Data Services

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The University Libraries offers data services which promote the development of proficiencies in finding, generating, processing, analyzing and visualizing data, as well as data computation. Our team of experts helps members of the Virginia Tech community develop skills in data science and enhance the local and global impact of data-enabled research and curricular innovations.

Support Areas

Good data management practices contribute to successful research projects. Curating and publishing datasets can also contribute to advances in science and scholarship. Our services are designed to support researchers in both of these activities.

We offer data management and curation support for researchers at the ‘bookends’ of the research lifecycle, in the research planning stage, and when publishing and disseminating research outputs such as data and code/software.

Planning for your data management from the outset of your research project improves the efficiency and soundness of your research.  Planning also makes it easier for others (and you!) to re-use the data and software you generate after your research project is completed.

Contact us for assistance with a data management plan (DMP), to publish a or with other research data management questions.  We will respond promptly and are ready to help!

We have expertise in assisting researchers with finding and citing datasets for both research projects and for use in courses.  Contact us or visit our Finding Datasets page to explore on your own.

Our curation services help you increase the impact of the research you conduct at Virginia Tech! We can enhance the discoverability, interoperability, and reusability of your research data. Our curation services include:

  • Publishing your data in VTechData, our research data repository,

  • Finding other appropriate repositories for your research data,

  • Enhancing the metadata surrounding your research data, and

  • Converting your research data to open and widely-used formats, where appropriate.

Geospatial Data Services in the University Libraries provides for the discovery and use of geospatial data by the Virginia Tech community and provides consultative assistance and training with the use of geospatial data mapping, visualization and analysis applications such as QGIS and ArcGIS. Go to the Geospatial Data page for more information.

DataBridge is a student research program in the  University Libraries that provides academic and real-world research experiences to undergraduate students from any major. This program connects the theoretical and practical application of data- and informatics-centric skills by offering students an opportunity to work collaboratively on a variety of research projects and consults supervised by faculty. Student work directly impacts research at Virginia Tech and encourages interdisciplinary learning for students. Concepts of open science and data are also promoted.

Students gain experience in:

  • applying data science to solve research problems
  • gaining in-demand skills in data and informatics

  • peer-peer learning and mentorship

  • navigating boundaries between novices and experts in a structured research  environment

  • working in a tight-knit cohort of students managed by Data Services

  • working collaboratively on research from different disciplines, enhancing transdisciplinary learning

Students interested in joining DataBridge can apply via Handshake or email Dr. Anne M. Brown (ambrown7@vt.edu) and Jonathan Briganti (jonbrig@vt.edu) for more information. 

We also offer undergraduate research experiences in molecular modeling, bioinformatics, and computational biology to support our science informatics consulting. Contact the Science Informatics and Health Analytics Coordinator, Anne M. Brown (ambrown7@vt.edu) for more information.

The University Libraries has a team of highly qualified and discipline-specific data consultants in the following fields: Engineering, Science, Digital Arts & Visualization, and the Social Sciences. We offer free consultations to and collaborations with the research community at Virginia Tech. Our data consultants routinely walk through research problems with researchers (both faculty and students) and help them gain new knowledge and practice. 

We also offer help for researchers who want to integrate advanced technologies like Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Computational Biology, and Qualitative Methods into their projects. We help researchers assess whether a new technology or technique will help achieve their goals, and understand the feasiblity of this integration into their research projects. We can also provide resources to learn and can guide their work as it progresses.

To learn more, email us at dataservices@vt.edu

Data Education offers free workshops that are open to anyone on collecting, processing, analyzing, and visualizing data with a variety of popular programs, including:

  • Python

  • Nvivo

  • Adobe Creative Suite

  • Tableau

  • PyMOL

  • Stata

  • Speadsheets (Sheets & Excel)

  • Qualtrics and Survey Design

  • GIS tools (ARCGIS and Kepler)

Our campus partners in the University LibrariesSAIG and TLOS offer additional workshops on poster design, 3D printing, virtual reality, SAS, R and more! Grad students looking for a strong research foundation can also take 1-credit seminars in Library Research Skills (GRAD 5124) and Data Management Skills (GRAD 5024).

Upcoming workshops are found on the Library Calendar and are also eligible for faculty PDN credit. All workshops hosted by Data Education are available both on site and remotely (via Zoom). 

We also provide instructional consultation, guest lectures, and custom workshops for your lab or class on data analytics and digital literacy. For more information, email Data Education Coordinator Nathaniel Porter or book a consultation online.

Data Visualization can encompass any data or information that needs to be formatted and have a visual interface in order to be seen, understood, and interacted with. We also can help with user interface (UI) design and interaction design (IxD) for interactive projects. Our team of experts has a portfolio of work that ranges from custom infographics and icons, maps (geospatial/network), charts and graphs, and academic posters, to the visualization and design of large abstract networks, and more! We help make you and your data and research shine.

Some of our past workshop titles and presentations include:

  • Introduction and Advanced Tableau

  • Creating Effective Charts, Graphs, Infographics, and other Visualizations of Data

  • Introduction to Kepler.gl (geospatial mapping)

  • How to Make an Infographic

  • Visualization Design and Animation with Adobe After Effects

  • Introduction to Adobe Spark

  • Introduction and Intermediate Data Visualization Design with Adobe Illustrator

  • Designing Effective Academic Posters

  • Introduction to Network Visualizations using GEPHI and Inkscape/Adobe Illustrator

If you need one-on-one help, have a request for a workshop or class presentations, or have questions about data visualization, graphic/interaction design, or simply methods and techniques for communicating information graphically and effectively, contact us at dataservices@vt.edu