Secure Data Commons - Starting a Project

Starting a Project in the SDC - for Project Owners

Managing and sharing transportation research data, securely, is now easier than ever. The USDOT Secure Data Commons (SDC) is an access-controlled, cloud-based data environment that enables users to conduct analyses and develop new tools around emerging sources of transportation data. The SDC stores transportation data made available by participating data providers and grants access to approved researchers to work with these datasets.

Put the SDC to Work for You

Cost of using the SDC

Click on the cost estimator button to create an estimate for your project's use of the SDC. The SDC tracks project-related usage of the system and has a model to charge projects for their use of common resources. In addition, projects can select levels of support from the SDC team to achieve their business outcomes.

See how much your project might cost based on your need

Is the SDC right for my project?

This depends on the needs and requirements of the project. See the table below for the questions that help determine SDC suitability.

Questions Yes No
Does the project generate data that needs to be access-controlled? The SDC is a good option for managing access to datasets Project-level data management may be sufficient
Is there value in making the project data and tools available to other researchers in the transportation community? The SDC is a good option for the project since it includes the ability to share data, code, and tools with researchers Project-level data management may be sufficient
Does the project generate or need to manage extremely sensitive data? The SDC is not a good option since it is not set up for managing extremely sensitive data If the project manages only moderately sensitive data, the SDC is a good option.

If data is not sensitive, the SDC is not required. Public data hubs may be a better option (like the ITS Data Hub)

Starting a Project

The SDC admin team works with the project owner to introduce the data providers and analysts to the SDC and get your project up and running.

Each SDC project goes through a standard lifecycle that prepares them for success within the SDC.

See what this process may look like for your project.

What's Next?

As a project owner interested in joining the SDC, use the steps below to get started:

Number one

Use the cost estimator (XLSM 340 KB) to get an idea of what it would cost to host your data in the SDC

Number two

The Enablement Services Program offers custom upgrades to help your project team along the way

Number three

Speak with a member of the SDC team to answer any additional questions you have and start the planning process.

Last updated with release 2.6 (June 12, 2020)