Data Visualization: What Your Data Can Tell You and Your Patrons [POSTER]

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Data visualization is increasingly accessible. Free web tools make it easier to use the data that libraries and academic institutions already collect to assess and inform services, and tell our stories to users. Our library started investigating data visualization concepts and tools, reasoning that it might be a valuable service to offer our patrons. We started a learning circle of librarians who would investigate this topic, and share with the rest of library staff. The learning circle began by investigating resources that provided an introduction to data visualization, best practices, recommended tools, and examples. We also brainstormed frames (e.g. research services, undergraduate services) and audiences (e.g. faculty, students, library staff), and we performed an audit of all the data we already collect or have access to. We compiled a small toolkit of resources to introduce staff to data visualization, and lead a workshop on Piktochart, a free web tool that is designed for creating simple visualizations that can be shared online or printed, providing staff with library usage data that they could experiment with. Because of the increasing use of Tableau, a data visualization tool, at our institution, we decided to learn how to use the free version, Tableau Public. We organized the viewing of a webinar series on using Tableau Public at our library. As an exercise, one of the members of the learning circle used Tableau to visualize reference statistics. Tableau enabled her to gain interesting insights which have implications for staffing and training. Using the same data that we used in the Piktochart workshop, we held a Tableau workshop for staff, and had a discussion about the questions we had that our data might be able to answer. This poster will share our process, tools we used, and plans for the future.

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USAIN 2016 Conference Poster Session


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Data; Libraries; USAIN; Conference


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