On-Demand Webinar - Best of Core Forum: Data Visualizations and Dashboards; Lessons Learned

Description: Like many libraries, ours has storehouses full of operations data. However, challenges frequently arise when trying to analyze data from across frequently siloed and proprietary data sources in a timely manner. Available toolsets, meanwhile, leave us wishing for more — many apps handle data from specific products or only harvest specific types of data. Other apps are extremely expensive and/or require steep learning curves. Our goal was to find a sustainable workflow for analyzing, then publishing our data and visualizations in a data dashboard, so our entire library staff and administration could reliably use the data to better plan our services and communicate our worth with our community. In this session, we will share the lessons learned from our dashboard project and how they could be applied in libraries of any size. These lessons include doing an environmental scan of all the data used in our library, and methods of harvesting, analysis, and publishing our interdepartmental data for easy access and comprehension. Finally, we will offer demonstrations of the data applications we use in our workflow with pros and cons of their use.

This webinar was previously presented in-person as a session at the 2023 Core Forum. Core is hosting this webinar, with the session adapted and presented live as a virtual event, to extend its reach.

Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to:
  • Identify the variables to consider when designing a data dashboard-data sharing project;
  • Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of multiple tools for data analysis and visualization--both those freely available and those affordably licensed; and
  • Tailor data and terminology to the various internal and external stakeholders in the library's community.


Who Should Attend: Administrators, assessment officers, or anyone who generates or reports statistics in a library setting.


Rob O'Brien Withers is access services librarian at Miami University. He has previously served as assistant to the dean and web services librarian at Miami, as systems/technical services librarian at McDaniel College, and in several classified positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His professional interests include collection and interpretation of library data for external audiences, circulating non-traditional items.

Rich Wisneski
works in electronic resources for Miami University. He has worked in technical services departments for several years at various higher education institutions. His current research interests revolve around discoverability and end user experience, and e-resource access assessment.

Jerry Yarnetsky
is a web services librarian at Miami University of Ohio where he focuses on user experience, information architecture, and accessibility. He also regularly teaches a course on interaction design and development at Miami. He's previously worked as a librarian and interim library director at Montgomery County (Pa.) Community College and as a journalist/editor in a previous career.


Tech Requirements

Core Webinars are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform.