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Visualize your doppelganger

Using information graphics to benchmark AACSB-accredited business schools (SLA 2013 poster presentation)

SLA 2013 B & F Division Poster Session Abstract

Visualize your doppelgänger: using information graphics to benchmark AACSB-accredited business schools.

Academic libraries and business schools may engage in benchmarking activities as part of accreditation reviews or strategic planning exercises. Typical library benchmarking projects may involve targeting universities based on total student FTEs, by Carnegie Classification, or within specific Library consortia, which, while useful for comparing libraries as a whole, may not provide relevant target schools from the perspective of a business librarian. Business schools who are candidates for Initial Accreditation or Maintenance of Accreditation reviews with AACSB International can use the AACSB's DataDirect website to identify comparable peers and aspirational schools for benchmarking purposes based on a variety of criteria including scholarly orientation, enrollment, degrees and programs, faculty size, and operating budget. This poster will review the variety of data types available through the public version of DataDirect, and demonstrate how librarians can use simple software tools to create information graphics that visualize the relationships between comparable and aspirational schools in order to better select target schools for benchmarking purposes, to facilitate networking and collaboration, and to strategize for the future. A sample of AACSB-accredited Canadian business schools will be used to illustrate the benchmarking and data visualization process as one business librarian attempts to find her own current and future doppelgangers, as her business school not only fundraises for a new building, but also makes plans to offer a Ph.D. program.

Poster Presentation (PDF format)

The poster was created with PowerPoint presentation software and then saved as a PDF and printed our on the library's large format printer. The poster size is 54 inches by 42 inches. All images of twins are from the Office Online Clipart and Media Gallery and are used with permission from Microsoft.

Literature Review & Resource List

Benchmarking Libraries

ACRL (2011, October). Standards for libraries in higher education. Retrieved from

Gottfried, J.C. (2011). Access to business research resources through academic library websites: a survey. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 16(1), 1-32.

Gottfried, J.C. (2010). Correlates of access to business research databases. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(2), 141-143.

Lenox, C. (2010). Business and economic database access in libraries serving midsized accredited business schools. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 15(1), 14-24.

Pagell, R.A. & Lusk, E.J. (2002). Benchmarking academic business school libraries relative to their business school rankings. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 7(4), 3-33.

Schnedeker, D. (2003). Business and economic database access in academic business libraries. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 9(1), 37-47.

Benchmarking Business Schools

Fairbank, J.F. & Labianca, G. (2003, November/December). Picking the perfect peers. BizEd, 36-41. Retrieved from

Joyner, E.R., Moser, E.R., & Griffin, R.B. (2004). How do quantitative and qualitative factors influence the selection of comparable, competitive, and aspirant groups under the proposed AACSB accreditation maintenance process? Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 1(3), 45-48. Retrieved from

AACSB Resources


Information Graphics and Data Visualization

The figures on the poster were created with Microsoft Excel 2010. A complete list of available chart types with examples is on the Microsoft Office site.

  • Figure 1 is a 2-D Pie Chart.
  • Figure 2 is a Clustered Bar Chart
  • Figure 3 is a Doughnut Chart
  • Figure 4 is a Column Chart
  • Figure 5 is a SmartArt Venn Diagram.

Similar chart types are also available in Google Drive's Spreadsheet and Drawing applications. See:

The following resources were also helpful:

Encyclopedia of Charts and Diagrams (

Harris, R.L. (2003). Information graphics: A comprehensive illustrated reference. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Available from

Smiciklas, M. (2012). The power of infographics: Using pictures to communicate and connect with your audiences. Indianapolis: Que. Available from

Wong, D.M. (2010). The Wall Street Journal guide to information graphics: The do's and don'ts of presenting data, facts, and figures. New York: W.W. Norton. Available from