Strategic Planning Update #8

The Strategic Planning Committee is very excited to announce that the Tag Wrangling report is complete and ready to be released to the wider public. Before that happens, we just want to talk a little bit about what it means to use “aggregate data.” Basically, to aggregate data means to combine the data from different measurements, and then summarize that data.

Some of the information we gathered from the Tag Wrangling team was extremely straightforward. For example, one of the questions on our survey for the volunteer tag wranglers was “How many fandoms do you wrangle?” The data for this is easy to parse (although interpreting the meaning of this data can be more complex).

How many fandoms do you wrangle? Number of Responses
1 0
2 – 5 10
6 – 10 7
10 – 15 9
16 – 20 7
20+ 29
Total 62

Many of the questions we asked, however, were much more complex and complicated, and required freeform answers. One of the ways we discussed the data in the freeform answers was to go through and make categories for the data for each question. We then basically made hash marks to indicate which answers fell into which categories. Here is an example using the question “Which training tools do you feel were most helpful for you as a new wrangler?”

Tool Number of responses
Wiki tutorials 49
Mailing list 31
Chat 9
Forums 9
Wiki pages (non-tutorial) 6
Non-mailing list discussion (email, journals) 2
Training sessions 2
Mentoring 1
Historical record 1

This may seem relatively easy data to understand, but notes about training tools and useful resources were also made by respondents in answers to questions such as…

  • What else do you feel could have been done to help increase your readiness?
  • Are there any Tag Wrangling processes, procedures, or guidelines which you find hinder your ability to wrangle effectively or be an effective volunteer?
  • Which Tag Wrangling processes, procedures, and guidelines do you feel are most helpful to you in being an effective wrangler?
  • What, if anything, would you change about the processes and procedures of the Tag Wrangling team?
  • What is the biggest issue within the Tag Wrangling team (procedural or otherwise) that you would like to see addressed?

So, for example, while mentoring was only brought up by one person in that first question, it was actually mentioned nine times throughout the entire survey by at least five different people — which is reflected in the aggregate of the data.

(Another good example is the Tag Wrangling internal wiki section, which is available to the volunteer tag wranglers — of the 55 volunteer wranglers who answered that particular question, all 55 noted the internal wiki as being helpful; throughout the entire survey, the wiki was mentioned as being helpful 74 times total.)

One of the things you may note about the textual data used to create the aggregate numbers for the report is that the numbers may look strange even in the charts we use. This is because many respondents listed several items — so, for example, the total respondent number may be 15, but the number of responses is 40, because each person contributed more than one thought.

The Tag Wrangling report will be released at the beginning of February. It has two appendices, one with the straightforward data as charts and tables (done to the standards set out by the Survey workgroup), and one with the “textual data” — our numbers and categories as shown above. However, it is important to note that these appendices only reflect the answers given to the surveys and do not contain the information we received through email and chat interviews and other venues.

If you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share with the Strategic Planning Committee, please feel free to get in touch with us using our direct contact form.