Asking questions
of data:

from simple search
to advanced queries

Tony Hirst
Computing and Communications Dept,
The Open ...
Time was
when…
Search and
replace
Advanced
search and
replace
Regular
expressions
How do we
discover or recover
information from
data?
A medical librarian is
probably not a expert on
zoonotic H5H1 influenza
infections…
How do we cope
with new discovery
regimes and
environments?
“DIY Dreamcatcher”, via flickr user: barbroandersen
“DIY Dreamcatcher”, via flickr user: barbroandersen
Friends of my friends who are librarians
People who live in Bath and like the Future
of Libraries
When the
databases really
are databases..?
USERS

QUERY

INFORMATION
DATA

USERS

QUERIES

INFORMATION
An example –
questions around
local elections
Which wards in my local
council area were not
contested by Conservative
affiliated candidates?
Can I get a
list of all the
candidates?
Can I get a list of
people standing in
wards in Newport
who live out of
ward?
SELECT * FROM candidates WHERE
ward LIKE 'Newport%' AND address
NOT LIKE '%Newport%'
How many
candidates did
each party field?
SELECT desc AS Party, COUNT(desc) AS
Number FROM candidates GROUP BY
Party ORDER BY Number DESC
Which wards were not
contested by Conservative
affiliated candidates?
SELECT DISTINCT ward from Candidates WHERE ward
NOT IN (SELECT DISTINCT ward FROM Candidates
WHERE desc LIKE '%Conservativ...
Which candidates
were signatories in to
other proposals?
Time is
now…
@psychemedia

blog.ouseful.info
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
Asking Questions of Data
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Asking Questions of Data

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If the information I need is locked in a dataset, and requires some sort of database query to construct that information from the dataset, who do I turn to for help in accessing it? The library? And if not the library, who?

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Asking Questions of Data

  1. 1. Asking questions of data: from simple search to advanced queries Tony Hirst Computing and Communications Dept, The Open University, UK blog.ouseful.info / @psychemedia
  2. 2. Time was when…
  3. 3. Search and replace
  4. 4. Advanced search and replace
  5. 5. Regular expressions
  6. 6. How do we discover or recover information from data?
  7. 7. A medical librarian is probably not a expert on zoonotic H5H1 influenza infections…
  8. 8. How do we cope with new discovery regimes and environments?
  9. 9. “DIY Dreamcatcher”, via flickr user: barbroandersen
  10. 10. “DIY Dreamcatcher”, via flickr user: barbroandersen
  11. 11. Friends of my friends who are librarians
  12. 12. People who live in Bath and like the Future of Libraries
  13. 13. When the databases really are databases..?
  14. 14. USERS QUERY INFORMATION
  15. 15. DATA USERS QUERIES INFORMATION
  16. 16. An example – questions around local elections
  17. 17. Which wards in my local council area were not contested by Conservative affiliated candidates?
  18. 18. Can I get a list of all the candidates?
  19. 19. Can I get a list of people standing in wards in Newport who live out of ward?
  20. 20. SELECT * FROM candidates WHERE ward LIKE 'Newport%' AND address NOT LIKE '%Newport%'
  21. 21. How many candidates did each party field?
  22. 22. SELECT desc AS Party, COUNT(desc) AS Number FROM candidates GROUP BY Party ORDER BY Number DESC
  23. 23. Which wards were not contested by Conservative affiliated candidates?
  24. 24. SELECT DISTINCT ward from Candidates WHERE ward NOT IN (SELECT DISTINCT ward FROM Candidates WHERE desc LIKE '%Conservative%’)
  25. 25. Which candidates were signatories in to other proposals?
  26. 26. Time is now…
  27. 27. @psychemedia blog.ouseful.info
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