Utilizing OPAC Search Logs and Google Analytics to Assess OPAC Effectiveness and User Search Behavior

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Utilizing OPAC Search Logs

Post comments regarding this afternoon breakout session presented by Jia Mi and Cathy Weng (TCNJ).

Session started with a brief overview of OPAC statistics in Voyager, followed-up by explanation of Google Analytics (a free service that generates statistics)*. Jia explained the Dashboard.

With their project they gathered 2 months of data — 1 month before and 1 month after the website redesign. They used Google Analytics to track trends and patterns for comparison.

Cathy talked about what the OPAC stats provide vs. what Google Analytics stats provide. Ex., OPAC stats did not indicate if queries were successful or not.

Next, Cathy gave us a look at her OPAC search statistics and discussed the conclusions gleaned from them. She also talked about possible next steps now that she has this data — i.e., how might she change her indexes and/or search interface.

Jia Mi talked about Google Analytics — she looked at a month’s worth of data (Nov. 2007), including usage, # of visitors, total # of page views, browsers used, speed connection, OS, screen resolution, the geographical map of users, peak times of use, traffic sources, content that users are looking at, most popular databases, use of limits, use of ‘New Books’ tab, etc.

Jia wrapped up with a brief discussion re: the pros and cons of using Google Analytics.

*Obtain Javascript from your Google Account and put the code in every web page that you want to track. Note: there may be some performance issues with using this script?

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