- Meet the EOHelp Team
Meet the EOHelp Team
09 Feb 2023
The Earth Observation Help Desk, or EOHelp, together with Copernicus services, is the main ESA contact point for Earth Observation user communities.
The user communities are ever-changing, with about 80,000 registered users. These range from students or people occasionally interested in ESA space topics, to scientific or public and private organisations.
The EOHelp service has nearly 25 years of experience with ESA, and an average of 3,500 users per year contact the team through ESA's TellUs portal or the EOHelp dedicated email account to get information, instructions and support.
In place since the late 1990s, the EOHelp service is aimed at providing an end-to-end support to ESA’s Earth Observation (EO) users, addressing information on how to get user credentials to access ESA’s main EO portals, the instructions to follow for accessing data, and the availability of existing or new datasets.
EOHelp team members support users along the various data access processes, starting from the user account registration phase up to some of the main project administration workflows, allowing scientists to access those restricted datasets, which require specific information mainly related to scientific purposes and goals.
The team is also in charge of monitoring the data dissemination activities across the various dedicated platforms, proactively intervening when users are faced with problems downloading data or with the quality of products.
This fundamental activity is also associated with a systematic and periodic assessment, made by the EOHelp service, of the actual usage of the assigned quota by the projects, to allow ESA and Third Party distributors to understand the interest of users regarding the datasets and guarantee that data availability is equally and consistently provided to eligible users worldwide.
Like any articulated and user-focused Support Service, EOHelp is also required to manage the actual satisfaction expressed by users and more in general to analyse their experience across ESA’s EO systems, to capture new requirements and needs, and discover potential service improvements.
EO users in need of help or with a query related to the service can submit their requests using TellUs, where the EOHelp team will manage their inquiry through to its resolution.
But let’s meet the team and see what they mainly deal with.
ESA: What are some of the tasks that you cover?
EOHelp: Besides the reactive support we provide to ESA EO users worldwide (regarding Data Access provision, users’ profile management, mission data enquiries and problem solving), our teams monitor the data dissemination platforms and proactively solve potential events that might create problems for users (unavailability of data; bad quality data downloads and data catalogues inconsistency or malfunctioning), ensuring a smoother experience with data from ESA Heritage, Earth Explorers and TPMs.
ESA: Could you give us a concrete example of a service you provide?
EOHelp: The User Community Management team, within EOHelp, is for example in charge of collecting user feedback and suggestions that are, at a later stage, analysed together with ESA, until an effective solution is reached and implemented.
ESA: Just what is TellUS and how does it come into the picture?
EOHelp: TellUS is ESA’s Earth Observation User Services Portal, where users may submit enquiries, issues, requests and get assistance for all our services. The tool is constantly updated with FAQs and service news, useful to our users.
ESA: What are some of the challenges you are faced with?
EOHelp: Intercepting new needs and requirements is for sure something important for both the service and ESA, since we are mutually interested in understanding, from users’ comments and specific behaviours, if their experience is as smooth and simple as possible. We systematically record the user experience, developing an important opportunity to discuss service improvements and evolutions.
ESA: What would you consider to be a success within your work?
EOHelp: Certainly the knowledge of the service that we have been carrying out for about 25 years now allows us to easily perform and predict the needs of users entering the world of ESA EO, often also preventing possible critical issues.
We grow daily, by listening to the needs of users and with them we improve our skills, also thanks to the support of dedicated teams around our service.