Murphy, S. A. (2015). How data visualization supports academic library assessment: Three examples from The Ohio State University Libraries using Tableau. College & Research Libraries News, 76(9), 482-486.
This article describes the Ohio State University (OSU) Libraries used Tableau, a data visualization program, to display data for 3 different projects. The first project features an interactive word cloud that library users can use to explore materials on human trafficking (http://go.osu.edu/OSUL_HumanTraffickingAwareness). The second project helps inform library faculty and staff on collection use, such as the number of times a rare item has been requested. The third project helps library faculty and staff filter, query, and visualize the results of LibQual surveys.
Although other programs, such as Microsoft Excel, have similar features (e.g. text lookup, data filtering, data graphing), Tableau simplifies the process of making useful data visualizations. It can create these visualizations from a variety of data sources. OSU library users, staff, and faculty at OSU have reported that they make understanding the data much easier, which can aid the Libraries in demonstrating their impact and in decision making.