Digital Strategy and Skills Development – A Balancing Act #anzreg2018

Digital Strategy and Skills Development – A Balancing Act
Masud Khokhar

“A short history of an ambitious team who curbed their enthusiasm for the larger good” / “of an ambitious team who told their evil overlord to shh and calm down”

Team works to enhance reach/impact/potential of digital and research – partnering with researchers which can lead to moments of optimism.

Key drivers – rapid tech changes, impact of machine learning, growth of digital scholarships, need for evidence-driven decision making, lack of general purpose digital skills and way of thinking among non-tech staff. At Lancaster added ‘digitally innovative’ to its strategy; have a digital vision for university (digital research / digital teaching and learning / digital engagement).

So library needed to be digitally innovative, digitally fluent; diversity of thinking as core principle – formed innovation group to actively seek partnerships, build confidence, develop leadership, inspire creativity. Wanted to get insight into customer behaviour to develop data-driven services.

Most ideas actually turned out to be non-digital in nature – some required digital work, more required cultural change!

Ideas/projects

  • A Primo learning wizard for first-time users (but most people don’t log in so issues with them seeing it again and again).
  • Research data shared service – repository, preservation, reporting – collaboration with 15 institutions. Looking at a framework agreement/interoperability standard so variety of vendors can be on board – no matter what repository you use, it talks to a messaging layer which connects to aggregators, preservation services, reporting and analytics, institutional or external services.
  • Data Management Administration Online (sister to DMPonline) – about to be launched as a service – gives a birds eye view of all RDM/open science services at your institution. Can set KPIs, benchmark against similar institutions – has multiple views (DVC / librarian / data manager / IT manager etc). API driven including Tableau connector. Based on Jisc Research Data shared services and on messaging layer.
  • Mint – doi minting tool (open source to work with PURE)
  • Library digitisation service / copyright compliance for content in Moodle. Reports on downloads and usage
  • Leganto implementation (migrated from Talis). Developed some Moodle integration: https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_leganto
  • Noise reporting – part of indoor mapping system – users can select where they are and give comments on noisiness – system provides heatmaps and helps detect common patterns. Can extend this for fault reporting, safety reporting.
  • Labs environment for quick-and-dirty eg library opening hours; research connections (extracting data from PURE, Scopus, SciVal, and twitter APIs; preservation of research data – extracting from Pure into Archivematica (not in prod but possible); research data metadata (rdf based on Pure data); research outputs announcements (generated from Pure metadata for Twitter announcements; again not in prod but possible).

But when focused on learning machine learning etc and all the exciting stuff, it’s at the expense of real needs. So for snazzy stuff did learn and adopt Amazon infrastructure and a local caching infrastructure for Alma data, some IoT infrastructure (beacon based, sensor based eg noise and temperature, thermal imaging for people counting), natural language touch points eg messenger/Slack bots.

Have decided that every process will be reviewed with digital as part of it. Introducing more Excel skills with training; Alma analytics training; analytical thinking in general. Trying to embed digital team in all library processes

Looking at the Rapid Improvement Exercises model

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.