IAS Students Learn Data Visualization through Community Engagement


This summer, students in IAS faculty member Katherine Cook’s BIS 232: Data Visualization course partnered with WithinReach, an organization that does policy work around immunizations and breastfeeding, in addition to connecting families to food, child development, and health care access. 

WithinReach provided the BIS 232 course with national and state level data on breastfeeding. Students then used Tableau's academic program to manipulate the data into graphs, tables, scatter plots, and heat maps to bring the data alive.

Students made a formal presentation to WithinReach's staff members at the end of the quarter. The resulting data visualizations will have a life beyond the end of this summer’s class.  They will be used by the organization in grant applications, policy work, annual reports, and strategic planning to guide their focus on breastfeeding.