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What if you could customize your library’s book usage and expenditure reports to provide more insight into your users? What if these reports combined statistics with demographics so you could determine how to best serve individual user types? Gaining this level of understanding often takes hours of research and requires collecting data from several disparate sources.
With ProQuest’s Patron Analytics, you can skip that time-consuming process and dive straight into collecting real data by querying patrons directly through customizable surveys. Users are asked just once to complete your brief survey of one to five questions the first time they access the Ebook Central online reader. When they do, this custom data – anonymized to ensure privacy – is collected in the Ebook Central LibCentral administrative portal enriching the usage and expenditure reports to offer greater detail about patterns of usage and patron-triggered expenditures. (Sound familiar? This popular feature was a hallmark of the EBL platform.)
Customers who formerly used EBL have seen the feature automatically enabled on their Ebook Central account – complete with data collected on the legacy EBL platform. All other Ebook Central users can easily enable this optional feature in LibCentral by going to Users → Patron Analytics to customize the survey and start collecting data that will help them understand and respond to trends, increasing the impact the library can have in the lives of its users.
The opportunities offered by Patron Analytics are practically endless. Need some help getting started? Here are the top three ways librarians around the world are putting this feature to work.
1. They’re asking questions about their users’ departments.
Including a question about department will help you to more closely tie usage to specific fields, revealing which fields are power users and which could use a nudge to take advantage of the wealth of resources available to them in the virtual stacks.
2. They’re collecting geographic data.
Libraries often serve multiple physical locations. Including a question or two about campus (or office) location on your customized Patron Analytics survey can help you to determine if some geographic groups are underserved and might need new programs to help drive discovery and access.
3. They’re defining user types.
Libraries around the world are using Patron Analytics to eliminate the guesswork that often accompanies virtual service: WHO is the library serving? Students? Faculty members? Are they curating resources to share with students or working on research? If you’re in the corporate world, are you serving mostly C-suite executives who disseminate the information to the rest of the company? Patron Analytics enables libraries to define the most fundamental traits of their users.
Collect the information that will make a difference in your library. Just configure your questions. Then, sit back while Ebook Central collects data and creates usage and expenditure reports that make a difference.
For more information on ProQuest’s Patron Analytics, log in to LibCentral and access the feature guide from the LibCentral homepage or Help Documents section.