Using Gale Analytics with non-ILS Usage Data

3 min read

Gale Analytics: Tip of the Month

| By Lisa Novohatski, Analytics Consultant |

Gale Analytics was developed for use with data from the ILS, requiring three pieces of information: patron address, last activity date, and total checkouts. Gale Analytics is, however, data agnostic. This means that the tool will process any data it is provided as long as it is structured properly and has the required data fields. There are many ways we can use the Gale Analytics: Community Insights creatively to examine different subsets of patrons using non-ILS patron usage data. This would require a list of patrons using the service of interest, a last activity date, and total checkouts.

Many platforms that require authentication will provide usage statistics, whether it is aggregated for administration or transactional data. Here are some examples of services that provide data you can use with Gale Analytics:

  • OverDrive
  • RB Digital (comics, magazines, audiobooks)
  • Kanopy
  • Freegal
  • Comics Plus
  • Cloud Library
  • Envisionware

Many libraries track usage of these services at the highest level, understanding how many circulations or transactions occurred in a given time period. This information is valuable as it provides information about total usage of a service. However, by leveraging the data provided by these services, you can take it one step further. Instead of understanding only how much a service is used, you can better understand who is using these services.

Let’s take OverDrive as an example. Libraries can export data from the OverDrive platform, detailing its usage by their patrons. This data export includes information like patron ID/barcode, date of transaction, title, author, format, ISBN, and many more data fields. Because Gale Analytics only requires the three pieces of information above, you will only need to keep the patron ID/barcode and date of transaction, which can be used as last activity date, from the data export. You can then match this information to the patron file using the patron ID or barcode from the ILS to retrieve the patron’s household address and total checkouts. Once the data has been matched, you only need to retain the three pieces of information that are required: household address, total checkouts, and last activity date. This new dataset can be used in Gale Analytics: Dashboard to analyze the households and Mosaic segments who use OverDrive eBooks at your library.

If you want more information on the nitty gritty details of matching your usage data to your patron file, reach out to me and we can set up some time to walk through it together. That’s all for now!


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