As a data nerd, the statistics we can view within Aspen Discovery are such an exciting part of the system to me. This week I am going to dive into the statistics you can grab from Aspen itself, other features you can use alongside Aspen, and what statistics to consider before going live!
General Statistics in Aspen
If you are interested in general usage statistics - things like how often patrons are accessing your catalog or what types of searches they are doing - catalog, lists, website searches, etc. you can find that information in your System Report module in the Administration menu. If you click into your ‘Usage Dashboard’ you will be able to find monthly, yearly, and all time counts for the number of sessions on your site, page views, and all of the different types of searches your patrons are doing - whether it is in the catalog or any other indexed searches.
There are some really great features within this dashboard - for example, you can visually represent your data through our graph features! You will see next to any heading in the usage dashboard or the specific data points there is a graph button.
If you click that graph image, Aspen will generate a graph of the data you are looking at! You can actually manipulate the graph a bit, as well. Let’s say you click into the graph next to ‘Searches’ - this will show you all of the searches being done compared to the catalog (grouped work) searches.
If you want to only compare the other searches since we know patrons spend most of their time in the catalog you can just click the ‘Grouped Work Searches’ label and this will strike that label through and manipulate the graph to show us the other data points over time.
While logged into Aspen, users also have access to their own search history during a session. To view search history, visit My Account and click Search History at the bottom of the left-hand menu. Upon logging out, a user’s search history is automatically cleared. Searches are only saved if the patron specifically chooses to save them in case they would like to easily access the same search results at a later time. At any time during an Aspen session, users can choose to purge their unsaved search history and delete their saved searches.
Additionally, under the graphs we will provide you with a raw data table. This will give you data counts for every month and year so you can copy this data and throw it into an excel to manipulate further - does anyone love pivot tables?
Finally, you can view these usage statistics for your entire Aspen Discovery layer or if you are a multi-catalog system you can specify from a dropdown which catalog you would like to view statistics for and we will filter the statistics we are displaying only to the activity for that particular library or catalog.
eContent and Statistics
If you have any of our eContent integrations enabled within Aspen Discovery, you can see statistic dashboards specific to each eContent vendor. These dashboards will give you information on how many patrons are using your eContent sources, how often they are checking out, if they can renew with that vendor we give those counts, along with freeze counts, renewal, etc. where applicable. You can find dashboards in your Overdrive, Hoopla, Axis360, Cloud Library and side load modules. If you have multiple sideload settings, we do provide you with separate stats for each sideload.
In addition to the usage statistics and eContent statistics we do provide you with statistics on how patrons are interacting with the connection to your ILS. These are things like sign ons, self registration counts, and holds placed on physical items. You find this dashboard in the Administration menu -> ILS integration -> Dashboard
With all other integrations you have in Aspen like digital archives, EBSCO EDS, and website indexing you will also see dashboards in each of those modules that will give you information on patron usage of that integration!
Browse Category Statistics
Within Local Catalog enrichment, if you click into Browse Categories, Aspen will give you information on patron usage of your Browse Categories! This is a great way to determine if the collections we are showing off to patrons on the homepage are what they are interested in. In your list of Browse Categories, there are two columns on the right hand side called ‘Times Shown’ and ‘Titles Clicked’ that give us counts on the number of times the Browse Category was actually viewed and the number of times a cover image was clicked!
In addition to the out of the box statistics Aspen is gathering for you, you can directly tie in Google Analytics into your Aspen Discovery layer. Under Third Party Enrichment in the Aspen Administration menu you will see an option to input Google API settings. In those settings you only need to input your Google Analytics Tracking ID to start seeing data in your Google Analytics! You can also input linking ID, Linked Properties, and Domain Name if you are using those.
Tracking Circulation Statistics Before and After
If you are in the process of implementing Aspen Discovery, are getting ready to begin your project, or are planning ahead make sure to keep good statistics on your patron circulation activities prior to your Aspen Discovery go live and after. We recommend having good counts of the number of holds you receive, renewals, and checkouts before you start using Aspen and after because you will definitely see an increase in circulation. Click below to see a case study from Ajax Public Library that went live at the end of 2020 - you can see that their average daily holds count increased from 157% to 198%.
If you haven’t yet make sure to check out our Aspen Weekly from last week where we dove into privacy and how we are protecting your patrons in Aspen Discovery. We always want to ensure the privacy of your patrons and because of that we do not track statistics on the individual user or patron. We never track what searches they perform or anything that can tie back to the users’ reading history, search history, or specific personal actions.
Read more by Addie Van Salisbury