, and relies heavily on public mass media information. Customer is easily overwhelmed, and wants to feel in control of his/her environment. After action is taken, the cycle begins anew. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 28

Key Findings: “Scholarly Pursuit” User Profile USDA “Scholarly Pursuit” customers want better, easier access Key Findings: “Scholarly Pursuit” User Profile USDA “Scholarly Pursuit” customers want better, easier access to data and analysis as well as collaboration and analytical tools “Scholarly Pursuit” Overview • Tagline: “If I don’t dig deeper, these questions won’t get answered” • Customers are either experts in their field or are working to establish their area of expertise • Customers operate under tight deadlines, but often have the time to conduct extensive analysis • Customers are asked to continuously justify their roles as “thinkers” • Customers see USDA as the benchmark, the only source for objective data and informed analysis Information Usage Patterns • Customer seeks to uncover the “why” and “how” in each situation, to identify the underlying trends and implications for the industry • Customer seeks the same kind of information from pre-identified sources, but always searches for better sources, methods, and tools • Customer has ongoing daily or weekly data & analysis needs, depending on the project • Customer spends more time searching and formatting the data & analysis to perform additional analysis Demographic Market Segments • Customers include: USDA Commodity Analysts, USDA Agencies, State and Local Governments, Ag. Publications, Land Grant Universities, University Libraries, Research Institutes, and Foreign Interests • Why? Because a significant majority of these segments exhibit the “Scholarly Pursuit” attitude and associated information usage patterns as they seek to provide extensive analysis and detailed data. Differentiation From Other User Profiles • Why do the “Scholarly Pursuit” customers act the way they do? Because they have been tasked to use their expertise to benefit “the public good. ” They are given time and resources to dig deeper. • Customers seek data they can manipulate, time series information, and analysis with which to compare perspectives. They have a long-term view of the industry which they balance with short-term products. “Day-in-the-Life” Example Customer begins the day by working on a pre-determined project: a report, a product, or customer service. Customer will search book-marked sources, identify new sources, and test the credibility of all data and analysis. Customer will then format the data and analysis for further analysis. Customer seeks out additional expertise when needed, and spends a lot of time collaborating with colleagues Internal and external to the organization to provide top-quality analysis. After project has been completed and published, the cycle starts again. Most of the knowledge is maintained with the individual. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 29

Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Profile Analysis Why are some demographic market segments Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Profile Analysis Why are some demographic market segments listed in multiple customer profiles? 4 The customer profiles are based on customer usage behavior and information needs, not on demographic market segments. Within each demographic market, the wide range of size, scope, interests, and needs translate to a range of information needs and usage patterns. For example: – Agricultural Processors: Many large multinational processors have dedicated in-house research staff and sophisticated tools for analysis. They usually operate within the “Just the Facts” profile. On the other side of the spectrum, very small niche processors do not have the resources to conduct extensive research and analysis, and usually operate within the “Bundled Pack” profile. – Research Institutes: Research Institutes mirror the customer base they serve. Some offer consulting services, and align with the “Just the Facts” profile. Others focus on policy analysis, and there align with the “New Day, New Issue” profile. And a different group focuses on establishing niche expertise while providing comprehensive analysis, as in the “Scholarly Pursuit” profile. – Foreign Interests: The actions of foreign interests closely align with the actions of their U. S. counterparts. 4 There also times when the same customer can cross several customer profiles. For example, USDA commodity analysts usually behave in accordance with the “Scholarly Pursuit” profile. However, they may be called to conduct specific research outside their area of expertise, during which their behavior would be more inline with the “New Day, New Issue” profile. Or they may seek a specific data point under an aggressive deadline, during which their behavior would be more inline with the “Just the Facts” profile. 4 When designing the One-Stop Portal, the question of “what is the demographic make-up of our customers” becomes less relevant than “what are their unique information needs” and “what are their information usage patterns”? One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 30

Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Quotes Snapshot Through our conversations with customers, we Key Findings: Goal #2 - Customer Quotes Snapshot Through our conversations with customers, we learned that customers are asked to do more with less in a complex environment 4 All customers are time starved and overloaded with “I feel overwhelmed by all of the USDA information – but not necessarily the right information, so I get my info from a private source. information I don’t even know where to start. ” ~ Small Agricultural Producer 4 Even within USDA, commodity analysts were sometimes not aware of data resources available at other agencies “I didn’t know we even had that online. How often do you update it? Can you send me a link? ” ~ One USDA Commodity Analyst to Another 4 Lack of standards and integration across agencies is a source of confusion and frustration 4 Customers often have to cobble together manual “work-around” processes to get data in the format they need 4 Overall, customers – both internal (USDA) and external – voiced strong support for a One-Stop Solution that would simplify and enhance access to information “What I really want is consistency among the agencies – in data, in formats, in standards, in terminology. It’s confusing and causes some real problems sometimes. ” ~ Agricultural Processor “We have three estimates for exports, for example, from three different agencies. And they’re all different. Why can’t everyone talk to each other and get the same numbers? ” ~ Agricultural Producer “Why hasn’t this been done already? ” ~ Government Commodity Analyst One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 31

Additional External (Non-USDA) Customer Quotes – Raw Data Customers trust USDA, but are overloaded Additional External (Non-USDA) Customer Quotes – Raw Data Customers trust USDA, but are overloaded with information and express frustration in finding and formatting what they need 4 “The quicker I can find the information the better. ” ~ Commodity Research Analyst 4 “This is a great idea. The industry is always looking for ways to access information in a more efficient manner. Good luck with your efforts!” ~ Commodity Research Analyst 4 “There is no great joy in going to a dozen different websites to get information. Even if you bookmark your sites, you still have to find your bookmarks and know where to find the information. ” ~ Government Policy Analyst 4 “I want to be able to control the criteria – commodity, timeline, format, and other attributes – across all agency websites. Right now I have no control. ” ~ Agricultural Processor 4 “There are no standard formats. It just makes it harder for us to deliver. ” ~ Commodity Analyst 4 “USDA is the only objective source of data. It’s our benchmark, our baseline. Beyond that, we look for different perspectives. ” ~ statement expressed in one way or another by all customers 4 “We believe that USDA data is the truth. Part of the time we anticipate what USDA will say, part of the time we interpret what USDA has to say, but ultimately we react to USDA as the base. ” ~ Information Broker 4 “A lot of USDA’s great information is not promoted well. Sometimes I just stumble upon something, and download it before I forget where I found it. ” ~ Press 4 “USDA has great data and analysis, but as a user I’m challenged to find that information. I usually rely on repackaged information because of the angst. And there’s a lot of angst. I don’t want to waste my time. ” ~ Agricultural Producer 4 “What USDA loses in timeliness, it gains in reputation. But I wish they could find a way to get information to us quicker. ” ~ Information Broker 4 “USDA is part of the administration. We know that the analysis will have that angle. ” ~ Other Government Agency One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 32

Additional Internal (USDA) Commodity Analyst Focus Group Quotes – Raw Data Discussions with commodity Additional Internal (USDA) Commodity Analyst Focus Group Quotes – Raw Data Discussions with commodity analyst representatives from each of the six participating agencies revealed broad support and interest 4 “Information is available online about 70% of the time – sometimes it is easier to go direct to an internal contact (i. e. , to get an Excel file vs. a PDF file) “ 4 “We want searchability across commodities for a specific metric, rather than having to access each commodity separately” 4 “Historical depth is very limiting on current databases; it is very time consuming to go back, so sometimes analysis just doesn't get done” 4 “It would be a nice added service to know when updates are available - part of the time spent searching is discovering that data has not been updated” 4 “Getting definitions and subsets can be confusing without speaking directly with a contact ” 4 “Designing protocols and controls for internal use would be by far the most productivity-enhancing feature” 4 “I spend way too much time formatting and trying to get data into my analytical tools” 4 “A One-Stop only available within the government would be very useful - we could use a place to store working documents to be shared among selected users” 4 “It would be helpful to have a way to perform analysis during intermediate data stages rather than waiting for publication” One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 33

Key Findings: Benefits Analysis Based on the customer research results, the project team identified Key Findings: Benefits Analysis Based on the customer research results, the project team identified the top five direct end user benefits for each customer profile: Benefit Just the Facts New Day, New Issue Improve the accuracy of data and analysis provided to external customers X Scholarly Pursuit X Reduce confusion resulting from synthesizing multiple data sources Bundled Pack X X X Reduce hours spent gathering info from disparate web sites X Improve the overall depth and breadth of data and analysis X Reduce confusion caused by post-publication updates to data X X Reduce hours spent reformatting and customizing data X X X Reduce hours contacting USDA to find information and resolve questions X Increase the ability of all types of users to access information X Expand the usage of information by all types of users X Decrease expenditures on repackaged data X These findings were included in the Financial Profile Study benefits analysis One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 X 34

Key Findings: Data & Analysis Interests Customers use a range of USDA/non-USDA information on Key Findings: Data & Analysis Interests Customers use a range of USDA/non-USDA information on a daily basis, but could not remember where to find the USDA information Type of commodity-related data and analysis most commonly mentioned (sample): Type of Data/Analysis Used Source (Customer Interview) WASDE Reports, Supply & Demand Estimates USDA Main Website, ERS, FAS, WAOB NASS Statistics, Cold Storage Reports NASS Website, AMS and WAOB websites Crop Production Reports USDA Main Website U. S. Attaché Reports, Import & Export Reports, Foreign Trade Data USDA Main Website, FAS website, FAS Trade Database, Commerce Stocks, Prospective Plantings USDA Main Website USDA program information, program adoption FSA Monthly Outlook Reports USDA Main Website, ERS, FAS Market News, Spot Quotes AMS, Newspapers and Online News Sources Updated Trade Figures ERS Futures Market Information Ag. Web, CME, Con. Agra, NYMEX, CBOT Weather and Maps DTN Customized Analysis, Time Series LMIC, Sparks Companies, Pro. Farmer, Industry Trade websites Price Reports AMS University Analysis Niche university websites Consumer Price Index Bureau of Labor Statistics Time customers estimate they spend each week on the following activities*: One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 Activity Hours/Week Searching for USDA commodityrelated data and analysis 2 -25 (mostly >10) Formatting USDA commodity-related data and analysis 4 -18 (mostly >8) Analyzing USDA commodity-related data and analysis 5 -30 (mostly >22) * These activity times differ based on each customer profile 35

Key Findings: Commodity Interests Customers seek data and analysis by commodity, by groupings of Key Findings: Commodity Interests Customers seek data and analysis by commodity, by groupings of commodities, or by government program 4 Commodity-specific search: Many customers drill down their search by commodity (ex: rice) and associated commodities of interest (ex: competing crops) in great detail 4 Portfolio of commodities search: A few customers are responsible for obtaining information about a portfolio of commodities (ex: all commodities listed on the CBOT, “anything for sale”) at a high-level Commodities Mentioned During Customer Research Interviews Wheat Rice Cotton Oilseeds Soybeans Peanuts 4 Program specific search: Several customers search for information solely based on commodities that are covered by government programs, in both great detail and at a highlevel Corn Fruits and Vegetables Cattle, Hogs, and other Livestock Milk and Dairy Sugar Price support program commodities One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 36

Key Findings: Functional Interests Customers described their “ideal” vision for the site – easy Key Findings: Functional Interests Customers described their “ideal” vision for the site – easy to use, able to be personalized, with an advanced cross-agency search tool 4 History & time series data 4 Easy to use website, intuitive navigation and design 4 Quick and easy manipulation of data 4 Links to futures markets, weather forecasts, University analysis, and other complementary information sources 4 Easy to use analytical tools 4 Personalization & customization to “block out” unnecessary information 4 Master calendar of all relevant publication dates and times to get a “snapshot” of all upcoming reports 4 “Quick links” section of popular and recent searches to provide easy access 4 Custom reports on impact of major events (e. g. , weather, political, scientific discovery) 4 Information in multiple formats for ease of use – spreadsheets, PDFs, HTML, and “presentation ready” formats (graphs in Powerpoint/PDF) 4 Staging ground for internal USDA analysis, collaboration, and knowledge management 4 Advanced “smart search” by commodity, by country, by county (US), and by topic One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 37

Key Findings: Goal # 3 - Public/Private Usage Trends Customers view USDA as the Key Findings: Goal # 3 - Public/Private Usage Trends Customers view USDA as the benchmark, but turn to the private sector for accessible, timely, customized, easy to use data and analysis 4 “I’m using more USDA data and analysis because of the increased availability” 4 “More USDA data and analysis is available now than before, but USDA does not do a good job of providing good summaries” 4 “I need more niche expertise, and USDA no longer have the resources to provide it” 4 “USDA is challenged by an analytical and approval process that’s very rigid. It’s good because you produce high quality analysis. But there is a need for flexibility sometimes, and we can always use the data and analysis sooner. “ 4 “Government stats are now much easier to get to because of the web. ” 4 “USDA has cut back on some reports, so we need to get them from private sources now. ” 4 “Less private sector information is available because of all of the mergers in the industry – fewer sources available. We don’t know who owns what and how objective the information is. ” 4 “Public information is free, so I’ll always use that first” 4 “What makes information valuable? 1) Uniqueness of the information (timely, relevant, quality); 2) Ease of access; 3) Consistency of availability (reporting); and 4) Usefulness of the information (format). These are the biggies. ” One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 38

Key Findings: Goal #3 - Complimentary Products/Services and Best Practices Customers cite a range Key Findings: Goal #3 - Complimentary Products/Services and Best Practices Customers cite a range of complementary products and services, seeking different perspectives and customized data and analysis 4 University sites, reports, and briefings 4 Sparks and other private sources 4 Weather forecasts 4 Trading prices from boards of trade (Chicago, Kansas City, etc) 4 FAPRI and other research institutes 4 Ag. Web, Agriculture. com, and other online sources 4 State level sources 4 Trade Associations 4 Livestock Marketing Information Center 4 United Nations and other international sources 4 Census (Agricultural Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics) 4 Newswires, newspapers, magazines and other media 4 “Anywhere I can grab data sets” The following snapshots provide a more detailed look into some private and public sector best practices One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 39

Goal #3: Agriculture Industry – Information Broker Sparks Companies is a well-respected information broker Goal #3: Agriculture Industry – Information Broker Sparks Companies is a well-respected information broker providing quality research, analysis, and educational consulting 4 Mission/Vision – "To be a Vital Force in the Success of Food and Agricultural Interests Around the World. " 4 Products & Services – Research/Analysis; Business Consulting; Education/Training; News/Communications; Energy 4 Differentiation & Key Benefits – The company highlights their professional depth and experience (since 1977, over 750 clients worldwide), and their wide range of services related to the economic and management concerns of clients. 4 Technical Capabilities & Site Features – Margin. Quest © - customized decision support system for livestock producers – Sparks Data Services (SCIData) - comprehensive agricultural databases; network-ready database manager designed specifically for time series data; specially created add-ins access the data without leaving the spreadsheet environment; instant access to thousands of different data series, from daily cash prices to worldwide supply and demand estimates – Forecasting tools – Customized newsletters, crop maps, online publications, Member log-in area 4 Commodities Covered: – All Major Grains, Oilseeds and Products, Cotton and Fibers; Livestock, Meat, Poultry and Dairy; Soft Commodities; Specialty Vegetable Oils One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 40

Goal #3: Press & Media – Agriculture Information Portal Agriculture information portals compile information Goal #3: Press & Media – Agriculture Information Portal Agriculture information portals compile information and provide personalization, chat/interaction, multimedia, & auction capabilities 4 Leaders: Farms. com, Agriculture. com, Ag. Web. com and Ag. Info. net 4 Site Functionality – Streaming media: radio, video, etc. – Personalization features: commodities, news, weather, and more; organized by commodity or role – Newsletters, chat, and survey capabilities – Auctions and transactional platforms (classifieds, @gshops) – Calculators and sales tools – Financial section linking to key agricultural lenders – Wireless Capabiltiies: get futures quotes sent to Palm or cell phone – Education (Farms. U): e-learning capabilities – Window pop-up for “real-time” commodities exchange prices One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 41

Goal #3: Press & Media – Mass Media Bridge/Reuters (merged) and other mass media Goal #3: Press & Media – Mass Media Bridge/Reuters (merged) and other mass media channels are popular intermediaries for timely, relevant and personalized information 4 Mission/Vision – “Reuters creates value for its customers and for itself by harnessing the power of fact and technology, to devise new ways, better ways of doing business. ” 4 Products & Services – Provides media and consulting products & services for the commodities market. Reuters Commodity Trader © launching in January. News. ML – news anytime, anywhere, any format. Reuters Market Monitor Suite © of services. Offer a wide range of commodity trader tools and services. 4 Differentiation & Key Benefits – Breaking news for market and sectoral coverage, covering all nonenergy commodities. “No other organization covers breaking news in commodities as quickly or to the same depth as Reuters. ” 4 Technical Capabilities & Site Features – Can search for products/services by category, by role, or by specific product/service. Streaming media, online customer service, advanced search capability, email notification, newsletters. Robust database of historical data. Global scale. 4 Commodities Covered – Reuters Commodities News covers all the main non-energy sectors including base and precious metals, grains, oilseeds, livestock and soft commodities, particularly coffee, cocoa and sugar. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 42

Goal #3: Education and Research Institution Cornell University Mann Library has established a strategic Goal #3: Education and Research Institution Cornell University Mann Library has established a strategic alliance with USDA, providing advanced research and user support services 4 Mission/Vision – “From biology to business, child development to communications, neuroscience to nutrition, Mann Library's rich collections of print and electronic resources make it the finest agriculture, life sciences, and related social sciences library in any academic institution. “ 4 Products & Services – Digital collections and services that are created and/or hosted by Mann Library: Ag. NIC (Agriculture Network Information Center), CHLA (Core Historical Literature of Agriculture), CHLHE (Core Historical Literature of Home Economics), CUGIR (Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository), TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library), the USDA Economics and Statistics System and others. – Ask A Librarian, Library Instruction, Consulting Services, Chat with a Librarian E-Reference Collection: The E-References Collection section of the Library Gateway is the place to go to conduct research and sometimes to connect directly to the research material online. In general, it is a catalog 4 Site Traffic (user sessions per month) of Cornell Library networked, electronic resources only. compared with USDA agencies*: AMS 672, 917 ERS 23, 498 4 Differentiation & Key Benefits FSA 237, 356 FAS 83, 917 – Scope of listings, customer service capabilities Mann 806, 463 NASS 1, 144, 269 WAOB 28, 238 JAWF 6, 482 4 Technical Capabilities & Site Features – – Robust database includes USDA statistical materials from multiple agencies, advanced search capability, full-service customer support, newsletters, geospatial data review One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 43 *numbers included in CMIS 2001 business case

Goal #3: Trade Association Example The Livestock Marketing Information Center has successfully filled a Goal #3: Trade Association Example The Livestock Marketing Information Center has successfully filled a niche, partnering with public/private/nonprofits to meet customer needs 4 Mission/Vision – The Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) has provided economic analysis and projections about issues and conditions concerning the livestock industry since 1955. Center resources contribute to economic education, support applied research projects, and policy evaluation. Center staff continuously update forecasts, projections and support materials related to market situation and outlook. 4 Products & Services – The LMIC produces many types of outputs. The major responsibility of Center staff is to develop and produce materials designed to help members in their livestock industry programs. – Staff provide weekly graph updates (well over 300 unique graphs) in multiple formats, newsletters (non-technical and technical publications), electronic market updates, tables, etc. In order to provide these services, staff maintain a comprehensive database on price, production, consumption, trade, and related livestock industry data. – Center staff cooperate in regional and national conferences, often in conjunction with member economists. Staff consult on research studies and facilitate multi-state research and education projects. Center activities help provide a flow of information about current conditions, issues and outlook between members. 4 Differentiation & Key Benefits – The LMIC is a unique cooperative effort between state university extension specialists, USDA economists, industry cooperators and Center staff. Through cooperative efforts and programs, duplication of effort is greatly reduced while enhancing the overall quality and quantity of livestock market information for producers and other decision makers. 4 Technical Capabilities & Site Features – Members only area has additional features and capability One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 44

Goal #3: Non-Agricultural Government Example Tran. Stats. gov puts access to 100 Bureau of Goal #3: Non-Agricultural Government Example Tran. Stats. gov puts access to 100 Bureau of Transportation Stats databases in one place, providing a one-stop information portal 4 Agencies – Tran. Stats as a big container for feeder organizations – other Transportation agencies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Energy Information Administration and outside providers. 4 Languages – SQL, XML, Java. Script and Microsoft Active Server Pages code pull together the raw source data and serve it up on the Web. 4 Data Management – The feeder agencies keep their statistics in various formats, not all databases. Stats arrive by CD-ROM or File Transfer Protocol in everything from Borland d. Base and comma-delimited ASCII to Oracle, Microsoft Access and Excel, and other formats. – Some of the agencies update their information on a monthly cycle, some quarterly and some annually. BTS had to set up a delivery process and schedule for each one, then adhere to it. 4 Search Capability – Transportation’s DOTbot spidering engine – about 35 percent of the 15, 000 daily hits on Tran. Stats come from DOTbot queries. 4 “Secret Weapon” – Sybase Adaptive Server IQ Multiplex – the business-intelligence database system runs on a cluster of Sun Microsystems Sun Fire V 880 servers: one for Web service, another inside the agency’s firewall and a separate failover server. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 45

Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Table of Contents 4 Customer Research and e. Government Projects: Overview 4 One-Stop Portal Customer Research Framework 4 Key Research Findings 4 Next Steps One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 46

Next Steps: Strategy and the Customer “Voice” The One-Stop Portal team will incorporate the Next Steps: Strategy and the Customer “Voice” The One-Stop Portal team will incorporate the customer research results into the One-Stop Portal Business Case and OMB 300 4 Concept Validation – customer research results will help “tell the story” from a customer perspective, explain the “why” and “how” of the customer experience 4 Scope Evaluation – customers described their information needs and usage patterns, which will inform what type of data and analysis that should be included on the One-Stop Portal to add value to the customer 4 Direct End User Benefits Evaluation – customers provided qualitative benefits information regarding hours currently spent searching, formatting, and analyzing information, as well as qualitative benefits in overall improvement of service delivery One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 47

Next Steps: The Customer Compass The customer research findings provide valuable insight for the Next Steps: The Customer Compass The customer research findings provide valuable insight for the design & development of the One-Stop Portal “Proof of Concept” Phase 0 Single Commodity “Proof of Concept” Phase I WASDE One-Stop Phase II Total Commodity One-Stop FY 03/04 14 months (FY 05/06) 12 months (FY 06) Select one WASDE commodity (corn) and develop a vertical “onestop” portal that integrates selected information products related to this commodity across all six partner agencies. The first “proof of concept” prototype will be HTML-based. Subsequent versions will integrate USDA enabling technologies. Expand to include all commodity groups covered by the WASDE: – – – Wheat / Coarse Grains Rice Oilseeds Sugar Livestock, Poultry & Dairy Cotton Include some commodity-related information – e. g. , meteorological Expand to include all commodities tracked by USDA: – Aquaculture – Other Crop (Hops, Potatoes) – Fruits, Nuts & Vegetables – Other Poultry / Livestock – Specialty: Honey, Mink, Floriculture, Nursery – Tobacco Include all commodity-related information available at USDA The customer “voice” provides strategic direction during each phase to maintain focus and achieve short & long-term project success One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 48

Next Steps: Designing for the Customer The customer research findings also have implications for Next Steps: Designing for the Customer The customer research findings also have implications for the eventual One -Stop Portal design and development effort 4 Useful and Desirable. With interactive products like web sites, design is critical in determining how the product will behave when people use it. The customer research findings, which identified what customers find useful and desirable, will help prioritize design and development efforts. 4 Profiles and Personas. The customer profiles the research team developed can be further developed to create “personas” for the cross-agency One-Stop Portal initiative. A persona is a user archetype that can be used to guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design. Personas are different from the profiles the customer research team developed in that they include a few fictional personal details to bring the persona to life. The important information about behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes and environment are already present in the customer profiles, however, and should be the focus of the One-Stop Portal design and development effort. 4 The User Experience. The One-Stop Portal team can also map a customer-driven user experience, identify the common features and capabilities that would benefit the majority of USDA customers, and develop the site design and development roadmap. By designing for the archetype – whose goals and behavior patterns are well understood – the One-Stop Portal team can satisfy the broader group of people represented by that archetype. For example: The “Just the Facts” customer seeks opt-in push notification when updates are made to the site, new reports are posted, or changes are made to the reports. This customer also seeks a robust database able to be manipulated across a set of criteria. The “New Day, New Issue” customer seeks cross-agency smart search capabilities and “what-if” scenario planning analytical tools. One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 The “Bundled Pack” customer seeks a personalized user experience, opt-in push communications, and pre-packaged product offerings by role. The “Scholarly Pursuit” customer seeks cross-agency Smart search capabilities, a personalized user experience, and collaboration tools. This customer also seeks a robust database able to be manipulated across a set of criteria. 49

Next Steps: Customer-Aligned Performance Measures The customer research findings can help the One-Stop Portal Next Steps: Customer-Aligned Performance Measures The customer research findings can help the One-Stop Portal team identify performance measures based on customer values SELECTION CRITERIA FOR PROGRAM MEASURES LINKED TO KEY PERFORMANCE DRIVERS ALIGNED UP AND DOWN THE ORGANIZATION Goal: Define measures for program objectives which are customer-aligned, outcome-oriented, measurable and drive performance MANAGEABLE IN NUMBER PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT MODEL “BALANCED” ACROSS KEY DIMENSIONS* CROSSDEPARTMENTAL OUTCOME/RESULTS ORIENTED * Financial, Internal, Customer and Learning & Growth dimensions in a “Balanced” Scorecard One-Stop Commodity Market Information Portal Customer Research Study • May 2003 50