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Tracking the Wily User: Using the Catalog to Discover User Behavior

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You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes well ... Searches are ordered by popularity or alphabetically. Zero search list gives no context ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Tracking the Wily User: Using the Catalog to Discover User Behavior


1
Tracking the Wily User Using the Catalog to
Discover User Behavior
  • Mary P. Freier
  • MN IUG Fall Conference 2003
  • Macalester College
  • 24 October 2003

2
You can't always get what you want But if you try
sometimes well you just might find You get what
you need. M. Jagger K. Richards
3
What This Presentation Wont Do
  • Tell you how to violate patron confidentiality
  • Tell you how to track an individual patron
  • Tell you how to gather evidence of any crime

4
How can the catalog tell us about our users?
Transaction log analysis
  • transaction log analysis can be narrowly defined
    as the study of electronically recorded
    interactions between online information retrieval
    systems and the persons who search for the
    information found in those systems.
  • Thomas A. Peters et al., Transaction Log
    Analysis, Library Hi Tech 11.2 (1993) 37.

5
Past research from transaction log analysis
  • Patron mistakes
  • Patron processes
  • Most typical searches
  • Who searches how? (supplemented by online
    surveys)
  • How much can help help?

6
III Web Management Reports
  • Easy, web-based way to download information
  • Statistical reports can be modified to some
    extent
  • Patron searches can be displayed in various ways

7
Weaknesses of III Web Management Reports for TLA
  • Statistical reports are fine, but are rigidly
    designed
  • No download option for display of patron searches
  • Reports download as delimited text, but not
    always in a good format for importing into Excel

8
Using (or Abusing) III Management reports to
Conduct TLA--Warning! Youll spend a great deal
of time getting a transaction log put together
for analysis.
9
Web Management Reports--Patron Searches
10
Management Information
11
Management Information
12
Data Display Features
13
Data Display Features
14
Data Display Features
15
Search Statistics
16
Actual Searches
17
Actual Searches--Drawbacks
  • No download feature
  • Displays only ten searches on each screen
  • Screens of searches can number in the hundreds
  • Searches are ordered by popularity or
    alphabetically
  • Zero search list gives no context

18
Getting Actual Search Data Option One Get Data
from Web Management Reports
  • Data will copy into a Word file as a delimited
    text file, which can be imported into Excel
  • Process of copying is far too slow to be
    practical
  • Dates and times come in with day of week first

19
Getting Actual Search Data Option Two
Character-Based
  • All of the data for a particular index can be
    e-mailed (but not downloaded)
  • No delimiting in the resulting text file
  • Page breaks in the text file
  • Requires much more fiddling with the text file

20
Character-based Display
21
Text File Modifications
22
Text File Modifications
  • Replace commas with tabs
  • Replace double spaces with tabs (repeat until you
    get zero replacements)
  • Replace double tabs with single tabs (repeat
    until you get zero replacements)
  • Replace all instances of tabs followed by a space
    with a tab
  • You can delete page breaks now, but you can also
    wait till you get the data into Excel

23
Import Text File into Excel
  • In Excel, go to Data--gt Get External Data --gt
    Import Text File
  • To find problems, sort your data (Data --gt
    Sort)
  • Add a column for Search Type, choose a letter to
    indicate search type, and put that letter in the
    field for all entries in this column

24
Common Problems
  • Page breaks from the original report
  • Data that has imported across two or three fields
  • Inconsistent time and date formats

25
Repeat This Process to Include all the
Searches (you can use one worksheet or several)
26
Now what?
  • If your data is on separate worksheets, create a
    combined worksheet
  • Sort your data--by date and time or by terminal
  • Now youve got something that you can analyze!

27
(No Transcript)
28
An evolving bibliography on the things that you
can do with patron search information can be
found at http//www.people.carleton.edu/mfreier/T
LAbibliography.htm
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