Analytics is the activity of collecting, structuring and combining all kinds of data (assets and usage) to distill useful information for organisations. It is more than reporting, it focuses on finding the added value that assets and usage data can offer an organisation to better understand their business and derive new patterns from it to help make decisions or predictions.

The way data is stored and accessed is important to enable the usage of data. Data is used, stored, extracted and generated in multiple applications, hence the need for an IGeLU/ELUNA Analytics SIWG.

Discussions about an Analytics SIWG began just before IGeLU 2015. Alma’s Product Working Group already was forming an Analytics subgroup, and Ex Libris’s announcement of Oracle OBIEE becoming the analytics tool for hosted Primo suggested that a joint group could be useful. Skills in OBIEE are obviously transferable across the two products. A cross product Analytics SIWG would also be a good fit for other interests being expressed in data extraction, API’s, processing and visualisation using other tools and general analytics and data warehousing.

John Krug volunteered to get the group started and a round of recruitment was started with the first electronic meeting taking place in April 2016.





Working Body




Key Goals

These are under active development and will be published as soon as they are finalised.

Terms of Reference

Note that this is subject to change, there is an ongoing discussion as to how IGeLU and ELUNA PWGs and SIWGs interact.

The objectives of the Analytics SIWG are

  • to maintain a ‘key goals’ document
  • to maintain a use cases and scenarios documents
  • to discuss and promote the various uses of analytics in Ex Libris products
  • to discuss and promote the use of analytics in ‘evidence based librarianship’
  • to help ensure all relevant product data is available to use within the associated analytics products (for example, all relevant Alma data is available to the OBIEE Alma instance)
  • to help ensure data created using Ex Libris products is readily available, ideally via APIs and through publishing / batch export routines so as to enable the use of special processing, such as institutional data warehouses, big data tools, visualisation tools and programming languages
  • to encourage and provide some support for groups (geographical or interest based) to hold analytics skills development days such as those that have taken place in the UK (Alma Analytics) and UNSW for sites in Sydney (Alma Analytics) and through the Ex Libris Northeast Users Group (Tableau).
  • to maintain close links with the LOD & Interoperability SIWGs and their communities
  • to maintain a repository on Google Drive for the business of the group
  • to establish and maintain a mailing list for announcements and discussion
  • To hold relevant meetings at the ELUNA and IGeLU conferences

Data Understanding

A common theme for users of Analytics is that it is difficult to understand, in many circumstances, what exactly the data presented in Analytics products means. Everybody has the experience of not being sure how what is presented in Analytics is derived from what is being presented in Alma/Primo or other source products. The data in Analytics is not directly the data from Alma/Primo, etc. but there has been an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) from Alma/Primo, etc. to OBIEE Analytics or other analytics products.
We believe there are benefits for all product users in having the product data models, the Analytics data models and the transform process openly specified and understood. It would make it more likely that problems arising will be accurately diagnosed. We believe this also benefits Ex Libris in that Analytics will be better understood, be more effective and users will be able to help find issues and improve the quality of the service that is delivered for the community.

Data Access

The goal is held in common with the other SIWG’s. We entrust Ex Libris with our data, its storage, manipulation and security. It’s our data and we wish to maintain and extend access to it whether through batch processes or APIs. The community wants to use this data with external data warehouses and visualization tools, not just within Ex Libris products.


We need to collect and analyse evidence to support issues with understanding and access to data and to persuade Ex Libris to devote resource to the issues we have. We are putting together a survey to help get some background information. The survey will be repeated every two years to monitor progress and changes on issues over time. The majority of the evidence will be based on the mailing list content, support cases and following the underlying issues up with Ex Libris customers.

Education and Advocacy

We’d like to work with Ex Libris to improve and extend documentation and training material within the community. There has already been some community generated material and this should be collected, preserved and built upon.

Meetings and Communications

A monthly electronic meeting takes place on the third Tuesday of each month. A mailing list is still to be established.

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