How to improve the state of the art in metocean measurement datasets

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We present an analysis of three datasets of 10min metocean measurement statistics and our resulting recommendations to both producers and users of such datasets. Many of our recommendations are more generally of interest to all numerical measurement data producers. The datasets analyzed originate from offshore meteorological masts installed to support offshore wind farm planning and design: the Dutch OWEZ and MMIJ and the German FINO1. Our analysis shows that such datasets contain issues that users should look out for and whose prevalence can be reduced by producers. We also present expressions to derive uncertainty and bias values for the statistics from information typically available about sample uncertainty. We also observe that the format in which the data are disseminated is sub-optimal from the users' perspective and discuss how producers can create more immediately useful dataset files. Effectively, we advocate using an established binary format (HDF5 or netCDF4) instead of the typical text-based one (comma-separated values), as this allows for the inclusion of relevant metadata and the creation of significantly smaller directly accessible dataset files. Next to informing producers of the advantages of these formats, we also provide concrete pointers to their effective use. Our conclusion is that datasets such as the ones we analyzed can be improved substantially in usefulness and convenience with limited effort.