Visualization Specialist

Posted to IASSIST on: 2016-09-23

Employer: Harvard College Library

Employer URL:


Reporting to the Head, Social Sciences and Visualization in the unit for Maps, Media, Data and Government Information, the Visualization Specialist works with staff and faculty to identify hardware and software needs, and to develop scalable, sustainable practices related to data visualization services. This position designs and delivers workshops and training sessions on data visualization tools and methods, and develops a range of instructional materials to support library users with data visualization needs in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  

The Visualization Specialist will coordinate responsibilities with other unit staff and may supervise student employees.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Advises, consults, instructs, and serves as technical lead with data visualization projects with library, faculty teaching, and courses where students are using data.  
  • Identifies, evaluates and recommends new and emerging digital research tools for the Libraries and Harvard research community.
  • Develops and supports visualization services in response to current trends, teaching and learning–especially as it intersects with Library collections and programs.
  • Collaborates in developing ideas and concepts effectively across diverse interdisciplinary audiences and serves as a point person for data visualization and analysis efforts in the Libraries and is attuned to both the quantitative and qualitative uses with datasets. Understands user needs for disseminating their visualizations as either static objects for print publications or interactive online objects to engage with.
  • Develops relationships with campus units supporting digital research, including the Center for Government and International Studies, Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences, and Harvard Library Central Services, and academic departments engaged in data analysis and visualization.
  • Develops, collects, and curates exemplar data sets from multiple fields to be used in visualization workshops and training materials


  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library or Information Science OR advanced degree in Social Sciences, Psychology, Design, Informatics, Statistics, or Humanities.
  • Minimum of 3 years experience in working with data analysis and visualization in an academic setting.
  • Demonstrated experience with data visualization tools and programming libraries.
  • Proficiency with at least one programming language (such as Python and R).
  • Ability to use a variety of tools to extract and manipulate data from various sources (such as relational databases, XML, web services and APIs).
  • Demonstrated technical expertise and experience using technology to support research and teaching.
  • Experience providing instruction or research consultations.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong commitment to public service.


  • Background working in a large academic community.
  • Experience supporting data analysis and visualization in a research setting.
  • Experience working effectively with a team to plan and complete projects.
  • Proficiency using tools and programming libraries to support text analysis.
  • Familiarity with geospatial technology.
  • Experience identifying and recommending new tools, technologies, and online delivery of visualizations.
  • Graphic design skills and proficiency using relevant software.

Archived on: 2016-09-27