Andi Ogier has recently been appointed University Libraries’ assistant dean and director of data services. She now reports to the dean of University Libraries and guides strategic actions to improve the library’s embedded role in data-intensive research and affiliated research policies. She is also re-setting the strategy for library-wide metadata strategies.

“In service to advancing university-based research, our data-related programs have emerged as one of the top priorities for the library,” said University Libraries Dean Tyler Walters. “Elevating these concerns to assistant dean-level leadership communicates their strategic importance within the library, across the university, and to other universities nationally and internationally.”

Ogier is planning to spend the next few years focused on assessing the impact the library’s data services area has on Virginia Tech’s research enterprise. 

“We’re planning to ramp up and assess our data sharing infrastructure,” said Ogier. “In a world where viruses like the coronavirus are running rampant throughout populations, making sure that research done on diseases like COVID-19 is well-curated and easily shared is vital for our efforts to combat the virus. The research and policy work currently being done in the public health sphere is absolutely vital to this effort; but navigating the restrictions and rules on sharing the data that underlie these research and policies is extremely time intensive.”

In her new role, Ogier’s goal is to develop expertise and services within the library that can help researchers quickly and easily find the information they need so that their research and data can be used to make a difference. 

“We will help researchers prep their data so that it’s useful to other researchers, clinicians, and policy makers, while ensuring that any personal or private information is kept secure,” said Ogier. “We want researchers to understand that sharing their data isn’t all-or-nothing, there are layers to these decisions that we can help them navigate.”

Ogier has been with the University Libraries at Virginia Tech since 2008 when she was hired as a serials specialist. She worked on serials and electronic resource management while earning her master of library information science. The summer before she finished her graduate degree, she took a short leave from the library and worked as an intern in the Scientific Data Consulting Group at the University of Virginia. 

After she earned her degree, she began a position as the data science and informatics librarian in research and informatics at Virginia Tech, which later became the director of data services. 

“There was quite a bit of demand and I was quickly overwhelmed as the data science and informatics librarian,” said Ogier. “So the library created a data services team with three people in the summer of 2014. It has grown to nearly 20 data consultants today, not including our student employees. Currently, the services our team offers covers everything I was trying to put into place as a data science and informatics librarian, and I’ve tried to stay true to that original vision.”

She sees her position and team as data collaborators for researchers across campus, so Virginia Tech research has the greatest societal impact as possible. 

“I think there are many connections that we, the University Libraries, can make across campus that will make research at Virginia Tech more efficient for researchers,” said Ogier. “Researchers, whether faculty or students, should be spending their time innovating and solving the world’s big problems — our job is to provide data services that make their jobs easier.”

Written by:  Ann Brown