Peace Ossom Williamson
Health Sciences Librarian
Research Impact Dashboard

We have a department in our library focused on faculty support and research impact analysis. In partnership with this department,  I took on the task of creating a Tableau dashboard of a researchers’ PlumX data. We also had a bit more data from their pulling Web of Science and Google Scholar data.

Looking through this researcher’s work was definitely a challenge. For about 45 works, there were less than 10 with data. So, I began to explore the data, fill in gaps in the spreadsheet (like publication types and titles), and look at other research impact dashboards created at other institutions. There were a number of works for which she received a great amount of social media activity. Although it’s difficult to assess altmetrics, one of the benefits of looking at that data is you may see great activity you would have otherwise missed. In this case, her role as the first black Oceanography PhD-holder and her roles in promoting diversity in STEM were receiving lots of activity through YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter while her discipline-specific research was getting more traditional metrics, like citations, abstract views, and downloads.

Because I wanted to tell a story about her research, and because I wanted to avoid reading into the data, I chose not to total, average, or otherwise summarize her data as I wanted to represent what was there, what I found.

Long story short, creating custom visualizations in Tableau definitely requires brushing up on those math skills and proportion calculations that I haven’t fully mastered (see chart in bottom right corner), but I came up with something I say is pretty good for a novice.

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