Usage Statistics

UKSG offers two courses in this area: Usage Statistics for Decision Making and Usage Statistics - Practical Skills for Librarians.

The first offers invaluable background information on how usage statistics are collated and what they do and do not measure, as well as case studies demonstrating how statistics are informing the decision-making process in real life. The latter gives a practical introduction to accessing, collating, presenting and utilising e-resource usage statistics.

Usage Statistics for Decision Making

Course summary

Libraries have access to more data than ever before about the ways in which their print and electronic resources are being used by readers, and advances in standardisation led by the COUNTER initiative are making these statistics more accessible and reliable as a basis for decision making.

At the same time, public sector institutions are being asked to make extremely difficult choices about priorities for spending. Although this presents huge challenges, it can also be an impetus to change the ways in which services are provided.

Why you should attend

Delegates will have the opportunity to reflect on the role of statistics in the broader context of further and higher education, and the culture of assessment that is becoming increasingly prominent within the sector. Delegates will also have the chance to share their own experiences, positive and negative, of using statistics for decision making and will be encouraged to actively participate throughout the day.

Course level and previous knowledge required

This course is aimed at those who need to analyse or interpret usage data to support decision making about resources and collections. It will be of particular interest to librarians and library managers working in the further and higher education sector but may also be of interest to those working in other areas of the scholarly information industry.

Please note: This course does not cover the practical aspects of collecting usage data, or of creating reports. These topics are covered by the UKSG Practical Usage Statistics for Librarians seminar, a hands-on workshop on gathering and manipulating usage statistics (see below).

Learning objectives

  • To understand how usage statistics are created and what they actually mean
  • To learn about practical ways in which e-journal and e-book usage statistics have been used by staff in university libraries to inform decision-making processes
  • To learn about other statistical approaches to measuring the value and impact of e-resources
  • To understand the wider environment and context in which usage statistics collection and decision making is carried out
  • To discuss their own experiences of gathering and manipulating usage statistics in order to make financial, management and service decisions

Usage Statistics - Practical Skills for Librarians

Course summary

This one-day training seminar will give a practical introduction to accessing, collating, presenting and utilising e-resource usage statistics by:

  • outlining the range of usage statistics available, with a focus on COUNTER reports
  • giving an overview of tools available to gather and process statistics, such as JUSP
  • exploring how statistics can be used for decision making
  • looking at future developments in the provision and exploitation of usage statistics

There will also be the opportunity to gain some guided hands-on experience with manipulating usage data, including:

  • exploring the layout and content of specific COUNTER e-journal and e-book reports
  • learning how to sort, filter and highlight specific data in a report
  • learning powerful ways to summarise data for analysis
  • giving guidelines on how to collate e-resource statistics for the SCONUL statistical return

A workbook and sample Excel spreadsheets will be available pre-loaded on a USB memory stick for attendees to use during the day, and also to take away for practice afterwards.

Please note: In order to allow participants hands-on experience at this training seminar attendance will be limited to 30.

"This was absolutely brilliant. We currently only cover the basics in terms of usage statistics, but this has given me the confidence to do more and raise this with my line manager."

Why you should attend

To achieve a practical understanding of the collection and basic analysis of usage statistics, particularly those conforming to the COUNTER Code of Practice.

Course level and previous knowledge required

Those attending would usually have some experience of the practical management of e-journals, e-books or databases. In order to get most benefit from the hands-on session, participants should have a basic working knowledge of Microsoft Excel. Advanced knowledge is not required.

Learning objectives

  • To gain an overview of the range of statistics available, and some of the tools available to gather them
  • To gain insight into how usage statistics can be used as a practical tool in the library
  • To learn practical skills in manipulating and presenting usage data in Microsoft Excel

"The hands-on sessions focusing on manipulating usage data in Microsoft Excel were particularly useful. I have already started using these Excel skills in my day-to-day work."

NB: UKSG reserves the right to alter or vary the programme due to events or circumstances beyond its reasonable control without being obliged to refund monies.


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