From Google analytics to CompStat, we live in an era of big data. It’s not the size of the data set that matters, though; it’s what you do with it. Horticulture teams at public gardens are using data analysis to make better decisions about chemical applications, water use, plant health care, staffing, and garden design. From the perspectives of three different gardens we will explore the benefits and challenges of managing data. We will discuss the technologies that make this work possible, from good old Excel to ArcGIS. We will also touch on the staffing questions—who collects the data, who analyzes it, and is everyone brought in? Finally, how does this type of data intersect with the data traditionally kept by plant records departments?

Presenters: T. Beck, Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, Delaware; R. Young,
Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge, California; C. Baker, Chicago Botanic
Garden, Glencoe, Illinois