Library Software BI Module

Consolidate Data from Oracle Database, Google Analytics, Facebook and Microsoft Excel

Customer Story

The Library Software Module is developed to modernize the municipal libraries monitoring and make it more efficient. Monitoring is essential in order to plan activities and also to meet reporting requirements from the authorities. Large amounts of vital data is saved in the library system database, but assembly and reporting has been inefficient with a lot of time consuming manual work. Furthermore there are additional data sources that would be valuable to consolidate, such as web site, Facebook, number of visitors and information about local events.

Challenges:

  • Find the suitable level of granularity of the statistics. To make it detailed enough but not unnecessary detailed.
  • Consolidate data from multiple sources; Oracle database, Google Analytics, Facebook, external systems and Microsoft Excel.

Solution:

First we focused on presenting the data saved in the library system database. The data was saved in an Oracle database so it was easy to integrate using common interfaces. We rapidly created about 20 dashboards focusing on general statistics of library activities, e.g. number of loans per units, date & time and borrower attributes as age, gender etc.

Include Additional Data Sources

The first step only included data from the library system database and did not cover the statistics on the library web site, number of visitors or events organized on weekly basis, e.g. storytime for children. We wanted to include this to get a complete view on all activities. Statistics from the web site were available via Google Analytics, number of visitors were registered using external systems and weekly events were saved manually in Microsoft Excel files.

The consolidation of data from the different data sources has earlier been processed manually. To achieve a complete view, without a lot of manual work, the data sources needed to be consolidated automaically and made available via web based dashboards.

Integration with Google Analytics and MS Excel

To retrieve the needed statistics from Google Analytics and from Facebook we used our GADD Integration components . In this way this became 100% automatic. Concerning number of visitors there were several external systems used and there were no common API available. We would therefor be needing to configure customized interfaces for each different system, but decided to take a different approach. Since the library already had a manual routine to enter number of visitors and the weekly events into an Excel file we decided to make that routine an integrated part of the solution. A more efficient variant of the existing routine was implemented as the data entered into the Excel file was saved automatically in the new solution.

Available to All

The consolidation of the data from Oracle database, Google Analytics and Excel resulted in a solution where we could display a complete view of the activities and present it in web based dashboards. It did not become 100% automatic, but almost. And via the web based dashboards the information was made available to everybody in an easy and efficient way. The only thing needed to get access to the information was a web browser.

Characteristics:

  • Dashboards for daily operation and monthly reporting covering statistics on activities, number of visitors and borrowers.
  • Consolidate data from multiple sources; Oracle database, Google Analytics, Facebook and Microsoft Excel.
  • Make the collection, consolidation and publishing automatic to reduce need of manual work.
  • Make the information available for everybody via the web browser.
  • Product used: GADD Integration Components, GADD Dashboard Builder & GADD Dashboard Server.

Illustration:

Author: Per-Anders Angenius