The Open Technology Institute hosted students from the Graduate School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 3-7, 2014 for an Alternative Spring Break program. Two students met with key internal staff interested using M-Lab data to help answer broad research questions. They worked with OTI’s team supporting M-Lab to develop case studies and documentation describing their role as data analyst/scientist: taking a Research Question, deciding on a technical scope for querying the M-Lab dataset in Big Query, and outlining the process they used to get at data that might answer or inform the original Research Question. For example, one question focused on how to search for M-Lab test data from specific geographic areas. Another looked at how to filter Big Query results by specific fields in the dataset.
We had a great time working with the U Michigan students and the documentation they produced will eventually help aide new researchers interested in working with data from M-Lab.