Washington University in St. Louis

University Advancement

VIRTUAL: The Power and Responsibility of Data​

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | 5:00–6:00 p.m. CDT

Join WashU faculty and staff members from Data Services and University Libraries on a discussion around big data as it relates to the Common Reading Program book this year—Weapons of Math Destruction

Data Services works with students, faculty, and staff who want to tell a data story but don’t really understand the mechanics and underestimate the complexity and time commitment in creating something worthwhile. This is compounded by tools that are so easy to use that they allow for creation of seductive visualizations without understanding the data itself. Data literacy is a core skill for these users to obtain before attempting analysis.

People often point to “the data” as evidence for action. While it’s true that data gathering, description, analysis, and communication have an enormous potential for research and decision-making, it requires intentional planning, management, solid methods and transparent methods of documentation, and data sharing to be trustworthy. The truth of the matter is, data communication, whether it’s through maps, charts, or infographics, can only tell a part of the story—usually the part that the communicator deems important. Further, readers often are not prepared to ask critical questions about the data to understand if a data presentation is meaningful or accurate, because they are not data literate.

The Data Services team will address:
- What it means to be data literate (Jennifer Moore)
- Storytelling with charts and infographics (Dorris Scott)
- Storytelling with maps (Bill Winston)
- Storytelling with code and algorithms (Mollie Webb)
- How Data Services supports data literacy on campus (Jennifer Moore)

About our Moderator:
Rudolph Clay: Rudolph is the head of Library Diversity Programs and Policy, where he helps the libraries create a welcoming, diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for library staff and for the provision of services to library users. He is actively involved in Washington University’s effort to attract a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Other responsibilities include marketing of library resources and services to students involved in undergraduate independent research and community service projects. 

About  our Panelists:
Jennifer Moore: As the head of Data Services at Washington University in St. Louis, Moore directs services in digital data management, curation, analysis, visualization, literacies, and GIS. She was a co-PI on the IMLS grant, Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation (CS3DP), which continues to bring stakeholders together to establish agreement on how to make 3D data long-lasting (book forthcoming); a partner and curator in the Data Curation Network (DCN), which has created a shared curation model for institutions; a co-PI on the IMLS Specialized Data Curation Workshop grant, which is focused on training curators in DCN methods; and the WashU representative for the Research Data Alliance, an international organization addressing research data. Moore is program faculty in International and Area Studies and a GIS instructor in the UCollege.

Dorris Scott: Dorris is the GIS librarian and social science data curator at Washington University in St. Louis, where she provides consultation on projects that use geospatial data along with providing training in various GIS software, programming applications of geospatial data, and data management. She also serves as a liaison between Washington University Libraries and social science departments, assisting faculty with their data needs such as data management and data curation. Dorris earned her PhD in Geography from the University of Georgia, with a specialization in GIS applications for public health.

Mollie Webb: Mollie Webb has been with the university since 2015 as a GIS Developer with the University Libraries and an instructor in the GIS Certificate Program at University College. In her role with the libraries, Mollie assists faculty, students, and staff with the geospatial aspects of their research.

Bill Winston: William (Bill) Winston has been a GIS Analyst at Washington University since 2009 where he works as part of the Olin Library Data Services team providing GIS training and support to faculty, students, and staff. Bill is responsible for administration of the university ArcGIS site license and our ArcGIS Online Organizations, he works on the interactive Campus Map, and he is building capacity for 3D data visualization services. Bill is also an adjunct instructor for Arts & Sciences and University College teaching courses on GIS concepts and analysis.

Cost: Complimentary, registration required

NOTE: You will receive a confirmation email after completing registration. If you do not receive one, please email alumniclubs@wustl.edu.