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DataBank: Data Inventory & Survey of Data-Related Staff Skills

Why Survey & Inventory?

To put the Library in a position to…

  • prepare for new reporting mechanisms;
  • rapidly identify and provide data to library and university decision-makers;
  • provide transparency and accessibility to data by all library staff;
  • increase efficiency through the elimination of the duplicated efforts;
  • expand its capacity to take on new projects;
  • maximize the use of existing staff skills;
  • and maximize the usefulness of data through collaborative projects across departments and divisions (e.g.,   melding perceptions of constituents with collections data).

NUL Results

Although the results are restricted to NU Library, below is a description of the project that can be reproduced at other libraries. The project involved an inventory of what data are collected, by whom, and why as well as a survey of data-related skills among staff.

NUL Results & Reports: Data Inventory and Survey of Data-Related Staff Skills

The Data-Related Staff Skills document is print-ready and 3 pages.
The Data Inventory document is print-ready and 39 pages.

Library-Wide Inventory of Data

The NUL Task Force on Data & Data Collectors designed an inventory to identify data collected throughout the library. This greatly enhances the library's opportunities to find and gather data and to use data in new creative ways. Department and unit heads were asked for information related to the following:
  1. Type of data collected?  Examples: acquisitions, circulation, monograph titles cataloged, bindery preparation, invoices, digital storage, web statistics.
  2. Who collects it?
  3. Is there data you are not collecting but would like to collect?
  4. Why? What, if anything, is it used for?  Examples: annual reports, ARL requirements, not used, space planning.
  5. What format is it in? Examples: Excel psreadsheet, on paper, DeskTracker, Google Documents
  6. Where is it stored? Examples: filing cabinet, department website, collaborative drive
  7. Is this data that can be shared with all library staff?
  8. Is this data that can be shared publically?


Inventory of Data-Related Staff Skills

The NUL Task Force on Data & Data Collectors created a survey designed to discover library staff member’s interest in data-related activities, skills and experience, regardless of whether these skills or interests are currently being utilized.  The results of this survey could help to identify and maximize the use of existing staff skills, maximize collaborative projects across departments, and expand capacity to take on new projects through development of new skills sets.
The survey contained just 3 questions and could be completed in 3-4 minutes:
1. How would you rate your proficiency in each of the following areas?
2. Regardless of your proficiency in these areas, would you be interested in participating in projects related to the following if the circumstance arose?
3. Do you have other skills or interests related to data or metrics--e.g., text analysis, GIS, citation analysis? Please identify the activity and indicate whether this is a skill you have or an interest of yours.
Areas of expertise listed in Q.1 and Q.2:
Access (Microsoft software)
Creation of Graphs & Charts
Data analysis & interpretation
Data archiving & storage
Ethnographic research design
Focus groups research design
Pre/post activities testing
Pre-processing/dleaning data
Qualitative research methods
Statistical software (SPSS, SAS, Stata, etc.)
Statistics (descriptive, regression
Survey instrument design
Survey research design (sampliing, time-series, training)
Usability tests
Voyager data extraction