Because the data collected for Full questions and DeskStats is not identical, reporting options for Full questions and DeskStats separately, and Full questions and DeskStats together, are different. The parameters in this screen will automatically show the options available for the choices that you make for the various parameters in this screen, but be sure you know whether you want statistics for just Full questions, or DeskStats, or both!
The parameters provided in this screen allow you to choose how the data to be reported on will be selected (in the left column), then the type of report that you want to produce and its x and y co-ordinates (in the right column). After the discussion of parameters that follows here, we will look at some examples of how they are used.
You will find particular parameters provide the reports that you need. The reports and parameters that are important to you will depend on how you have structured your use of RefTracker. There is no substitiute substitute for trying the different reports to find the ones most useful to you!
Note that the system remembers the parameters that you used last time and represents those same parameters next time this screen is used. This makes rerunning favourite reports for different time periods very easy. It also means that if your organisation only uses DeskStats, for example, the Source parameter will always appear as DeskStats after the first use. Not all parameters are applicable to all reports so some parameters cannot be saved - be sure to check your parameters before clicking Submit! You might want to save screen prints of the parameters that provide the results that you want, so that you can replicate the same report on a regular basis.
Source: Choose the type of data that you want to report on.
System administrators (only) can also select Client data only in this option to obtain statistics about the clients using your system. The system contains one client record for every question in the system that included client data, but as some questions are collected without client data, the count of client results obtained from this screen will not match the full question count and should not be used as an indicator of volume.
After you make a choice of Source, the screen will redisplay with the parameters applicable to that choice.
Question type: This line only appears for Questions, as it allows you to exclude (or include) those questions that were simply entered in order to populate the knowledge base. By default KB only questions are excluded as they are not a direct service to your client base. To include these questions, tick the KB only tick box.
Relationship type: This line only appears for Questions, as it allows you to report separately on Parent and Child questions. You will want to report separately on Parent and Child questions if your organisation copies questions for the sole purpose of creating sub-questions that should not be included in your statistics.
Location/Staff: Often you only need to report on the statistics for one of your Locations, or you want statistics for all Locations, but broken up by each of your library Locations (or teams according to how you have used this concept).
Status group: Select the status of the questions that you want to report on, for example, Open, Closed, or Any for all questions. You will generally choose Any unless specifically reporting on questions with a specific Status such as ONLY closed questions.
Request group/type: Select a Request Group or Type, if you want to limit your report to ONLY one Request Group or Type. You will generally choose "All Request groups" unless you specifically want to report on only questions of one Request Group or Type, such as all Comments, or all Circulation types of questions.
Date type: Choose whether the Time period will refer to the date on which the question was received (Received date) or the date on which it was closed (Closed date), or to any question worked on during the selected date period (Journal activity), or only Evaluations received during the selected date period.
Received date is the most sensible value to use for measuring the incoming workload.
Closed date is the default as it is the most sensible choice when you want to report on completed work e.g. the cost of developing answers.
Journal activity is generally used when you want to measure the staff work done within a selected period, irrespective of whether the question they work on is open or closed at the current time.
Evaluation date is the appropriate choice when you want to report on the client evaluations received in the selected time period as it will report on all evaluation received in the period irrespective of when the question was received or closed.
Note that this Date type parameter only appears for source Questions as by definition all DeskStats are received and closed on the same day.
Time period: Choose a standard time period such as This week or Last month, or choose [custom date range] and then set a start and end date. Choosing a time period rather than specific start and end dates will allow your parameter selection to be run again in future without having to select new dates.
Start and end date: If you choose a custom date range you will need to enter the starting and ending dates for which you want to report statistics. These dates are inclusive. The earliest date that you can chose is one(1) year before the date of the earliest Full question or DeskStat in your instance of RefTracker.
Report type: Depending on the Selection criteria that you have chosen, a selection of report types will be available. Choose the report type that suits your needs. The report types available are:
- Time Period by code table: This report provides a quantitative summary report with X axis the code table that you choose, and Y axis the time period grouping that you choose in the parameters below. For example this report can show you how many of each request type arrived each day of your reporting period.
- Time Period by time period: This report provides the ability to analyse transaction trends, for example, an analysis by hour and by day of the week, will show the number of transactions per hour for each day of the week – a handy measure for analysing required staffing levels.
- Relationship by code table: In conjunction with the Relationship selection criteria (when appropriate), this report allows separate analysis by Child and Parent questions (Questions without children are regarded as parent questions). This report will be used by organisations that copy questions to break up the work and so don't want them included in their statistics. A different solution to this issue will be provided in the future.
- Target date by code table: This report provides a quantitative summary report with X axis the code table that you choose in the parameters below, and Y axis whether the Target response date was met or missed. For example this report can show you how many questions were answered within their target response date, and how many were not, by staff member, throughout your reporting period.
- Timeliness by code table: This report provides a more detailed report on timeliness of provision of responses than the Target date by Code table report. It summarises the timeliness with which questions are closed, by
- Time expended by code table: This report provides a quantitative summary report with X axis the code table that you choose in the parameters below, and Y axis the librarian time used in answering the questions for the time period you have selected. For example this report can show you the amount of library time spent, by the organisational divisions of the clients who asked the questions, for the period you have chosen to report on. It can be used in conjunction with the Relationship type parameter to separately report on time expended by Parent and Child questions.
- Cost by code table: This report provides a quantitative summary report with X axis the code table that you choose in the parameters below, and Y axis the costs attributed to questions answered in the time period you have selected. For example this report can show you the cost of library time and other expenses, by the organisational divisions of the clients who asked the questions, for the period you have chosen to report on.
- Code table by code table: This report provides a quantitative summary report with X axis the code table that you choose in the X axis parameter below, and Y axis the code table that you choose in the Y axis parameter below. For example this report can give you an analysis of the number of questions of each type that were handled for each of the organisational divisions of the clients who asked the questions, for the period you have chosen to report on.
Data extract: These reports show the information recorded about the questions that comply with the selection criteria you have specified. The Data extract option is only accessible by systems administrators, for security reasons. When Data extract is selected:
Total type: If this attribute appears, "Counts" is the default and that is what you will use in most instances as Counts provides the number of that attribute recorded for questions matching your selection criteria. But sometimes, Time used or Cost provides a better measure of what you want to report.
Output type: Choose an option to determine how the output will be presented:
- Display to show the information you select using these parameter options, on the screen - formatted text (bold, coloured, etc.) is shown formatted, and the question number and attachments are hyperlinked. This is the best output to use if you need to see HTML formatted data and use the hyperlinks it provides to access question numbers and attachments.
- Export (XML) to obtain the information in an XML formatted file for use by other applications. Dates and times are in ISO standard which means that the dates are in the date and time of the logged on user, but also show the UTC offset (in the format YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS+hh:mm where hh:mm is the offset) e.g. 2016-01-01T22:13:37+11:00. HTML coding used in data fields is included as encoded data as it is generally used for computer to computer transfer of data.
Include fields: This option only appears when you have selected the Data extract report type option for full questions. It allows you to determine whether you want Text fields, Client information (not accessible to Supervisors), Bibliographic information, Resources, and/or Categories, included in the the Data extract record. You may wish to exclude some of these things for privacy reasons, or perhaps because the reporting product that you are going to use the Data extract with, does not like long text fields.
Including Text fields includes the text of fields from the Data dictionary Question table like the Question, Answer, Place already looked, etc., that can include large amounts of text (some reporting products don't like handling large amounts of text).
Including Client fields includes the fields from the Client table of the Data Dictionary (you may want to exclude Client information from your exported information to ensure that, for privacy reasons, the client information is not retained into the future).
Including Bibliographic fields includes the fields from the Bibliographic table of the Data Dictionary.
Including Resources adds a column for each Resource that you have defined in your system. When a Resource has been used with that question, the date on which the Resource was used will appear in that Resource's column, followed by "~" and the comment text if a Resource comment was recorded for that question. If the Resource was used more than once, information about each usage is separated by "|".
Including Categories adds a column for each Category that you have defined in your system, containing a "Y" if the Category has been applied to that question.
Y axis code table: This option only appears when you are selecting a Code table type report, and allows you to select the row values for your report. Choose the code table for which you want to do two way analysis, for example choosing Staff when the X axis is Request type will provide an analysis of what request types each staff member has been handling during your selected period. Question code tables are available for reporting whenever the Y axis is provided. Client code tables (except Client location) are also available for reporting on Full questions only so far.
The resulting report will have columns and rows, as selected by your x and y axis choices, for each code table value that was used in the questions being reported on. So columns/rows only appear where there is a value to report and the columns/rows will appear in order specified by the sort order of the appropriate code table.
In some instances a value for your selected code table may not have been recorded for some of the questions being reported on. In this instance a "None" column will also appear showing the total number of questions for which no value was recorded for that code table.
Note that the code tables available for reporting under Question statistics and DeskStats are different. In particular, for DeskStats you can report on the Comments entered through the DeskStats screen.
Also note that any number of Categories and Resources can be recorded in association with a question, so the totals for reports about the Categories and Resources code tables do NOT represent the total number of questions received during that period (whereas fields that are recorded one per question such as Location, Staff, Age/Group, etc. all give the total number of questions received during the selected period). Also note that when reporting on Categories or Resources the date period you select will refer to the date on which the Category or Resource was added to the question, NOT the date on which the question was received or closed!
Now we are going to look at each different report type, and the difference between Display and the different Export output types, so you are familiar with what each does.
When output type is Display a table of results will be created - either displayed or contained in a file, according to your choice at "Output type".
For Data export, the output is one row of data per question.
For all other reports the results are a table with the following characteristics:
1. The division header lists the Locations you have chosen for this report.
2. The name of the report provides more information about the parameters you have chose - Type of report and X/Y parameters.
3. The total number of records create or retrieved, shows here.
4. Your Y axis parameter choice determines the labels appearing in this column - corresponding to the rows of data provided.
5. Your X axis parameter choice determines the labels appearing in this row - corresponding to the columns of data provided.
6. Percentages are provided for each of the columns and rows.
7. An Average, calculated to 2 decimal point, is provided for each of the columns and rows. When the axis is Evaluation rating, Score is provided in stead of Average. Score is the average number of stars.
8. The Summary charts appear immediately after the results table, if you have selected one - there is a summary chart for the X axis and a separate one for the Y axis.
9. If Item charts have been requested they will appear after the Summary charts.
As you cursor over the rows in these output displays, the entire row will be highlighted making it easier to scan all the data for that row.
Use of the Charting parameters is optional and is only applicable when Output type is Display - leave them set to None if you do not want charts.
Charts - X and Y Summary provides two charts -- X vs Y and Y vs X charts of the type that you select at this parameter – options are pie, line, bar and column charts, plus stacked Column and stacked Bar charts. Some reports only have an X axis (like the Cost by code table report) and for these reports only an X chart is provided.
More information is provided about Charts in the following section called Graphing any of these reports.
When output type is Excel, the results are provided in an Excel spreadsheet - if Each location was chosen, there will be a spreadsheet tab for each location.
When output type is csv or XML, the results are provided in a file of that forma, or if Each location was chosen, a file for each location.
Try using these parameters.
Notice how, as you choose different Sources, different reporting options are presented (as appropriate to those data sources).
When you are happy with the report parameters you have provided in this screen, click on Submit and your report will be run and displayed at the bottom of this screen under a Results heading.
Try producing reports for each of the report types (as selected in the Presentation criteria section) with different parameters. Note all reports will be applicable to how you use RefTracker. The following sections will help you understand the data being presented by each report type.