The role of usage data in informing decision making
processes, engaging stakeholders and assessing value
LauraWong, library analytics services analyst, Jisc
Why use e-resource usage data?
E-resource usage data provides…
»evidence to back up decisions and support cases
»metrics used in reporting and monitoring
»additional source of information
which then enables and supports…
»informed collection development decisions
»new insights and a different perceptive
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Analysis and interpretation
»Stats need to be interpreted to provide useful information
»What is being counted?What is the unit of use?
› click, download, search, view etc.
»What does that count mean?
› Add context
› Make comparisons
»Not used in isolation – usage data needs to be used
alongside other data, information and knowledge
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What to buy, what to keep and what to cancel
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Feedback and evaluation
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Impact and value
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JUSP case study
»Regularly collected and monitored usage but asked could we make
»Systematic journals review
› Identified low use titles for review
› Calculated cost per use
› Considered factors such as impact, subject, cost and format
› Consulted with academics
»Saved money and re-allocate budget to more relevant resources
Using JUSP to improve collection management and strategy
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Practical challenges of working with usage data
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Collection – time and effort required to collect data Collects on behalf of libraries
Single point of access
Collation – time and effort required to process data for analysis Aggregates and summarises
Supports Jisc Collections
Consistency – reliability of data Standards based (COUNTER)
Central point of contact, expertise and support
Context – combining and matching with other information Export data
Core journal titles and KB+
Communication – engaging others Community, support and training
Further information about JUSP
»Joining information - http://jusp.jisc.ac.uk/join/uk-academic-libraries/
»Can JUSP help? - http://jusp.jisc.ac.uk/docs/Can_JUSP_help.pdf
»Use cases - http://jusp.jisc.ac.uk/use-cases/
»Case studies - http://jusp.jisc.ac.uk/case-studies/
»Video guides - http://jusp.jisc.ac.uk/screencasts/
»Webinars and slides - https://jusp.jisc.ac.uk/events-training/
› JUSP for further education - 16 Jul 2018
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Any questions about JUSP
»Contact your Jisc account
Any other questions about Jisc
and Jisc services
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I work at Jisc on two services focused on usage data. JUSP which is a service that collects usage data on behalf of libraries, and IRUS which gathers repository usage.
Today I will be drawing on my experience of working on JUSP and collages to get them set up in JUSP and speak to you about the role of e-resource usage data in libraries.
In this presentation I will provide an overview of the range of ways libraries and LCRs are using usage data to ultimately improve their service.
When we ask a library or Learning Resource Centre why they have started using JUSP or usage data more generally, the main drive is often around the need to provide evidence or be more data driven
E-resource usage data provides evidence to back up decisions or support cases.
Usage data can also be turned into metrics – things that you can report or using to monitor progress. Another reason for collecting usage data.
And generally provides an additional source of information.
But these are just numbers and figures. It what you do with the evidence, metrics and information that makes it really useful. The usage data then enables and support activities such…
Informing your collection development decisions
Informs your discussions with a range of stakeholders (from learners through to publishers). Having sight of user data will change the conversation you have with publishers or learners.
They can offer new insights and a different perceptive – sometimes the usage shows you something unexpected and encourage you to ask questions.
Simply collecting and viewing the usage statistics alone isn’t going to tell you what you need to know. One of the main considerations when viewing usage data is around interpretation.
stats need to be interpreted to provide useful information – they need have meaning.
First you need to understand what is being are counted. What is a unit of use?
Usage statistics are essentially counts of events and activity. This could be a click, download, search or view or something else. There isn’t a single definition or metric for use. This means that usage is not always comparable. You need to make a decision about which metric to use.
Then you need to analyse and interpret the data. What does this count mean?
You can do this by adding context and making compassions
Doesn’t need to be complicated, can be very simple. for example noting that you have had a subscription to a journal from a particular date. The comparison may be looking at the total for previous year.
The key message is that usage data cannot be used in isolation.
Informing purchasing and renewal decisions is the most common reason for collecting and analysing usage data for all sizes of library. Particularly if you are having to make tough budget decisions and you have to justifying spending.
Cost per use common way of accessing value, particularly for journals but also other subscriptions based products. But this is just one metric for evaluation.
Also interested in trends – over year or year on year. Is usage going up or down? Where there any unusual spikes or dips?
Access denials – not really usage data but often supplied alongside. Counts number of times users attempt to access contact but are turned away. Indication of demand – provides evidence for new purchases.
You can also use usages of products you already have to inform future purchases by looking at which types of products are well used.
Some people can get defensive when usage stats are raised, but if presented in the right way and used in constructive conversation is can building relationships
Stats can be a way of opening dialogue with new groups of people. A product it working for a course? Are learners doing their reading?
And often you will need to consult with others before making any final discussions
Having data to back you up will change the discussions with publishers and suppliers
Regular reporting to management opens another communication channel and other conversations may follow
Following on from that usage statistics can also be another form of feedback on how your service is working
What isn’t being used? Why not? What needs to change?
Are there any access issues?
What’s used well? What’s working well?
You may need to promote under used titles or you may need to look into
While usage stats don’t directly indicate value or impact, alongside other information as part of a narrative it does provide supporting evidence
For example in making a case to keep a product
This can be for specific products, but also for your service as a whole
Highlight a JUSP case study that looked at how a small higher education institution started making more use of their data.
With a drive toward data driven decision making many libraries are taking a fresh look at what they are doing with the data they collect
Stranmillis were regularly collecting and reviewing usage data but realised they weren’t making the best use of the information
So they carried out a systematic review of their journal collection
First they identified low use titles and then calculated the cost per use.
They then considered other factors such as impact, subject and discipline, overall cost and the format.
And then before making any decisions they consulted with academics
As a result that they saved money and where able to use this to acquire more relevant set of databases that fitted with the curriculum and courses
So far I have been speaking about role of usage data generally
I would also like to briefly talk about the JUSP and where it fits into these wider processes
JUSP is a service that collects standardised journal, book, database and platform usage reports on behalf of Jisc members
JUSP collects and aggregates to help you report and analyse
JUSP stands for Journal Usage Statistics Portal
Books added 2016, databases/platforms added 2017
JUSP aims to help manage some of the practical challenges of working with usage data
JUSP helps with the burden of data collection so that you can focus more time and effort on analysis - Collection
Collation – can also be time consuming to pull together into overviews so JUSP provides summary reports
Consistency – JUSP is standards based and only gathers COUNTER compliant reports
Context – institutions are best placed to understand their usage data, but JUSP can help with some of the processes of pulling info together e.g. all exportable, collaboration with KB+, some anonymised benchmarking
Communication – can be a challenge and an opportunity – JUSP provides training and support to help with understanding
JUSP provides reports and visualisations that help you quickly and easily access, report and analyse usage data
Thank you for listening
If you have any queries about JUSP come and speak to me or contact the team via the helpdesk
If you have any questions about Jisc or Jisc services you can contact you account manager