It’s that special time of year again, the snowcapped mountains and chilly air a reminder that spring is still a few weeks away.  It’s also a reminder that something else is just around the corner, as well: the 2016 Data Harmony Users Group (DHUG) meeting. It’s the most exciting time of the year here at Access Innovations and 2016 is going to be the best year yet.

As usual, DHUG will bring our fantastic users together in one place for a few days of networking, training, and discovery, but we’re doing things a little bit differently this year. First, we’ve consolidated the meeting into a two-day core conference, with a day each of pre-conference and post-conference events for our most hardcore users.

It all begins Monday, February 8, with our pre-conference training sessions. These sessions are designed to introduce users to taxonomic principles and get them familiar with the Data Harmony software. As someone who was brand new the whole world of taxonomies at last year’s DHUG, I can personally attest to how phenomenally informative these sessions are. It’s not just for newbies, though; these sessions are great for anyone in need of a refresher.


Moreover, it’s a great primer for Tuesday, when we officially kick off DHUG. Margie Hlava, founder and president of Access Innovations, opens the show with an update on the new features in Data Harmony. Most of these features come directly from needs and desires of our clients, many of whom are right in the room with us. It’s great to see the satisfaction that comes with having one’s ideas put into action; it satisfies their needs and it makes our software better.



Next up (at least currently, as times and days are subject to change), from the International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE), we present Tim Lamkins, who will discuss how SPIE implemented a taxonomy to install a tagging and feedback loop into their submission system. Their goal, to attain business intelligence for use in conference proceedings, further highlights the analytic capability of our software and I’m really excited to see how it works.



Following Mr. Lamkins, we have Dee Magnoni, the Research Library Director at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She’s going to talk about one of the biggest issues currently facing research libraries throughout the world: access to content. This will be a very interesting talk, as both libraries and publishers (well-represented groups at DHUG) have a stake in this game.



Our own esteemed Director of Business Development, Bob Kasenchak, is up next to talk about data visualization using Tableau (a data visualization application), which ingests taxonomies and, using content metadata, deliver highly useful and interactive graphs for what is emerging as something of a theme in data analysis.


Bob will bfleete followed by Jabin White from ITHAKA/JSTOR with a presentation on making optimal use of one’s taxonomy investment. The ability to show the return on investment of a taxonomy is an extremely important subject because, while that might be perfectly clear to information workers, the people with hands on the checkbook might not be so quick to get it.



Next, we have long time DHUG attendee Xi Van Fleet from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), who is presenting on how ASCE has worked closely with Access Innovations to adapt their thesaurus into an author expertise taxonomy. This will be especially interesting because of the unique work that has gone into fulfilling ASCE’s needs.


Following that, we present Jeffrey Gordon from dataCloud, who will present his dataStream web platform to the audience. Designed to ingest massive amounts of data, it works with live or fast data to deliver solutions to big data problems quickly for complex analysis (not to mention it looks super cool).


Our final two presentations of the day both feature Rachel Drysdale from the Public Library of Science (PLOS). In the first, she will be joined by her colleague, Helen Atkins, and they will discuss the PLOS subject area database, which uses Data Harmony to index their gigantic amount of content. Rachel will describe the stages of the project, while Helen will describe the use cases for the database. After that, Helen will leave the stage and Bob Kasenchak will sneak back on to discuss, alongside Rachel, the linked data proof of concept (POC) to add DBpedia links to the PLOS thesaurus.

Just because the presentations are done for the day, it doesn’t mean the day is done. We cap off Tuesday’s session with our networking dinner, which takes place at a different venue every year. This time is most exciting, as it will be at the Unser Racing Museum, a multi-dimensional, interactive museum experience about the world of racing. I’ve never been, so I’m especially looking forward to it (plus, green chile chicken cordon bleu…yum!)

Wednesday’s session is just as packed, but I’ll discuss this next week.

Daryl Loomis, Business Development
Access Innovations