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Data Visualization Webcast Videos Now Online

data-visualization-of-word-usage-in-the-new-york-times
image CC-BY Jer Thorp

Data visualization brings library stories to life. Using Tableau software, libraries may better harness, analyze, and report their data to internal and external stakeholders. Video recordings of ARL’s recent web series on data management and visualization with Tableau are freely available on ARL’s YouTube channel.

Presented by experienced assessment librarians and facilitated by ARL’s senior director of statistics and service quality programs, Martha Kyrillidou, these videos demonstrate how the speakers use Tableau at their institutions and how you might apply similar techniques at your library.

Part 1 with Sarah Murphy, Ohio State University
March 3, 2015, 2:00–2:30 p.m. EST
View “Tableau at Ohio State University Libraries” on YouTube

The Ohio State University (OSU) has used Tableau since 2012 to support a number of assessment projects. Examples include a series of interactive dashboards that query, analyze, and deliver transactional data to subject librarians to support their collection development and engagement activities. To deliver library data of interest to the broader academic community, the OSU Libraries has also started to embed interactive, downloadable Tableau dashboards via select OSU Libraries websites.

Sarah Anne Murphy is coordinator of assessment for The Ohio State University Libraries, where she has worked since 2001.

Part 2 with Jeremy Buhler, University of British Columbia
March 10, 2015, 2:00–2:30 p.m. EDT
View “Tableau at UBC Library” on YouTube

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Library began using Tableau in 2013 to analyze longitudinal LibQUAL+ results. The resulting online display highlights changes in survey results over time and facilitates the comparison of responses across several user groups. Building on the success of this visualization, UBC Library is now using Tableau to encourage library staff to engage with, think about, and find new applications for library metrics.

Jeremy Buhler has served as assessment librarian at the University of British Columbia Library since 2011.

Part 3 with Rachel Lewellen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
March 17, 2015, 2:00–2:30 p.m. EDT
View “Tableau at UMass Amherst Libraries” on YouTube

Tableau helps the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst Libraries staff to both analyze and understand data. Selectors may access purchasing and use data without having to maintain or manipulate spreadsheets. Using Tableau for the analysis of a consortial e-book project minimizes duplication of effort and provides a common perspective for understanding the data. Interactive visualizations expedite access to live data from MINES (Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services), and make it easier for staff to use circulation, service desk, and gate-count data for operational purposes.

Rachel Lewellen is assessment librarian at the UMass Amherst Libraries. She has been using Tableau since 2012.

Part 4, Discussion with Murphy, Buhler, and Lewellen
April 21, 2015, 2:00–3:00 p.m. EDT
View “Q&A on Using Tableau in Libraries” on YouTube

Sarah Anne Murphy, Jeremy Buhler, and Rachel Lewellen hosted a question-and-answer session about using Tableau for data management and visualization in libraries.


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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