IGeLU/ELUNA Analytics WG



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 WG.

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.

In the last quarter of 2016 John began planning for his retirement from Lancaster University and asked Margaret Briand Wolfe to take over as Analytics SIWG chair. She began this role in September 2016. Joan Kolarik at the Weizmann Institute of Science took on the role as co-chair in October 2016.


  • to maintain a ‘key goals’ document
  • to maintain an open use cases and scenarios document
  • 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 and Content SIWGs and their communities
  • to coordinate common problems and enhancement requests for the NERS process
  • to maintain a repository on Google Drive for sharing information, tips & tricks, discussion, etc
  • to establish and maintain a mailing list for announcements and discussion



Margaret Briand Wolfe (Coordinator) Boston College USA
Joan Kolarik (Deputy Coordinator) Weizmann Institute Israel


Working Body




Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Maintain and coordinate list of use cases and scenarios
  • Coordinate selection of scenario to be discussed in monthly open calls
  • Coordinate and organise monthly open calls
  • Communication with Ex Libris
  • Communication with IGeLU and ELUNA Steering Committees
  • Communication with IGeLU and ELUNA PWGs
  • Communication with third parties
  • Coordinate/communicate Analytics enhancement procedures
  • Manage open mailing list
  • Manage and edit IGeLU and ELUNA websites Analytics SIWG sections
  • Organize Analytics presentations for annual IGeLU and ELUNA 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

This goal is held in common with the other SIWGs. We entrust Ex Libris with our data, its storage, manipulation and security. It is 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.


Gather Evidence

It is our on-going job to collect and analyze evidence that supports:

  • problems/bugs found in the data in Analytics
  • incorrect labeling or mapping from Alma/Primo to Analytics
  • data not mapped at all from Alma/Primo to Analytics
  • address issues understanding what is available via Analytics due to incorrect or incomplete documentation created by Ex Libris.


We need to present this evidence in a unified document and persuade Ex Libris to devote resources to address the issues we have gathered in a timely manner. The majority of the evidence will be based on Analytics issues documented in the Alma, Primo and Leganto lists, support cases, and issues raised at ELUNA and IGeLU. Once the evidence has been gathered a sub-group will work on a document detailing the evidence we have found with explanations on why we feel it is important the issues are resolved. The document will be presented to the ELUNA and IGeLU steering committees as well as the Product Working Groups for comments and then will be presented to Ex Libris for discussion and will hopefully lead to a roadmap towards resolution.


We are also 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.


Education and Advocacy

We will work with Ex Libris to improve and extend documentation and training materials within the community about the ETL process between Alma and Primo and Analytics and build a more complete thesaurus of the data available in analytics and where it derives from in Alma and Primo. There is also a need for a common language so that elements are called the same thing in Analytics as they are called in Alma and Primo. It is often hard to find data in Analytics when it has been renamed to something else. There has already been some community generated material and this should be collected, preserved and built upon.

We have started a Discussion List so SIWG members and other interested users can share the work they are doing and post questions, concerns, answers.


Meetings and Communications

A monthly electronic meeting takes place on the third Tuesday of each month.

Open discussion list for Analytics SIWG.

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