Visualizing Library Data with Tableau Public

Post-Conference Workshop | Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | 1:00-5:00pm

Conference Track: Collection Development & Assessment

A successful data visualization can tell a powerful story with numbers. In recent years many libraries have started to use the data visualization software Tableau to help analyze the library data we collect and to communicate library impact and values to the community: How many visitors we have per year? How much money we spend for an electronic journal and what is the usage? What is the circulation per capita for this branch library?

The workshop will begin with an introduction to the various types of data that all libraries work with: bibliographic records, statistics, survey data, etc.. The participants will learn about the characteristics of library data and methods that are most suitable for visualizing the library data. The participants will learn how to use Tableau Public, a free version of the Tableau software, to create interactive data visualization including basic chart types, thematic maps and data dashboards. Good data visualization comes from “clean” data. As such this workshop will have brief introductions to tools and procedures that can be apply to clean library data for visualization. The workshop will also introduce the participants to design principles for data visualization and different types of data visualization tools (free or commercial).

Following this session, participants will be able to:

  • Make basic charts as well as advanced type of charts (scatter plots, box-and-whisker plots and treemaps) using Tableau Public
  • Apply calculations and analytics on-the-fly on Tableau visualizations
  • Connect data from spreadsheets and SQL databases and prepare data for visualization
  • Create thematic maps and dashboards using library data
  • Publish and share Tableau Public visualizations

Do I need to purchase the Tableau software for the workshop?   No you do not. Tableau Public is a free tool that can be installed on Microsoft Windows or Mac computers. As such any interested individual can use this tool as well as sharing his/her visualization on the Tableau Public website. During the workshop, the participants will have an opportunity to work with sample datasets prepared by the instructors and to acquire practical skills for working with gate count, library statistics, library expenditures, etc.


About the Presenters

Jen-chien Yu is the Coordinator of Library Assessment at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jen coordinates library assessment programs and works closely with faculty and staff across the Library, and around the campus, to design and implement assessment activities that supports data-informed decision making related to library services, collections, technology, and facilities. Jen calls herself a “data waitress” – proudly serving data since 2001.

Esra Coskun is the Collections Analysis and Planning Specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She works closely with the Associate Dean for Collections and Technical Services on compiling reports related to the materials budget both institution-wide and across peer institutions to facilitate Library Administration’s and Fund Managers’ collections related decisions.


REGISTER HERE! A separate ticket is needed for this event! 

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