We’re scheduled and advertising!

After a few starts and stops due to room availability, the Utah Data Dive is now officially scheduled and invitations are going out. (It turned out that I was not able to get one room for two days anywhere on campus. Nor, for that matter, could I find one anywhere in Utah County that cost less than a $1000, when the budget for space was exactly $0.)

The important information, as shown on the front page, is this:

  • Location: Utah Valley University, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem UT 84058 [interactive map]
  • Friday, 27 March 2015: 9am – 7pm in room 206 of the Sorensen Student Center [complimentary breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks]
  • Saturday, 28 March 2015: 9am – 4pm in room 101 of the Liberal Arts Building [complimentary breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks]

We’re still working on a number of other details but it’s all under way! And, given the difficulty in getting the space, we’ve already started looking at the schedules for fall of 2015 and spring of 2016 for the next iteration of this event, which may or may not be at Utah Valley University. If you’re interested in having it at your school, please let me know! Email Bart at UtahDataDive@gmail.com.


Taking It on the Road

Two of my fabulous UVU students – David Anderson and Tanner Nackos – who attended the A2 Data Dive with me back in November of 2013, have been giving presentations about the Utah Data Dive (as well as the UVU Data Lab) at several conferences.

  • Nackos, Tanner D., Anderson, David J., Nuesmeyer, Kristen C., & Poulson, Barton (2014, April). Data Dives as Engaged Research and Learning: A Retrospective and Prospective Report. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Psychology Association, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Nackos, Tanner D., Anderson, David J., & Poulson, Barton (2014, March). The UVU Data Lab and the Utah Data Dive: Applied data science for the social sciences. Paper presented at the annual Scholarship of Teaching and Engagement (SoTE) Conference at Utah Valley University, Orem, UT.
  • Anderson, David J., Nackos, Tanner D., & Poulson, Barton (2014, February). Bringing data science to the social sciences: The UVU Data Lab. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, Provo, UT.

(By the way, Kristen Nuesmeyer, who is listed on the top reference, is one of the academic advisors for our department and an enthusiastic supporter of the project, as well.)

We Came. We Saw. We Dove. (with video)

We went to the A2 Data Dive – David, Tanner, and Bart – and it was a great experience! The event was organized by students in the School of Information at the University of Michigan and went beautifully. The three of us ended up working on a project for the Ann Arbor District Library, who presented us with data on hold requests over the last three years – over four million rows of data (!) and the largest dataset yet at this event. David and Tanner provided valuable service as data dive ethnographers by taking copious notes on the event and how it could eventually be adapted for the Utah Data Dive. Bart (that’s me) spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to work with a dataset that large, as R took several minutes to load it (even with my fancy computer). Fortunately, there were many hard-core programmer types in our group and one of them boiled down the dataset from one-row-per-request (over 4 million rows) to one-row-per-user (about 54,000 rows). Much better. I eventually decided to work with SPSS and got some good work done before the event was over.

The people were wonderful, the food was wonderful, the data was wonderful. I’m going to invite David and Tanner to submit guest posts to say more about this event. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos to demonstrate that we actually made it there and participated. There’s David on the left and Tanner on the right in the top photo, and I have a screen grab from the video the organizers made in the bottom photo


Bart at the A2 Data Dive copy

And here are the three of us listening to one of the nonprofit presenters:

A2 Data Dive copy

By the way, here are a few additional links to info and photos from the event:

Off to the A2 Data Dive (with videos)

A2 Data Dive Logo

A couple of students and I will get on the plane in a few hours to go to the A2 Data Dive! And while the event itself is this Saturday and Sunday, there have also been three preparatory meetings called “Data Jams.” Although we were not able to attend those – we are, after all, 1600 miles away – the organizers have been kind enough to post videos on their YouTube page.Those videos, along with the intro video, are also embedded below.

Introduction to the A2 Data Dive

Data Jam 1: Data Cleaning

Data Jam 2: Answering Questions with Data

Data Jam 3: Pivot Tables