Last week Facet participated in Love Data Week, a 5-day online international event ‘to raise awareness and build a community to engage on topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services.’ We asked our authors to share their data stories and each responded with a different approach. You’ll find a summary of each post published during the week below.
David Haynes, author of brand new Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval, 2nd edition, began the week with an exploration of the ethical implications for metadata gathering and uses in his post Metadata – have we got the ethics right?
Sara Mannheimer and Ryer Banta, co-contributors to The Complete Guide to Personal Digital Archiving, shared their data success story in Building Bridges – in which they offer advice for introducing students to research data management skills through something everyone can relate to—organizing personal digital files.
Bringing the week to a close Andrew Cox, co-author of the forthcoming Exploring Research Data Management, took a look at the future for academic libraries in The Growing Importance of Data in Academic Libraries
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Facet Publishing have announced the release of the second book in the iResearch series, Information Systems: Process and practice, edited by Christine Urquhart, Dr Faten Hamad, Dr Dina Tbaishat and Alison Yeoman
Design and evaluation of information systems and services have remained an area of study and research in many disciplines ranging from computing and information systems, information and library studies, to business management. Each discipline aims to address a set of unique challenges as they are seen from their disciplinary background and perspectives. This results in research that often fails to take a holistic view of information systems including technologies, people and context. This second title in the iResearch series addresses this challenge by bringing together different viewpoints and perspectives of information systems design and evaluation from the contributors’ own diverse and yet complimentary areas of teaching and research interests.
Co-editor Christine Urquhart said, “This book attempts to bridge some of the gaps between discrete areas of research that information professionals could use to design helpful and effective information systems and services. Our aim is to provide a critical analysis, with supporting case studies of library and information service and systems architecture – in a very broad interpretation of the term architecture”.
The book will be essential reading for researchers in information science, specifically in the areas of digital libraries, information architecture and information systems. It will also be useful for practitioners and students in these areas seeking to understand research issues and challenges and to discover how they have been handled in practice elsewhere.
iResearch series editor G G Chowdhury said,
‘This is not just another book on information architecture that focuses on content architecture alone; the research and development activities reported in this book also cover the other end of the spectrum concerned with service evaluation, performance management and library assessment. The 14 chapters in this book, written by academics and researchers from different research backgrounds and viewpoints, offer a significant contribution to research and practices in the architecture, design and evaluation of online information systems and services.’
About the authors
Christine Urquhart was a full-time member of staff in the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University. Since retiring from full-time teaching she has continued to pursue her research interests.
Dr Faten Hamad is an Assistant Professor in the Library and Information Science Department, University of Jordan.
Dr Dina Tbaishat is an Assistant Professor at the University of Jordan, Library and Information Science Department.
Alison Yeoman was formerly a Research Officer in the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University and is now an independent researcher.
With contributions from: Sally Burford, Catherine M. Burns, Karen Colbron, Adam Euerby, Fernando Loizides, Aekaterini Mavri, Paula Ormandy and Cristina Vasilica.
For more information about the book and to read a sample chapter click here
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Guest post by Selena Killick, co-author of the forthcoming book Putting Library Assessment Data to Work
With the move to increasing online provision within the education sector, and by association academic libraries, we have seen an explosion in big data sets. The initial COUNTER compliant statistics containing electronic journal title downloads seem quite quaint now as the granularity and scale of data harvesting has continued to expand. It is not uncommon for an academic library to have usage data for its electronic resources at an item level on an individual customer basis. The University of Huddersfield Library Impact Data Project were the first exploration into how library analytics could be used to identify the impact the library was having on student success. The researchers successfully identified a correlation between library usage and student success (Stone & Ramsden 2013). Coincidentally this research was being replicated in Australia and the USA at the same period, all with similar results (Cox & Jantti 2012) (Soria et al. 2013). Five years on, where are we now? And, if data really is the new oil, where should we drill next…?
The Ethical Debate
Before we look at where we could drill next, the question on whether we should drill at all needs to be considered. The librarian field is divided on this issue with strong views on both sides. Quantitative data is not the only source of information and it should not be used in isolation to evaluate library performance. That being said, it is a source of insight available to us and we should consider carefully if and how we use it. Personally, I think that if we are able to use library analytics anonymously, ethically, transparently, legally and with the goal of improving learner success we should exploit the data to benefit our students. I know some will disagree with me, and I’m happy to debate the subject. As data analytics becomes increasing part of the academic institutional infrastructure libraries need to identify the role they will play in this arena or risk becoming obsolete and ultimately redundant.
The Next Drilling Expedition
Until now, library analytics research has focussed on student satisfaction, library usage and student success. The Jisc Library Data Labs project has worked with librarians to combine and visualise various data sets. SCONUL Statistics and National Student Survey (NSS) scores have been combined to see if students who are the most satisfied with library provision are studying at the universities with the largest library budgets (Baylis & Burke 2017). LibQUAL+ satisfaction scores have been combined with Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) statistics to see if there is a correlation between satisfaction, usage and expenditure in academic libraries (Hunter & Perret 2011).
As an increasing number of library services move online the ability to harvest and analyse user data in the areas of enquiry handling and information literacy training is growing. Libraries are starting to use customer relationship management systems to manage enquiries received at help points (Killick 2017). Webchat transcripts between customers and librarians can be analysed to identify common enquiries with a view of improving the customer experience (Mungin 2017). Within the area of information literacy training provision, live online tuition and webinars are now being used by academic libraries. Delivery tools such as Adobe Connect can provide the library with data at the individual student level for live attendance and subsequent video views. With regards to data drilling, services are the new content, and it is only a matter of time before someone breaks ground.
Within the wider academic sphere the field of learning analytics has emerged, using big data to understand the characteristics of successful students with a view to optimise the learning environment (Rienties et al. 2017). As an important stakeholder in the learning environment, libraries are considering their role in supporting the learning analytics agenda (Oakleaf et al. 2017). The Library Integration in Institutional Learning Analytics (LIILA) Project is currently reviewing how libraries can support learning analytics. This one-year Institute of Museum and Library Services National Forum grant is working with a variety of international stakeholders, including librarians, system vendors and policy makers. The project team hope to get to the position where libraries are culturally ready and technically able to engage in this arena. This is our opportunity to shape the use of library data in this field, ensuring its use is anonymous, legal, ethical, and transparent; with the goal of improving learner success. If we fail to engage in the debate I suspect our publishers will bypass the library and pipe their usage data to the learning analytics community directly.
Selena Killick is co-author of the forthcoming book Putting LibraryAssessment Data to Work alongside Frankie Wilson. She has presented, published, and provided consultancy services to academic libraries on an international basis on library assessment for over 15 years. She is currently an editorial board member of the International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries. In 2003 she was part of the team that introduced LibQUAL+ to the UK in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries. Previously she has worked on the SCONUL Value & Impact Measurement Programme (VAMP) and the SCONUL Statistics e-measures pilot.
You can follow Selena on Twitter @selenakillick
Baylis, L. & Burke, S., 2017. Insights from Jisc & HESA Analytics Labs: An Agile, cross-institutional approach. In 12th International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries. Oxford.
Cox, B.L. & Jantti, M., 2012. Capturing business intelligence required for targeted marketing, demonstrating value, and driving process improvement. Library and Information Science Research, 34(4), pp.308–316.
Hunter, B. & Perret, R., 2011. Can Money Buy Happiness? A Statistical Analysis of Predictors for User Satisfaction. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 37(5), pp.402–408.
Killick, S., 2017. Exploiting customer relationship management analytics to improve the student experience. In 12th International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries. Oxford.
Mungin, M., 2017. Stats Don’t Tell the Whole Story: Using Qualitative Data Analysis of Chat Reference Transcripts to Assess and Improve Services. Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning, 11(1–2), pp.25–36.
Oakleaf, M. et al., 2017. Academic Libraries & Institutional Learning Analytics: One Path to Integration. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43(5), pp.454–461.
Rienties, B. et al., 2017. A review of ten years of implementation and research in aligning learning design with learning analytics at the Open University UK. Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal, 33, pp.134–154.
Soria, M.K., Fransen, J. & Nackerud, S., 2013. Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students’ Retention and Academic Success. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 13, pp.147–164.
Stone, G. & Ramsden, B., 2013. Library Impact Data Project: looking for the link between library usage and student attainment. College and Research Libraries, 74(6), pp.546–559.
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Guest post by the co-authors of The Chief Data Officer’s Playbook, Caroline Carruthers (Group Director of Data Management, Lowell Group) and Peter Jackson (Chief Data Officer, Southern Water).
Being a Chief Data Officer in the current climate is a rather interesting place to be, it can feel a little like dancing on quicksand while you have to learn to juggle wriggling snakes. So in order to help people interested in this area, whether you are a new CDO, well established data hero or just wondering what all the fuss is about, we have worked on a set of articles to answer some of the questions we are asked at nearly every conference we go to. While we can’t promise you a solution to all your data related problems handed to you on a plate, we can promise that once a week you can look forward to another concise, interesting and easy to read article to help you on your data and information related journey.
One of the most difficult tasks for the new CDO is developing a Data Strategy whilst the organisation continues to operate (and must continue to operate) using and abusing data, continuing with bad habits around data and often with a lack of governance and planning. This has been likened to performing open heart surgery on a runner while they are in the middle of a marathon, in reality it’s more like patching them up, giving them water to keep them going and a clear map to get them to the end of the race. In most situations for a new CDO the organisation probably feels that it has been operating quite happily without this new person for a very long while. So, for the new CDO it may feel like they are sitting in the corner talking to themselves. Alternatively the CDO may be met with comments like ‘Yes, we tried that before and it didn’t work’ or ‘ IT/ Finance/ Procurement/ Marketing (delete as appropriate) won’t like you doing that’ or my personal favourite ‘that’s not how we do that here’.
What is the context of Business As Usual? In most cases (unless the organisation is a start-up) it will be:
- a legacy data environment: siloes of data, multiple records, ‘duplicates’, weak data governance, no useful meta data, heavy MI and no BI.
- legacy systems: burning platforms, bespoke developments, hard to maintain and manage, reporting systems remote from end-users, no true data management systems
- legacy business processes: evolved over time, limited by technology and data available at the point in time, containing many work-arounds
- multiple suppliers: of software and systems
- legacy IT department: focused on building stuff rather than delivering and supporting software-as-a-service, internal networks as opposed to cloud
- legacy ‘transformation’ process: based on project governance and waterfall, struggling with agile and innovation. Not able to adapt to transformation being data driven rather than technology driven
The task for the new CDO is how to steer their way through this bubbling cauldron and deliver a data strategy. One approach is to break the task down into two parts: an Immediate Data Strategy (IDS), a tactical approach to deliver support for BAU, gain quick wins and temporary fixes and to prepare the way for the second part. The additional benefit of the IDS is the delivery of incremental value to the organisation through its data, avoiding the hypecycle on the way (the next article deals with this in more detail). The second part is the Target Data Strategy (TDS), the strategic approach. The new CDO cannot sit back and deliver the TDS over a two to three year window, the organisation will probably be expecting some results now, so it is just as important to set realistic expectations as it is to provide some tactical delivery through the IDS. One piece of advice, don’t call these tactical deliveries ‘Projects’ instead refer to them as ‘Initiatives’, this might engender a more agile approach.
The IDS should listen to the organisation’s data pain and try to deliver high profile quick wins. The tactical initiatives of the IDS should blend into the strategy of the TDS, and not run down a rabbit hole or blind alley. The IDS should help build up the narrative and vision of the TDS.
The six key elements of the IDS could be:
- Stability and rationalisation of the existing data environment
- Data culture and governance
- Existing and immediate data and IT development projects
- Data exploitation and integration
- Data performance, quality, integrity, assurance and provenance
- Data security (especially with GDPR in mind).
Whilst the new CDO is delivering the IDS they should be pushing the TDS through business engagement, the organisation needs to be prepared, ready and believe in the changes that are coming. The CDO should also be using the IDS to show the ‘art of the possible’ to a data illiterate business to help the business engage with the new data possibilities. Through the IDS they should be running Proof of Concepts, feasibility studies, data science initiatives and building a narrative around the vision of the TDS for all levels of the business.
Finally, six tips on how to succeed using the IDS and TDS approach:
- Use internal communications to sell the vision, don’t allow a vacuum to form
- Seek every opportunity to communicate the vision. Do not be frightened of becoming a data bore.
- Socialise the data visons and the changes that could be coming, especially the controversial ideas, locate the data champions to support you
- Engage the organisation’s leadership and find your senior sponsors, they will be crucial
- If you can’t explain it, you’re doing something wrong, ‘it’s me not you’
- Win hearts and minds, often a good argument is not enough to win the day.
David Haynes has fully revised his classic metadata textbook to bring it up to date with new technologies and standards. It builds on the concept of metadata through an exploration of its purposes and uses as well as considering the main aspects of metadata management and includes brand new chapters on ‘Very Large Data Collections’ and the ‘Politics and Ethics of Metadata’.
‘Metadata of Information Management and Retrieval: Understanding metadata and its use is international in coverage and sets out to introduce the concepts behind metadata. It focuses on the ways metadata is used to manage and retrieve information. It discusses the roles of metadata in information governance as well as exploring its use in the context of social media, linked open data and big data’.
The book will be essential reading for students of library and information science, museums, library, archives and records management professionals, publishers and managers of institutional repositories and research data sets.
Neil Wilson, Head of Collection Metadata at The British Library said,
‘Metadata has evolved from being a specialist interest to become a mainstream topic of relevance to anyone concerned with accurate and efficient information management. David Haynes has produced a clear, comprehensive and timely overview of how metadata shapes our digital age, why it’s a key organisational asset and how its value can be released through the use of key standards and technologies.’
About the author
David Haynes PhD MBCS FCLIP conducts research into Privacy and Metadata at the Department of Library and Information Science at City, University of London. He is also an Honorary Tutor at the Centre for Archives and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee where he specialises in Metadata and Taxonomies. He has been involved in library and information consultancy and research for more than 35 years during which time he has worked on information retrieval, information policy and information governance issues, latterly specialising in privacy and data protection. He is Chair of the UK Chapter of ISKO, the International Society for Knowledge Organization.
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To mark International Digital Preservation Day we have made a new chapter from Preserving Complex Digital Objects freely available to download and view.
The chapter, ‘Digital preservation strategies for visualizations and simulations‘ is by Janet Anderson (formerly Delve), Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Brighton, Hugh Denard, Lecturer in Digital Humanities, King’s College London and William Kilbride, Executive Director, The Digital Preservation Coalition.
The main theme that emerges from the chapter is an acknowledgement that emulation has now come of age as a suitable digital preservation strategy to take preserving complex digital objects.
Facet Publishing are pleased to announce the release of The Chief Data Officer’s Playbook by Caroline Carruthers, Group Director for Data Management, The Lowell Group and Peter Jackson, Chief Data Officer, Southern Water.
Most organisations now accept that data is a fundamental asset but the rapidly evolving role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) is still a mystery to many. Caroline Carruthers and Peter Jackson, two practicing CDOs, unlock these mysteries for the first time in The Chief Data Officers Playbook.
The book is a jargon-free guide for CDOs looking to understand their position better and for aspiring CDOs looking to take the next step in their career. It will also be valuable for chief executives, directors and business leaders needing to understand the value that a CDO can bring to an organisation, what they do, how to recruit one, where they should sit in the organisation and who they should report to.
The authors said,
“Data is a fast-moving and evolving environment and we get the sense that the pace of change is getting faster every month, perhaps every week. Our book is packed with strategies, tools and results of our real-life experiences which can help you leapfrog some of the mistakes we have made and learn from where it went well for us”.
The book begins by explaining why organisations need a CDO before moving on to cover key topics including, what you should do in your first 100 days as a CDO, building your team, how to break the data hoarding mentality, data and information ethics, delivering a data strategy in the context of business as usual, and how to recruit a CDO.
David Mathison, Chairman, CEO and Founder of the CDO Club, said,
“The release of this book is perfectly timed. The CDO Club tracks CDO hires globally, and last year alone the number of new CDO hires quintupled. The Chief Data Officer’s Playbookis a compendium of essential knowledge anyone operating in the current data environment must have”.
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Browse a free sample chapter on the Facet Publishing website (click on the book’s cover)