KNEXT: Data Analytics to Support Innovation Communities

KNEXT is a three-year collaborative project between Kent State University (KSU-SLIS) and the University of Maryland (UMD-CIS), which partners with local public libraries, small business development centers, economic development organizations, and community advocacy groups to bring advanced data analytics and business intelligence (DA&BI) services to public libraries in order to support small businesses, entrepreneurs, and community advocates within two recovering communities in Ohio and Maryland. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Leadership Grants for National Digital Platform, this research project addresses the question: How can we integrate advances in big data and data analytics into libraries as essential community anchors in a way that empowers those communities while encouraging economic development and well-being? Hence, this project addresses two strategic goals of the IMLS: to “promote the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge” within local communities through libraries and promote libraries as community anchors “to enhance civic engagement and economic vitality.”

* This project was funded by IMLS #LG-71-17-0124-17 (
* PI: Dr. Susan Winter
* Senior Researchers: Andrew Fellows and Dr. Joel Chan.
* I am contributing to the project by conceptualizing the dynamics of local businesses that are captured from qualitative data analysis through an Information Deserts lens and by analyzing the local information landscapes of local businesses.