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    Analytics Evidence AGSA2 - Analytics star schema does not allow subject areas to be combined

    Created By: IGeLU-ELUNA Analytics Working Group
    Created on: 11/20/2018

    The star schema design of Analytics does not allow subject areas to be combined. When the subject areas can be combined only the numeric fields can be used and not the textual fields.  This greatly limits the overall usability of Analytics because the subject areas are mostly siloed.

    Is there anything Ex Libris can do to rectify this? Adding missing dimensions to SAs does not really work. For example, Ex Libris added the fund information to the Physical Items SA but not all fund fields were added and if any of the fund fields are used in the report then users cannot report on the number of loans in the same report.

    This greatly limits the types of reports users can write.

    topic: general
    priority: high
    status: in process

    Use Case

    A collection strategies committee asked for a report with total charges and patron physical item requests for holdings in our general stacks locations.

    Using the Physical Items SA and the Requests SA seems logical, but does not include the ability to filter requests to only patron requests.

    The Requests SA has bib, physical item, and location dimensions, so starting there and adding the Physical Items SA seemed like it might provide the loan count. The report ran but only returned results if the item had a request at some time.

    The only solution was to run the loan count report separately from the request count report and join the 2 reports in Access. 

    In trying to build a report that answers the following questions from the physical items subject area:

    • What physical items did we buy?
    • When did we buy them?
    • How did we pay for it?
    • How often is it being used?

    Request counts and loan counts are indicators of how often the item has been used. This needs to be filterable on request type and request date range.

    Ex Libris Response (Ongoing)

    Ex Libris cannot change the star schema design used by Analytics. Ex Libris officially acknowledges that SAs cannot be combined as a result of the star schema but they are willing to add missing folders to subject areas.

    Ex Libris needs to see concrete examples of reports users want to write but cannot due to the fact that fields / folders / etc. are missing.  The Analytics Working Group is working on use cases.

    Based on the example given above Ex Libris will add the following Request fields to the Physical Items SA:

    Ex Libris has added the following to the 2020 Alma Analytics road map: Number of requests (as designated below) and Last Request Date will be added to the Physical Item Details.
    • Num of requests (total)
    • Num of requests (physical item)
    • Num of requests (booking)
    • Num of requests (general hold)

    March 2020 Release of Alma:

    Number of requests were added to the Physical Items SA in 2 folders:

    • Physical Item Details folder
    • Fund Information -> Fund Measures folder

    From the IGeLU-ELUNA Analytics Working Group, Analytics Evidence Document

    Please send questions or comments to the Analytics Working Group Listserv