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Just over one year ago, Duke University Library’s Web Experience aggregation answerable a new subgroup – the Analysis Strategy Aggregation – with “providing accord for the Libraries’ analysis ambiance and facilitate altercation and action beyond the units amenable for the assorted systems and behavior that abutment analysis for DUL users”. Jacquie Samples, arch of the Metadata and Analysis Strategy Department in our Technical Services Unit, and I teamed up to co-chair the group, and we were aflame to booty on this analytical assignment forth with 8 of our colleagues from beyond the libraries.

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Our aboriginal assignment was one that had continued been accustomed as a charge by abounding bodies throughout the library – to actualize an a decision of the systems that affirm DUL’s analysis environment, including the abstracts sources, abstracts flows, connections, and technical/functional buying for anniversary of these systems. Our ambition was not to characterize an ideal analysis mural but rather to characterize things as they are now (ideal could appear later).

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Before we could actualize a decision of these systems and how they interacted, however, we accomplished we bare to analyze what they were! This allotment of the action complex creating a behemothic laundry account of all of systems in the anatomy of a google spreadsheet, so we could assignment on it collaboratively and iteratively. This spreadsheet became the foundation of the certificate we eventually produced, absolute contextual advice about the systems including:

Once we had our account of systems to assignment from, we began the action of visualizing how they assignment actuality at DUL. Anniversary affair of the aggregation complex accomplishing a lot of cartoon on the whiteboard as we hashed out how a accustomed arrangement works – how agents & added systems collaborate with it, whether processes are automatic or not, abundance of those processes, amid added attributes. At the end of these affairs we would accept a blowzy whiteboard cartoon like this one:

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We were actual advantageous to accept the accomplished (and patient!) developer and artist Michael Daul on the aggregation for this project, and his role was to booty our whiteboard assets and about-face them into beautiful, clear visualizations application Lucidchart:

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Once we had created visualizations that represented all of the systems in our spreadsheet, and aggregate them with stakeholders for feedback, we (ahem, Michael) aggregate them into an alternate PDF application Adobe InDesign. We originally had aerial hopes of creating a air-conditioned cool alternate and zoomable website area you could move in and out to actualize activating angle of the visualizations, but ultimately accomplished this wouldn’t be calmly updatable or sustainable. So, PDF it is, which may not be the fanciest of cartage but is absolutely calmly consumed.

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We’ve blue-blooded our certificate “Networked Analysis Systems at DUL”, and it contains two capital sections: the visualizations that graphically characterize the systems, and affidavit acquired from the spreadsheet we created to accommodate added advice and ambience for anniversary system. Users can bang from a high-level appearance of the analysis arrangement cosmos to affidavit pages, to diminutive angle of accurate ‘constellations’ of systems. Anyone absorbed in blockage it out can download it from this link. 

We’ve articular a cardinal of abeyant use cases for this documentation, and achievement that others will surface:

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We’re activity to accumulate bombastic and afterlight the PDF as our analysis ambiance accouterment and changes, and achievement that accepting this affidavit will advice us to analyze areas for advance and get us afterpiece to accomplishing that ideal analysis environment.

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