GeminiFocus January 2018 | Page 27

Phase I Sem. A April Sem. B October Phase II Sem. A March Sem. B September Users in semesters 2017A and 2017B were already invited to fill out one or two of the Short Surveys for that observing semester, or Phase I/Phase II processes. We were very pleased to receive relatively high response rates (between 30% and 50%; many thanks!). This provides us with a clear snapshot of the current status of our observing tools, data quality, and support satisfaction. Current Results and Their Impact 2017B Phase I. As shown in the upper left pie chart in Figure 1, ~65% of respondents either liked or really liked the system; of these, ~20% had suggestions for improve- ment. Yet, ~11% were strongly unsatisfied, and shared very useful comments about what they believe should be improved. The rest of the respondents commented on spe- cific issues they encountered that deserve our attention. Additionally, six respondents sent us compliments about the service and the help they received. ... You are welcome! Most of the comments were about the Phase I Tool (PIT). For another few semesters you’ll find the PIT unchanged, but that’s because we are currently focusing our resources on creating a new one. Of course, we are us- ing the Short Survey comments to help de- termine the requirements for the new PIT. Meanwhile, we have made better PIT train- ing documentation available. 2017B Phase II. The Phase II process is gen- erally less appreciated than that of Phase I; only ~42% of respondents either liked or re- ally liked working on their Phase II, and ~25% of them were significantly unsatisfied. Most comments we received are fairly uniform: January 2018 Observing Sem. A August Data Quality Sem. B Sem. A February July Sem. B January 1. The Observing Tool (OT) is tedious (e.g., setting up acquisition sequences, enter- ing and changing parameters). 2. The documentation is deficient (some- times inaccurate). 3. The support is excellent. While we take pride in the quality of our sup- port (thanks to those who mentioned it), we strive to reduce the number of comments focused on problems users experience with our tools. The following are current efforts to improve the Phase II preparation process: Table 1. The four Short Surveys and the time of year in which they are launched. There were small delays with some of the surveys in 2017 due to technical issues that have since been resolved. 1. We are currently producing a new OT, and survey results will be used to deter- mine requirements (like that done for the PIT). 2. We have improved some of the OT train- ing documentation. 3. We are preparing better-focused Phase II instructions and tutorials for all facility instruments for 2018. 2017A Observing Semester. Of the PIs whose programs received observations, about 73% of the respondents evaluate that their data meet, or exceed in some ways, their expectations. While this is a good sign, it does not reflect the opinion of all respon- dents — most of whom were PIs of observ- ing programs with the Gemini Planet Imager and Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager, which require complex observations that are often strongly dependent on good weather conditions. When compiling all the responses, we found ~21% came from PIs who did not get data from their program — mainly due to bad weather, combined with program priorities. GeminiFocus 25