Gaining business intelligence from user activity data
‘User activity data’, derived from the way people use libraries, virtual learning environments, student registries and similar services, is potentially a valuable source of business intelligence for universities. This workshop aims to explore the potential use of this data.
The value of user activity data is evident in companies such as Amazon and iTunes that have not only used it to obtain management information but to capitalise on business opportunities. These companies use collated activity data from their broad network of users to provide recommendations of items and services.
In the context of Higher Education, intelligence resulting from user activity data could lead to similar service improvements, more efficient management of resources, and even influence policy. For example, libraries could use such data to provide a better experience for users, through features such as subject guides and recommended reading. There is also potential to budget more effectively, make smarter purchasing decisions and make best use of shelf space.
It is clear that user activity data has many uses, but technical issues, legal concerns and system limitations need to be addressed. Should we leave it to Google or the like, which have both the web-scale and the commercial motivation? Are there reasons why the higher education community should develop its own intelligence-driven services? Should these be local, national or even global?
JISC projects exploring this area include: The Journal Usage Statistics Portal; Making Our Shared Activity Information Count (MOSAIC); and Developing Personalisation in the Information Environment (DPIE).
This workshop is suitable for senior managers and practitioners working in libraries, teaching and research. It will be chaired by Professor David Baker, Deputy Chair of JISC, with contributions from practitioners who have practical experience of using user activity data in higher education. The workshop will inform current activities and the next phase of JISC’s work in this area.
|09.30 - 10.00
|10.00 - 10.15
||Introduction from the Chair - Professor David Baker|
Download presentation (PDF)
10.15 - 11.00
|There's something going on: User perspectives and service responses from higher education and the wider world|
David Jennings, author of Netblogs and Rock'n'Roll - Download presentation (PDF)
Dave Pattern, University of Huddersfield
|11.00 - 11.40
||Debate 1 - Why should we do it?|
Examining what's the best interests of our users and whether we should leave this mission alone or hand it over to the global player such as Google, Apple or Amazon. Three experts will pitch their opinion followed by questions and discussion from the floor.
Panel of Presenters - Ken Chad, Paul Walk, Simon Whittemore
Chair - David Baker
|11.40 - 12.15
|12.15 - 13.00
||Choice of sessions, between debates 2 and 3|
Debate 2 - Love data, hate silos!
Exploring opportunities to exploit and combine library, virtual learning environment (VLE), repository, and student intelligence
Debate 3 - Local, national or global?
Examing the pros and cons for enacting such services at local, national and global levels
|13.00 - 14.00
||Lunch & showcase|
With contributions from a variety of user activity data projects
|14.00 - 14.35
||Choice of sessions between debates 4 and 5|
Debate 4 - Appropriate or inappropriate use, legal or illegal, licensed or unlicensed, open or closed data?
Consideration of the challenges regarding privacy, rights and competition
Debate 5 - Attention, Activity, Rating, Review
Where to stop? Assessing the potential and the mechanics for motivating a virtuous circle of personalisation, kick started by the intelligence in user activity data
|14.35 - 14.55
|14.55 - 15.15
|15.15 - 16.05
||Reflections on the debates from the standpoint of the institution, the service manager and the publisher|
Mark Toole, University of Stirling - Service management perspective
Richard Nurse, Open University - Content management perspective - Download presentation (PDF)
Naomi Korn - Legal challenges - Download presentation (PDF)
|16.05 - 16.30
||Plenary - Where next?|
Making recommendations for JISC activity and resolutions about local responses. Choice of table discussions to develop local and national project ideas backed by business cases, user and management benefits in 3 areas:
Learning (VLE) & Research - Mark Toole
Library (LMS) & local collections - Jillian Griffiths
National Information Environment - Paul Walk
|16.30 - 17.00
||Feedback, discussion and recommendations|