Dress your Data for Success: Data Visualization Strategies for Library Assessment

Live Webcast 
April 29, 2014
11 a.m. Pacific | 12:00 p.m. Mountain | 1:00 p.m. Central | 2:00 p.m. Eastern

90 minutes

Description: Assessment has become a ubiquitous activity in all areas of librarianship, and a key component of assessment projects is effectively communicating data and outcomes to library administrators and stakeholders. However, many practicing librarians have had little to no formal training in data analysis and presentation. This live, interactive webcast focuses on data visualization strategies and best practices that will ensure clear and accurate communication of quantitative assessment results.  The targeted audience includes library professionals who would like to maximize their effectiveness in presenting their assessment findings to library and institutional administrators and stakeholders. 

The presentation will provide an introductory overview of quantitative data visualization and will highlight selected best practices. Topics will include a summary of available visualization tools, tips on successfully leveraging color, and a few points relating to visual perception. Participants will be introduced to some of the key principles of graphical integrity and design promoted by major thinkers in the field, such as Edward Tufte and Stephen Few. A section of the presentation will be devoted display methods.  Most of this discussion will focus on charts and graphs, but it will also cover when using a table is more advantageous. The scope of the chart discussion will include a description of the major chart types (bar, line, pie, scatter, etc.), their appropriate uses, and some areas where chart designers should remain vigilant lest they distort or obscure the data. The audience will be engaged through the interactive polling and chat features.  For example, direct requests for audience feedback are planned for some of the points relating to perception, comparing chart types, and clean design practices.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will be able to identify several best practices for data visualization.
  • Participants will be able to apply basic principles of color theory in the creation of their visualizations.
  • Participants will be able to understand the appropriate uses for the major chart types,  select the best types to showcase their data, and avoid common charting pitfalls that distort the data.

Presenter(s): Tricia Clayton, Collection Services Librarian, Georgia State University

Technical Requirements: ACRL Webcasts are held in an Elluminate virtual classroom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. You may ask questions through text-based chat or a microphone.  You will be prompted to download a java-based application (Elluminate) before being able to enter the classroom.  Elluminate works on both PC and Macintosh platforms.  The minimum PC requirements are a Pentium II 266 Mhz with 64MB of memory and a sound card. The minimum Mac requirements are a G3 233 Mhz with 64MB of memory when using OS 9.0 - 9.2 or 128MB of memory when using OS X.

Tech Check: If you'd like to perform the Elluminate tech check on your computer, please go to: www.learningtimes.net/techcheckell.html.

Registration fees:
ACRL member: $50
ALA member: $75
Nonmember: $90
Student: $40
Group*: $295

* Webcasts take place in an interactive, online classroom environment with one user/one login. If you select the group rate, one person must register, login, and keyboard during the event. A group registration allows an institution to project the Webcast to participants in the same location.

How to register:

  • Locate the webcast by the date of the event.
  • Select the "Register" link next to the Webcast title on ALA's webcast registration page (linked above).
  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

You will receive your Webcast access information one business day before the live Webcast. Webcasts will be recorded and made available to registrants as an archive, so if you sign up but cannot attend the live event, you will receive the complete archived webcast recording.

If you have a question about an e-Learning opportunity or need technical assistance, please contact Margot Conahan (mconahan@ala.org).