Team effort pays off
With the perseverance put in, the data analytics community has become a success on many levels—not just for its members, but for amplifying data culture across Duke. Data accessibility is woven into the group’s DNA. As Howell put it, “It's been amazing how people have been so generous with sharing information. Leadership is coming in and allowing that space to be the stage to hear from analysts and try to get feedback on how things can be improved or better. It's been really rewarding.”
Some of the major results included:
- Centralized communication for data analytics announcements, upgrades, and other information
- Established intentionality for equal access, including rotating moderators and a crowd-sourced public task board
- Improved project allocation and resources through executive support
- Provided open community discussion forum and channels for code sharing, SQL expertise, and other data analytics topics
- Highlighted shared resources, such as internal data training programs and community member-sourced style guides
Reinforcing the power of the community beyond data analytics, the core team launched a logo contest for its ever-growing members without high hopes for a big response. Instead, ideas were submitted from more than a dozen members. “If we create the space for it, it turns out people do want to share, and helpful members are happy to respond. Seeing that happen organically doesn’t feel like credit to us, it’s the group,” McDaniel said.
This is just the beginning for the Duke Analytics Community. In addition to growing its membership, it’s serving as a best practices model for putting information accessibility into action, at Duke University and beyond.
Acknowledgements: The Duke University Tableau User Group was created by Andrew Stirling and Phillip Overpeck. Howell and McDaniel thanked Stephen Blackwelder, Michael Pencina, Dan Cantrell, Nelda Bradley, Wil Burgon, and Ursula Rogers for their partnership establishing the Duke Analytics Community.