Trends at a Glance: A Management Dashboard of Library Statistics

Emily G Morton-Owens, Karen L Hanson


Systems librarians at an academic medical library created a management data dashboard. Charts were designed using best practices for data visualization and dashboard layout, and include metrics on gatecount, website visits, IM reference chats, circulation, and ILL volume and turnaround time. Several charts draw on EZproxy log data that has been analyzed and linked to other databases to reveal use by different academic departments and user roles (such as faculty or student). Most charts are bar charts and include a linear regression trendline. The implementation uses Perl scripts to retrieve data from eight different sources and add it to a MySQL data warehouse, from which PHP/Javascript webpages use Google Chart Tools to create the dashboard charts.

Full Text:



“Annual Statistics,” accessed November 7, 2001,

“ARL Statistics,” accessed November 7, 2011,

“dashboard_beta :: dashboard information,” accessed January 5, 2012,

Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. (Cheshire, CT: Graphics, 2001).

Scott Bateman, Regan L. Mandryk, Aaron Genest, David McDine, and Christopher Brooks. "Useful Junk? The Effects of Visual Embellishment on Comprehension and Memorability of Charts," CHI ’10 Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (2010). Accessed November 7, 2011, doi: 10.1145/1753326.1753716.

Stephen Few, Information Dashboard Design: the Effective Visual Communication of Data (Beijing: O'Reilly, 2006),98.

Rasmussen, Nils , Claire Y. Chen, and Manish Bansal, Business Dashboards: A Visual Catalog for Design and Deployment (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009), chapter 4.

Roiger, Richard J., and Michael W. Geatz. Data Mining: A Tutorial-Based Primer (Boston: Addison Wesley, 2003), 186.

“Fitting Functions to Data: Linear and Exponential Regression,”, accessed January 5, 2012.

Morton-Owens, Emily G. “Editorial and technological workflow tools to promote website quality.” Information technology & libraries. 2011; 30(3):92-98.

“GAPI - Google Analytics API PHP Interface,” accessed January 5, 2012,

Karen A. Coombs, “Lessons learned from analyzing library database usage data,” Library HiTech 23 (2005):4, 598-609. Accessed November 7, 2011. doi: 10.1108/07378830510636373



  • There are currently no refbacks.

License URL:


SCImago Journal & Country Rank data for ITAL