Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Director's Station - stats like never before

While the LMS team is very busy with implementation and daily support they're also working on getting to grips with a number of features of the system, including Director's Station - one of the two reporting tools that we have.

I know that a number of us were very impressed with Director's Station during the demonstrations that we saw at the time of selecting the product, but we haven't had time to build up any internal expertise to see how it will work for us.

However Kathy Haese has been doing some work on exploring what Director's Station can do & preparing some system-wide reports as well as a suite of reports that will relate to the specific statistical needs for each individual library.  (Kathy works 2 days a week in our support team and 3 days a week at Onkaparinga, so she has been using Onkaparinga as the trial site, while also liaising with staff at Pt Adelaide Enfield and Salisbury to identify what the differing needs of libraries are.)

I think that the early work that Kathy has done is remarkable & will be very valuable for all libraries.  I will drop in a few partial screen shots below to give you an early indication of what is possible.

Below is a small section of a large report which shows where items are being sent to.  I apologise that it is a bit fuzzy - that's the nature of screen shots when they're enlarged.

This is a very small piece of a large report that lists all libraries (by branch) both down the left hand side as well as along the top of the table.  I will just comment on the Aldinga column to illustrate what we're seeing.  This shows us that Aldinga has done 154,556 loans since going live, and 131,755 of these are with Aldinga stock.  It also shows that 2,549 items have come from Aberfoyle to Aldinga to be lent locally.  Also, 3 items have come from Beachport, 922 from Blackwood etc.  And we can deduce that 22,801 loans have been generated at Aldinga using items from other libraries (total Aldinga loans [154,556] minus Aldinga item loans [131,755] = 22,801).

Reading the rows of the table, Bordertown can see that they've lent 59 items to Aberfoyle and 50 to Aldinga.

This table is useful for more that idle curiosity.  While we can use it to look at net traffic movements we can also drill down into the items being shipped to see what the titles are.  So a library can see what their customers are reserving across the network, and examine whether this is because of gaps in their own collection or consider what the reasons may be.

Below is a partial snapshot of another report, which is drilling down to the number of copies that we have in a particular Dewey range - right down to a single digit.  You can see that I have expanded the choices to look in the 640s.  (I am unable to show you the columns to the right which have lots of additional useful information like number of loans, turnover rates, prices etc.)

You will notice that I have highlighted the 8 titles listed as having a Dewey number of 645.  Highlighting this cell in the report leads to another table being opened which lists each of these titles.  You can see this in the table below.  (It is actually reading from the "total call numbers column - hence the 11 items listed below.) So we now have all the titles in the system with a call number of 645.XX, and can see who owns them.  This table also has many columns to the right showing lots more details about each title. 

While this report is taking a "whole of consortium" view, each library will be able to do this level of detailed reporting on its own collections.

Below is a small shot of part of the Aldinga Adult Fiction report which shows all of the subsets of genre classifications that they're using.  I have highlighted the AF-General group and asked the system to show all title in this category, by circulation figures - e.g. what has circulated most is at the top of the list.  The result of this "expanded view" is the second screen shot below.

Aldinga AF groupings by genre - with AF General highlighted for further examination

Expanded list of AF General displayed in descending order of number of loans
We're still working on these reports, and are talking to library staff and managers about the range of reports that libraries will want.  Once we have settled on the list we will set up a suite of them for every library, so that everyone will have access to this sort of information. And this is just scratching the surface.  As libraries identify additional reports that they may want we will be able to either create them for the specific library (or teach you to do it) or, if the new report would be used by others we will insert it into each library's suite of standard reports.

We will be providing both demonstrations of these reports and training for staff in the near future.

Oh - and I should add a few other details.  You will note in the picture immediately above that the titles of the books are truncated. This can be simply fixed by dragging the "bar" between title and author (at the top of the report) to the right - just like so many windows based products.

Also, with the click of a button all of the reports can be exported into Excel where the tables of information can be displayed in graphs - ready to insert into council reports, annual reports etc.

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