As noted in our last post, the collaborative has been poring over reports from service points around the Libraries and acquainting ourselves with the minutiae of ARL guidelines as we try to come up with a data collection scheme that can be used system-wide. Our list is nearly complete, and will be shared with AP staff very soon. We hope you'll give us feedback, and let us know if there's anything we've overlooked.
With our "data elements" work wrapping up, we've turned our attention to the system we'll use to collect these data. Our last post noted a few features we had in mind as we envisioned an ideal system. This week we looked at three specific systems to see how they stacked up. They were:
LibStats is a system developed at the University of Wisconsin. It has the advantage of being highly flexible, open-source, and above all, free. Our initial assessment of this system is that it could be quite a good fit provided we could put sufficient technical and staff resources into the initial setup and customization, and if concerns about security expressed by some other libraries can be addressed.
Desk Tracker by Compendium is currently in use or in the works at several CIC libraries. The system appears to be reasonably priced, and the collaborative will be spending some time with a trial version in the coming weeks.
DeskStats/RefTracker by Altarama appears to be more than we need at the moment, and is priced accordingly. Their DeskStats application provides functionality similar to the other options above, but appears to be best suited to an installation integrated with RefTracker, Altarama's reference desk ticket system.
We haven't made any decisions yet, and welcome your input. If you're able, take a moment to look at the tools mentioned here and let us know what you think. Or, if there's a product we've missed, please bring it to our attention with a comment here. Our goal is to create a system that will simplify the aggregation and reporting of reference statistics without adding work for desk staff.