Data Visualization Workshop Attendee Interviews

Instructors of NCSU Libraries’ data visualization workshops interviewed 10 participants in April 2016 to learn how to improve future workshops. Among other findings below, participants told us they liked the content of the data visualization workshops and would like additional, related workshops.


Research Questions

  1. What worked well in the Data Visualization Workshop Series?

  2. What could have been improved in the Data Visualization Workshop Series?

  3. What future areas would users prefer we explore in the the Data Visualization Workshop Series?

What we found

What worked well:

  • The signup process was easy, and our reminder emails were appreciated.
  • Attendees valued the hands-on approach of these workshops.
  • Attendees tended to discover the workshops via the library’s website.
  • Workshop content matched expectations.
  • Reasons for signing up tended to be career related and for exposure to new software programs.
  • Attendees have used what they learned in research and/or publications - the main softwares used were Tableau, OpenRefine, and Giphy.
  • Friday was a good date and time.

What could be improved:

  • Create more opportunities for attendees to go deeper following the activity.
  • Broaden the reach of the marketing material in advance of the semester.
  • Better identify and utilize the experience, skills, and contacts of the attendees for possible "guest" instructor slots.
  • Offer some workshops in Hunt.
  • Offer PC options and mouse.
  • Offer more exploration and practice time following the conclusion of the workshop.
  • The ability to sign up for multiple workshops at once.

Recommendations and Changes

  1. Create consecutive beginning, intermediate, and advanced workshops.

  2. Offer additional workshops in areas like: text mining, Python, Advanced R.

  3. Add a variety of locations (Hill and Hunt) - one user suggested we offer these workshops following Coffee & Viz.

  4. Open up the wait-list.

  5. Explore recording and webinar options for the workshops.


Total number of participants: 10 graduate students, all of whom attended the entire workshop series (all five sessions).

How We Did It

We -- workshop instructors Alison Blaine, Integrated Learning Librarian, and Jennifer Garrett, Research Librarian for Management, Education and Social Sciences -- had a sign-in sheet at each workshop. We identified interview candidates from these and then contacted candidates via email. We created a Google Form for keeping track of interview questions and responses. We met users at the Hill of Beans Coffee Bar in the D. H. Hill Library. One person took notes while the other asked questions.