Tuesday, July 06, 2010

CCCU Technology Conference Data

So today I am set to start on my data compilation adventure for CCCU Conference on Technology. I have the data, now how to compile it? I think there are just too many choices. I just need to get started and go for it. Originally, I thought my "job" was to compile attendees from past years which I was getting ready to do until I attended my commission meeting at Bethel University in June and found out that I was suppose to create a working document that compiles information from other conferences and a checklist of what to do so that we can help others put on their conference. Prior to that, I was creating an Access database which I could easily do, now I have to go a completely different direction.

This makes me think about information in general. What is useful to others and what is not? Where should it be kept? And, how should it be compiled so that it is user friendly for others? In the case of the conference, should it be an Excel workbook full of numbers? Should it be a Word document full of how-tos? Should it be a combination of both? Information is just data until it is put in a user friendly format. Otherwise it could just be 0s and 1s. Then it needs to be kept somewhere for others to easily access it. Should it be in "the cloud" or kept on a university's site? If it is kept at a university's site, what if something happens to the person who is storing it? Will it get blown away when the person leaves?

Today, a couple of us who serve on the Commission on Technology were discussing where the past conferences were held so I decided to try to figure it out without asking "the old timers." I did what any good researcher would do, I turned to Google. I can only find back as far as 2005 when I Google the conference or go to the CCCU site. I know that it goes back further than that because I have data back to 2002. I also know it goes back further because I attended conferences further back than the data I currently hold. Well, I guess it is time to do what any good historian would do and interview the "the old timers" to start with and then start compiling my information in a user-friendly format and create an archive where others can retrieve the data easily! Back to Square 1!

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