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The Library Statistics System

By Alex Dolski on April 9, 2010 11:03 AM | Permalink

After nearly a year, the Library Statistics System -- an inventive name that I thought up all by myself -- has finally reached "1.0" status. This means that the first major iteration of the system is complete, with all planned features having been implemented and all known bugs fixed. The system has been ingesting statistics since last summer, and as of this writing, exactly 4,113 data points have been entered into it.

This blog post is intended to provide some background on the system: where it came from, what motivated it, and how it works.

Before the system

Before the system, library statistics were collected manually and saved in a fiscal-yearly Excel spreadsheet. In general, each spreadsheet collected more detail than the last. Statistics were stored in a way that was not really amenable to automated analysis. With new requirements for more fine-grained data that had never been collected before, there was a need for an alternative to the "old" workflow.