Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Seeing the Story: Making Data Visualization Accessible to Natural History Collections through the Creation of Custom-Made Dashboards and Resources
by Mailhot, Jessica, M.S., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2020, 114; 27960511
Abstract (Summary)

Natural history collections (NHCs) play an irreplaceable role in research of global importance. Data have become central to how NHCs manage and share their holdings, and how they quantify their impact. Data visualization has rich potential for addressing NHCs’ specific objectives and needs by employing design principles, specialized technology, and cognitive science to encode data into visual graphics. These tools, especially dashboards, have already begun proving their potential in NHCs for a variety of datasets and audiences. However, this frontier is still relatively new, and there are a number of barriers preventing all NHCs and their staff from utilizing data visualization, including time and resources, programming experience, profession-specific training materials, and consistency between existing examples. This project aims to directly address these barriers by designing a suite of dashboards for specific NHC tasks using the free and user-friendly Tableau Public software, as well as tutorials that walk users through how to get their copy of a dashboard template, import their data, and make customizations. A user-centered design process collected input from a representative pool of the target audience to hone the final products. These materials will be freely available on a website including a discussion board, contact portal, and additional resources. This hub of custom-made tools and materials will make data visualization attainable and accessible for all NHCs, big or small.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCain, Christy M.
Commitee: Kociolek, J. Patrick, Braker, Emily
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Museum Studies
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 81/12(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Museum studies, Information science, Design
Keywords: Collection management, Collections, Dashboard, Data visualization, Information visualization, Museums
Publication Number: 27960511
ISBN: 9781083631183
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