MD Tech Connect 2022
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.: Opening Keynote
Data Communication is Visual Communication
John F. Tripp, Ph.D.
Today, getting data isn’t the problem. Making sense of it is. Unfortunately, human brains don’t make sense of large sets of data. But they easily make sense of graphs – if they are constructed well. In this keynote, Dr. Tripp will, through multiple examples of “wrong” and “not wrong” visualizations, illustrate why communicating with data is primarily a visual concern. The session focuses on the skills necessary to become a great creator and consumer of data visualizations, best practices in communicating data stories, and mentoring and assisting others in data visualization.
John Tripp spent 17 years in industry developing and leading teams delivering rich organization-critical software systems for multiple Fortune 500 companies. He received his MBA and Ph. D. from Michigan State University and has taught information systems, analytics, and data visualization at numerous universities in the US and abroad. Dr. Tripp has taught, mentored, and consulted in the area of Data Visualization since 2012 for commercial companies, academic institutions, and state and federal governmental agencies. He currently teaches in or is an adviser to multiple top-20 analytics programs, and is presently a faculty member in Clemson University’s top-20 ranked Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics and MBA in Analytics programs, as well as at the Indian School of Business, where he teaches in the Advanced Management Program in Business Analytics – the #1 analytics program in India.
Dr. Tripp is the founder and managing director of Iron River Analytics, an analytics consulting practice based in Greenville, SC. He is a recognized expert in agile project management, the foundation of Iron River Analytics’ VizFirstTM analytics implementation and maturation process.
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Breakout Session 1
Finding the “Not Wrong” Visualization
John F. Tripp, Ph.D.
Time Series Slides (PDF)
Time Series Examples (Tableau Workbook)
Part to Whole Slides (PDF)
Part to Whole Examples (Tableau Workbook)
Ranking Slides (PDF)
Ranking Examples (Tableau Workbook)
The “cool” chart or the “new” chart might grab attention, but does it communicate your story with both data and ethical integrity? In this breakout, Dr. Tripp will dive deep into the three most common data stories, time series, part to whole, and ranking. By the end of this session, you’ll know when to use which chart and why, so that you clearly communicate the story you intend to tell, without becoming a “data liar”. Attendees will receive completed Tableau workbooks with all completed visualizations.
Getting on Board with Google Analytics 4 + Google Tag Manager
Julia Caffrey-Hill, Towson University, Cook Library
Getting on Board with Google Analytics 4 Slides (PDF)
Google’s Universal Analytics is going away, and so is historical data in the Google Analytics platform. Learn about Google Analytics 4 and how to use Google Tag Manager with it so that your library can be better prepared for the upcoming transition in June 2023.
Julia Caffrey-Hill is the Web Services Librarian at Cook Library. She received her MSLIS from Simmons University in 2016. Her areas of interest include accessibility and user experience.
MD Libraries & Inclusion: How to Use Survey Data to Tell a Story
Ashley Teagle, Southern Maryland Regional Library Association and KennethWayne Thompson, Charles County Public Library
The Maryland Libraries Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee wanted to ask library workers how their library could be more inclusive. The results of the Inclusion & Maryland Libraries Survey, conducted in June of this year, were surprising and informative. Learn how the Committee painted a story with their results to inspire action.
Ashley Teagle is the CEO of the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association. Ashley is interested in all things EDI especially the intersection of inclusion and digital equity. KennethWayne Thompson has served as the Executive Director of Charles County Public Library since 2020, where he was appointed just days before the COVID-19 pandemic closures began. He leads a dedicated team and library system of 4 branch locations, a mobile library and an outreach van.
It’s 10pm, do you know what’s happening in the library? An Exploration of Hourly Library Usage Data
Hilary Thompson and James Spring, University of Maryland Libraries
Hourly Library Usage Data Slides (PDF)
The COVID-19 pandemic and rising minimum wage prompted access services managers to delve deeper into data we were already collecting in order to better understand when and how the main library is used. This exploratory project involved gathering, reconciling, and identifying trends in hourly usage data from different systems, with the goal of maximizing what the library can offer with its current resources and to advocate for more funding, if needed. We’ll share our experience undertaking this work, discuss how we have and will apply this data, and offer suggestions for others interested in doing something similar at their institution.
Hilary Thompson is the Director of User Services & Resource Sharing at the University of Maryland Libraries, where she has worked in various access services roles since 2012. Throughout her time at UMD, she has expanded data gathering and reporting efforts within her unit and encouraged the use of data to inform decisions about library services and collections. James Spring is the Manager of the Library Services Unit in the User Services & Resource Sharing department at the University of Maryland Libraries. He also serves as the co-manager of the Libraries’ Virtual Reference Services where he collects and analyzes transaction data for internal and external reporting as well as service improvement.
1:15 – 2:15 p.m.: Breakout Session 2
Hands on with Sphero indi Educational Robot Kits
Ryan Rickels, Harford County Public Library
Join Ryan in the Ballroom for an informal session of hands-on play with some puzzle solving elements!
What kinds of data can you collect with Google Analytics?
Kyle Breneman, University of Baltimore
What kinds of data can you collect with Google Analytics? Slides (PDF)
This session will provide an overview of the kinds of web analytics data libraries can capture using Google Analytics. Types of data covered include: demographic statistics, users’ hardware/browser/OS, most/least-visited pages, referrals, search term tracking, custom reports showing when users encounter your 404 page, and event tracking (video plays, file downloads, scrolling, clicking on interactive page elements). There will be a brief overview of custom dashboards. Setting up Google Analytics by using Google Tag Manager will be very briefly addressed.
Kyle is a library IT professional who is knowledgeable about cybersecurity and passionate about the humanities.
Using Data to Determine Hotspot Distribution and Access Initiatives for Digital Equity
Alexandra Houff, Baltimore County Public Library
Using Data to Determine Hotspot Distribution Slides (PDF)
Baltimore County Public Library makes heavy use of internal and external data to assess where to concentrate hotspot releases as well as other internet access events. We use our circulation and data mart tools in addition to ACS/Census data to determine where to focus our hotspot and accessibility initiatives. This helps ensure responsible spending, increases staff efficiency, and ensures targeted efforts.
Alex is the Manager of BCPL’s Digital Equity and Virtual Services department. She oversees the ACP initiatives and other device and access efforts for the library.
2 Questions = Endless Data: Tracking Student Use of School Libraries
Brittany Tignor, Stephen Decatur High School
2 Questions Endless Data Slides (PDF)
Tracking student use of school libraries can be daunting. Develop your own 2 question sign-in sheet and learn to use spreadsheet functions to automatically generate all the graphs you need to advocate for increased support when you need it the most.
Brittany has been a librarian for 10 years and currently works at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, MD. She has her MLIS from University of Alabama and is the Treasurer of MASL.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Closing Keynote
School and Library Programming to Teach Children Basic Privacy and Security Concepts
Jessica Vitak, Ph.D., College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
School and Library Programming to Teach Children Basic Privacy and Security Concepts Slides (PDF)
While children are starting to use smartphones, tablets, and laptops at younger and younger ages, they often don’t receive much formal training on how to use those devices safely and protect their personal information until they’re in high school, if not older. In this talk, I’ll share findings from two projects I’ve worked on over the last six years that identified ways of teaching K-8 children about privacy and security concepts, how to scaffold those lessons to build on basic concepts as children grow, and the role that libraries can play in the learning process. I’ll also share several games and activities we’ve developed for various age groups and talk about why it’s so important for children to begin developing a strong privacy and security hygiene from an early age.
Jessica Vitak is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland. Her research evaluates the privacy and ethical implications of big data, the internet of things, and other “smart” technologies. She seeks to understand how privacy concerns play a role in technology adoption and use, and she develops tools and resources to help children and adults make more informed decisions when using technology and sharing sensitive data. For more information, visit her website.