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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Art of Analytics Tableau Keynote

Data Analysis is a Creative Process

This week the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) enjoyed an intensive time of data information and learning with over 5,500 others during the Tableau Conference in Seattle.

Christian Chabot, Tableau’s CEO, provided the first part of a compelling keynote address of the conference that may seem surprising for a meeting about data: a focus on creativity. Chabot focused on innovation, noting the breakthroughs for technology to first empower user creativity with Adobe’s PostScript (the beginning of desktop publishing), and computer aided design (CAD) instead of relying on subject matter experts to produce the projects in a physical format from start to finish with limited options for revision. He concluded that the world from an artist’s perspective and data analysis perspective are not opposites but that both seek to reveal truth and impart meaning as a part of their work.

For the rest of the keynote Dr. Chris Stolte, Tableau’s Chief Development Officer, showed how in the past software tools required high levels of expertise to use. Dr. Stolte noted that they are trying to incorporate a greater sense of working in a user-friendly way with the data, not the software, to give users creative flow, feedback and flexibility and live demonstrated many new features Tableau has on the horizon.

You can see these demonstrations and learn more about these by watching the keynote recording available at http://tcc14.tableauconference.com/keynote or the overview Tableau wrote at http://www.tableausoftware.com/about/blog/2014/9/keynote-32970.

New OERC Webinar: Eval 2.0

The OERC debuted a brand new webinar for the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region’s monthly Lake Effects webinar series on August 21. The new webinar, Evaluation 2.0: Trends, New Ideas, Cool Tools, presents emerging trends in evaluation practice that emphasize stakeholder interaction and social engagement. It also covers popular tools and methods that allow you to draw others into the evaluation process and raise the visibility of your program or services. The NN/LM GMR makes recordings of Lake Effects presentations publicly available, so click here to listened to the  Eval 2.0 webinar.

If you are interested in attending a live presentation of this webinar, please contact the OERC or your National Network of Libraries of Medicine regional office. Descriptions of other  OERC webinars that can be offered upon request are listed here.

Cover slide for Eval 2.0 presentation

Some Great Examples of Library Dashboards

At the Library Assessment Conference in August, one panel featured assessment librarians presenting data dashboards they created using Tableau software. Our colleagues often ask OERC staff  for good examples of library dashboards, so I am excited that the PowerPoint slides of Tableau Unleashed: Visualizing Library Data are publicly available . This document includes views of dashboards from University of British Columbia Library (by presenter Jeremy Buhler), UMass Amherst Libraries (by Rachel Lewellen) and Ohio State Libraries (by Sarah Murphy). All of the presenters used Tableau software to produce their dashboards.

Tableau may be the most popular software for creating dashboards right now and the company offers a free version that has a great deal of functionality. In fact, at least one presenter (Sarah Murphy) included dashboards she created using Tableau Public. However, users must be cautioned that any data entered into Tableau Public become public information.  That means anyone can see and download your raw data. So, if you use it, be sure all identifying information about individuals is stripped from your files and that you are comfortable with other people downloading your raw data.

The presenters included some tips for dashboard design, which you will find in their slides.  If you want more comprehensive guidance, check out A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use by Juice Analytics. The guide is free and downloadable.

Cover slide for Tableau Unleashed

Freebie Friday: Presentations from the Library Assessment Conference

ARL Library Assessment Conference 2014 digital badge for your website and/or blog

We here at the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) and 600 others enjoyed a fabulous week of learning and engagement during the 2014 Library Assessment Conference at the University of Washington in Seattle. We will be covering some of the great assessment resources and information shared here in our blog (http://nnlm.gov/evaluation/blog/) that are of interest to National Network of Library of Medicine (NN/LM) network members.

In the meantime you may be interested in the freely available copies of most of the conference presentations that are posted on the main program schedule website at http://libraryassessment.org/schedule/index.shtml  along with photos of the poster session, which will soon be available at http://libraryassessment.org/schedule/2014-posters.shtml.

Data Visualizations at Information is Beautiful

The OERC will be attending the Library Assessment Conference (LAC) at University of Washington this week, where we will be learning about new trends in library assessment, evaluation, and improvement. Stayed tuned to our blog and we will pass along what we learn. The LAC is sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with a fun data visualization site to explore while we’re gone.  David McCandless creates wonderful infographics for his site “Information is Beautiful.”  Many are health-related. All are gorgeous.  You can find the list of his data visualizations here.

 

A Guide for Conducting Community Conversations

Planning focus groups? You might want to check out the Libraries Transforming Communities Community Conversation Workbook by the American Library Association (ALA).

This workbook is a resource developed for the ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) initiative, which provides librarians with training and resources to enhance their roles as community leaders and change-agents. The initiative’s goal is to help librarians promote the visibility and value of their libraries within their communities. Public discussions are promoted as key community engagement strategies.

To that end, ALA has developed the Libraries Transforming Communities Community Conversation Workbook. This workbook provides invaluable guidance to anyone who wants to conduct discussion groups for community assessment purposes. It provides practical advice on every aspect of convening group discussions, including tips on participant recruitment, a list of discussion questions, facilitator guidelines, note-taking tools, and templates for organizing key findings.

Demonstrating value is of considerable interest to many libraries and organizations these days. Such organizations may be interested in exploring other articles and resources related to the LTC initiative. You can find more information about the initiative at the LTC web page. You can also see how libraries are implementing LTC activities at the initiative’s digital portal:

Freebie Friday: Visualization Literacy

With an increase of technology tools available for data reporting and visualization (be sure to check out some of our Outreach Evaluation Resource Center Reporting and Visualizing tools at http://guides.nnlm.gov/oerc/tools) sometimes it’s challenging to know how to best use them to clearly communicate the intended meaning of the data. The concept of visualization literacy and a broader theme of visual literacy are often not included as part of the instructions guiding people in the steps to create their own visualization design.

A recent entry by Andrew Kirk on the blog of Seeing Data, a research project in the United Kingdom studying how people understand big data visualizations shown in the media, offers a great review of 8 Articles Discussing Visual and Visualization Literacy that are freely available and well worth a read to better understand both visual and visualization literacy. Their featured articles include resources ranging from the importance of Visual Literacy in an Age of Data to How to Be an Educated Consumer of Infographics, and Seeing Data has asked that you share additional ones with them via blog comments or their Twitter social media account @SeeingData.

Brush Up On Your Excel Skills

If you do evaluation, you likely use Excel.  So I recommend bookmarking this web page of short videos with excellent instructions and practical tips for analyzing data with Excel.  Ann Emery produced these videos, most of which are 2-5 minutes long. Some cover the basics, such as how to calculate descriptive statistics. If you find pivot tables difficult to grasp, there’s a short video describing the different components.  For the experienced user, there are videos about more advanced topics such as how to automate dashboards using Excel and Word.

Emery is an evaluator and data analyst with Innovation Network in Washington, DC.  She has a special interest in data visualization and covers that and other topics in her blog, also available at her website.

How to use Hashtags to Increase Social Media Presence

Hashtag #like
like 2 by misspixels on Flickr, Creative Commons license

 

Have you determined that the use of social media channels is appropriate for your organization following our coverage of evaluating social media activities last week?

If so you will quickly encounter hashtags, which are user-controlled categories prefaced with a pound sign. Hashtags were once limited to Twitter but are now used on most social media sites including Facebook and Google+. Conversational,  concise, and consistent use of up to two hashtags per social media message can result in double the amount of user engagement compared to messages without them. For more statistics specific to Twitter and user engagement, Buffer’s coverage at http://blog.bufferapp.com/10-new-twitter-stats-twitter-statistics-to-help-you-reach-your-followers is an excellent overview.

What are some of the ways to show that hashtags increase user engagement with your organization’s message? Look for performance indicators of reposts (the use of ‘Share’ on Facebook or retweets on Twitter), replies (comments under the message from Facebook followers, replies to the tweet from Twitter users), the number of clicks to any links included in your message (ideally to your organization’s website and resources), and hashtag usage frequency.

For tips on how to track these performance indicators and additional statistics regarding hashtag creation and use check out the helpful infographic at http://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2014/04/using-hashtags-to-boost-your-social-presence-infographic.html.

Healthy People 2020 and Infographics

HealthyPeople.gov provides science-based 10 year national objectives to help improve the health of all Americans. These objectives are focused on encouraging collaborations across communities, empowering people to make individual health choices, and measuring the impact of prevention activities.  Currently we are in the time frame referred to as Healthy People 2020 with goals and objectives to achieve by the year 2020 listed at their website http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about

There are 42 topic areas with over 1,200 objectives for Healthy People 2020,  so a smaller subset of objectives has been identified as Leading Health Indicators (LHI) to communicate high-priority health issues and actions to take for addressing them. These LHI objectives are included within the 12 areas of access to health services, clinical preventative services, environmental quality, injury and violence, maternal, infant and child health; mental health, nutrition, physical activity and obesity; oral health, reproductive and sexual health, social determinants, substance abuse, and tobacco.

Secondhand smoke

Monthly Leading Health Indicators (LHI) infographics help visually communicate Healthy People 2020 data, such as the one above about children’s exposure to secondhand smoke based on health insurance status, and are freely available for download and use by the public at http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/LHI/infographicGallery.aspx. The infographics are arranged in chronological order, most recent month available at the top, with the LHI area included so you can quickly identify and click those health topics of interest to you and your programs. They are also a great source of data, both in raw downloads and these visualizations, for presentations and publications for your health information outreach programs that are related to the LHI areas. Be sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter at the infographic site so you won’t miss the latest one each month!