Data Visualization Workshop for Penn Staff

August 17, 2017 | JMHH 240 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

This Data Visualization workshop will consist of two parts. Pinjia Lao, Associate Director of Penn’s Office of Institutional Research & Analysis, will lead an interactive intro to Tableau, a widely used and user-friendly visualization tool, using sample data provided within the software.

Manuel de La Cruz Gutierrez and Jacob Levernier from Penn Libraries will give an overview of the What and the Why questions around visualizing data, broadly, as well as guidelines for best practices.

**Please have Tableau installed on your laptop IN ADVANCE of this workshop. Information on a 14 day free trial can be found here. For installation support, please email to arrange an appointment.

Survey Design Workshop: Creating Surveys that Measure what you Actually Want to Measure

August 31, 2017 | JMHH 270 | 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

People are often poor participants in research. They are inconsistent (e.g., reading questions differently than a survey author intended), complex (e.g., refusing to distill their thoughts about a topic into the one specific aspect a researcher is trying to measure), and biased (e.g., answering either to impress or to spite a researcher).

Unfortunately, people are also often poor authors of research surveys. They write items that are inconsistent (e.g., worded differently throughout a survey in a way that fatigues respondents), complex (e.g., asking multiple questions as part of a single item), and biased (e.g., leading a participant toward a particular response).

This workshop, led by Jacob Levernier, will address the latter in the hope of minimizing the effects of the former.

Topics will include:

  • Why people are bad at answering survey questions (impression management, being affected by moment-to-moment circumstances, different people having different baseline responses, and more!)
  • Preventing bias
  • Types of responses (covering topics like this:
  • What does “measuring” psychological traits mean? What is a “valid” measure?
    • What makes for a “good” survey item?
  • Creating surveys using Qualtrics ( (High-level overview of Qualtrics’ interface and functionality)
  • (If we have time and there’s interest) Advanced features of Qualtrics, which could include:
    • Complex survey flows
    • Using Qualtrics’ API (using as an example some code I released several years ago for showing users customized graphs of their responses vs. the average response)

Please use the form below to register for the workshop(s)

Penn Staff Workshops Form

  • To register for this event, you must provide a valid UPenn email address.
    WCAI Office Hours would include: help with Canvas content/homework, answer any data questions, help with software/tools or workflow. Please email for more information