Michalak, R. & Rysavy, M. (2019, November). Pivot Tables are easier than you think! Simple yet powerful data visualizations for librarians with Excel. Charleston Library Conference. Charleston, South Carolina. (Workshop).


Librarians and library staff work with data collected from a variety of sources however data collection doesn’t always translate to data analysis or reporting. Lack of time, budgetary constraints prohibiting the purchase of data visualization software, and potentially steep learning curves regarding using advanced features of existing software to create meaningful data visualizations can all impact individuals’ ability and/or willingness to analyze collected data using data visualizations.

In this session, we will walk all workshop attendees through the process of turning their library data (no matter how disorganized) into meaningful data visualizations using PivotTables in Excel. We will start off the workshop by discussing types of data that are best visualized with PivotTables, using examples of PivotTable visualizations created with our library’s data. We’ll discuss basic data cleaning, and specific concerns to consider when prepping your data for visualizing with Pivot Tables. We’ll share potential limitations of pivot tables and issues that you can encounter when building PivotTables. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is encouraged and time will be provided for workshop attendees to create their own data visualizations with the assistance of the workshop presenters.

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