Data Peer Consulting

That problem you’ve been working on?

Data Peers are on campus to help.

By Ross Mattheis

Where can I find data about the alternative workforce? How can I make my graphs like FiveThirtyEight? Wait, the library has access to Stata? Where do I go to learn python/R/ArcGIS? How can I scrape information from a website? What is scraping anyhow?

The library’s data peer consulting was created to help you answer those questions, or at least to point in the right direction.

Why Data Peer Consulting?

Because research should have as few barriers to entry as possible! Berkeley has an amazing wealth of resources designated for supporting researchers with technical problems. However, the size of the institution often makes it difficult or intimidating to navigate. For example, has anyone actually ever been to all twenty three libraries? I’m only up to sixteen. Consequently, undergraduates may be missing out on helpful resources while the same services are under-utilized.

Peer consulting helps guide you through the maze of campus resources. Peers are well positioned to offer guidance to other students because they’ve been through the same learning process recently. Peer to peer work is already massively successful on campus (through services like the Student Learning Center, departmental major advising, Undergraduate Research Advising) and elsewhere.

Who is Data Peer Consulting for?

All Berkeley undergraduates! If you’re working on a thesis, a URAP project, an independent project, or you’re just curious about a particular tool, source, or service, Data Peer Consulting was made for you. No question is too basic or too advanced to bring to the consulting desk. So far, Data Peer Consultants have helped students with honors thesis, URAP projects, and that “one-tricky” coding problem. One caveat: as with other library services, Peer Consulting is not intended to provide homework help. You’d be better served at departmental support services, or the Student Learning Center.  

One of the main objectives of Data Peer Consulting is to provide undergraduates with a first point of contact for technical research guidance. There are so many wonderful services set up to help students with technical research tools (e.g. teaching python or accessing high performance computing resources), so rather than replicate these efforts, Data Peer Consultants aim to provide help when possible and references to other campus resources when appropriate.  

Who are Data Peers?

 

Data peers are undergraduate students with amazing skills and a passion for working with other students. Peer consultants come from all academic backgrounds; math, cognitive science, statistics, legal studies, computer science, business, and geology (to name a few). Peer consultants help out with data visualization, data analysis, GIS, coding languages like R/Python/Java/Stata/. Most importantly, peer consultants should know where on campus is best to address your question if they can’t already. If this sounds like you, please get in touch!

Where is it?

This semester, Data Peer Consulting is located on the first floor of Moffitt in front of the bMakerspace. Peer advising hours are listed on our website, where you can find more information on the expertise of each peer consultant.