Bringing Data to Life: a Successful Data Analysis Workshop

 In News

Community-based water monitoring organizations from across Atlantic Canada traveled to Moncton in December to take part in Atlantic Water Network’s Data to Action workshop. Over the course of one-and-a-half days, organizations gained insight into all things data: from management to analysis to communication. While not always thought of as the most glamorous, proper data management and analysis are important (and fun!) steps in any water monitoring program.

Following the success of last winter’s Water to Web workshop on data management using Atlantic DataStream, AWN’s Data to Action workshop was designed to dive further into data analysis, introducing tools made specifically for community groups across Atlantic Canada. While it’s easy to collect water data over the field season, it takes careful thought to know what to do with it all. The right analysis can transform water quality data into pivotal knowledge about local lakes, rivers, and watersheds.

Over the course of the workshop, participants were reunited with the ins and outs of Atlantic DataStream, got their hands dirty with analysis tools in both R and Excel, and learned about a number of ways to communicate water data analysis results to their communities! From calculating the Water Quality Index at various locations, to plotting different information about the parameters collected, all of the R tools were designed to take in DataStream-formatted data and produce valuable information. The resources explored in the workshop can be found here.

We can’t wait to see the analysis results that our community partners make with the tools and communication strategies presented at the workshop! Atlantic Water Network hopes to continue providing data resources to elevate the incredible water monitoring work that is happening throughout Atlantic Canada. With that being said, data analysis should be as unique as the organization that is collecting the data. If there is a specific form of analysis you would like to create but don’t know where to start, please do not hesitate to contact our office and we can make the right analysis resources for your group together.

The smiles and feedback throughout the workshop proved that data analysis is more than just a boring-but-necessary step in water monitoring programs, but a truly exciting way to see water quality data come to life. Thank you to our attendees who helped make this workshop a huge success!

“This was a great workshop and I am very glad I was in attendance. The AWN staff were very helpful and knowledgeable!”

Does all this talk about water data spark a joy in you? Stay up to date with all things water data by following us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and keeping up with our #WaterDataWednesday hashtag! To be notified of future workshops, sign up for our mailing list. To find workshop materials, check out our workshops page.

This workshop series was made possible with support from the Government of New Brunswick and The Gordon Foundation.

By Laura Chandler