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New reporting interface for libraries – Q&A

Adam SnookBy Adam Snook
Category - Blog

Wednesday 5th September 2018

After months of work we are excited to announce the launch of the new reporting interface for our library customers.

The new interface is simpler and easier to navigate, and it visualizes data in a better, more accessible way allowing quick and easy analysis of the data OpenAthens provides.

Adam Snook, our product manager, and Vee Rogacheva, our UX designer, have been doing webinar demonstrations with a Q&A. This blog covers all questions asked during the webinars.

  1. Our organization uses the auditing feature when it comes to renewing accounts, will the process change with the new system upgrade and when will that be available?

The new reporting service and the old ‘auditing’ functionality are separate. A new ‘activity service’ will replace the auditing functionality and whilst some functionality has been reintroduced into the administration area, is still under development. We will organize demo sessions to showcase the new interface and features of the activity service in the near future.

  1. We currently get a “daily status email” that tells us how many – accounts are created / users joined organization / users left organization – which is really useful – will we still be able to do that?

The daily status email will be available as part of the new activity service, which we are actively working on and will be gradually reintroduced over the coming months.

  1. How do you get the Job Roles attributes to show up? I assume this has something to do with account set up, but I’m not sure if our account is set up for this.

Attributes such as Job role, Cost centre, Department, Major etc. are customizable depending on your specific needs and technical capabilities. This is configurable via the administration area using the schema editor and marking attributes as ‘reportable’.

OpenAthens can recognize and map any attribute when user accounts are created by connecting to an external directory like ADFS or Azure AD. If you want to expand your reporting capability you will need to specify your requirements with your IT teams as they will probably need to do some work on their end. We are happy to help with the set up that’s required on the OpenAthens admin side.

  1. I’m looking at our reports now and there is a “resource” called Cengage Learning. We have four databases from Cengage. Is it possible to see access for each database? It seems like that is not possible.

OpenAthens can only report on what it has visibility of and this is determined by the content/service provider. Usually, this is an application or platform, and this is where OpenAthens transfers the individual to, once in the 3rd party system, OpenAthens cannot see what the user is doing within it.

  1. Is there a feature that tells us how many total authentications vs. how many unique users for a particular resource (as opposed to for all resources)?

You can view this information on the main resource usage report by adding a resource series to the graph. We will be working to add this to the ‘totals’ series, and the individual resource reports in the near future.

  1. It would be useful to have more than one year’s worth of data on the reporting module as we are often asked to report on the financial year, a few months after it has finished. For example, last week we were asked for the data for April 2017-March 2018. If we only had data for one year we would not have been able to report. If it’s just one year, then it is hard to show trends. With at least 2 years we could show changes.

The method of recording the data in the old and new statistics/reports interfaces is different. In the new reporting interface, we have data from 1 January 2018 except for ‘Account totals by account type and status’ where we have data from 1 June 2018.

If you require data prior to 1 January 2018 we strongly advise that you download it from the old statistics interface before 1 November 2018, as this is when the old interface will be retired.

  1. We have a main organisational account with many user IDs – will the monthly breakdown by user/service report still be available and where will it be?

User-level reporting is not currently available in the new interface as additional information with regards to GDPR legislation has been brought to our attention. OpenAthens is reviewing the position with regards to processing and storing personally identifiable information in its reporting / statistics package and the associated role and responsibilities of OpenAthens and the organisation.  A further update will be sent when the position is clarified.

  1. Where is the raw data download?

We do intend on making the raw data available via an API, and perhaps a download option too. Information around timescales will be provided soon.

  1. We are a consortium with many sub-administrators. Can I get reports on overall usage, not just accounts under the top level?

By changing the ‘scope’ to ‘all organizations’ you will see an accumulative total of usage across your entire organization structure. By changing the scope to pull data from all organizations, this will also add an additional breakdown by ‘organization’ allowing you see account or resource usage broken down by organisation.

  1. What does Min/Max refer to on a daily or 30-day report?

This refers to the smallest and largest number over the period you are reporting over. For example (and to keep it simple), if I was running a resource usage report between the 1st and 2nd of September and there were 10 transfers on the 1st and 50 on the 2nd, the min/max would be 10/50.

  1. As a domain admin, can I ask for reports from particular sub-admin areas without having to impersonate each?

Yes, for account usage you can change the scope of the data to ‘all organizations’ and then select the ‘organization’ breakdown.

For resource usage however, you would need to download the report using the ‘save to my computer’ option and select ‘Summary for all organizations’.

  1. Can we set a default to showing all organizations rather than this organization? I’m a regional admin for a large healthcare organization and I’m looking at Resources > Usage, but can only see one resource listed.

We have recently made the ‘scope’ option sticky, so when you switch between reports you won’t need to select it again. This will also persist if you sign out, and back in again.

  1. Is there a way to export the graphic, and not just the data, so that we don’t have to re-create it?

At present, you will not be able to export any of the graphs generated by the new reporting interface. However, if you need to regularly share a specific type of report you can setup scheduled reports which will notify you and/or your colleagues when the new report is available, and they will be able to see the report (including the graph) even if they are not OpenAthens administrators. This saves you time for exporting and recreating any data visualization.

  1. Currently, we get a report for the number of accounts requiring approval, or joined the organisation. Is this possible in the new reporting system? Will obviously need to identify the individuals showing on the report.

The new reporting service and the old ‘auditing’ functionality are separate. A new ‘activity service’ will replace the auditing functionality and whilst some functionality has been reintroduced into the administration area, is still under development. We will organize demo sessions to showcase the new interface and features of the activity service soon.

  1. A written guide to the new interface would be very helpful. Please remind us where to find documentation.

We have our main reporting documentation and how to make the most of the reporting options.

  1. Can resource usage by individual login/account be shown in the new report system? How can I run a report that details out all resource use by username and by resource name by month? For example, User x used Elsevier 5 times, EBSCO 6, etc. I need that information in a single report – not a separate report for each resource.

Currently, we don’t show data for the individual accounts. This is in line with the GDPR recommendations and will make it possible that we keep and make available historical data without having to request consent from the individuals. We are exploring our options to reintroduce this.

  1. How far back will the data go? How far back does the data go in the reports? Looking at my account would suggest the start of 2018, will this change when it is fully live?

Due to the change in technology, the method of recording the data in the old and new statistics/reports interfaces is different. In the new reporting interface, we have data from 1 January 2018 except for ‘Account totals by account type and status’ where we have data from 1 June 2018.

If you require data prior to 1 January 2018 we strongly advise that you download it from the old statistics interface before 1 November 2018, as this is when the old interface will be retired.

  1. I currently produce a monthly report which gives me usage broken down by resource with total usage for that month by job role, i.e. a spreadsheet with job role in the row and resource in the column. How do I produce this in the new system? This is all resources in one pass.

We are currently in the process of developing multi-dimensional reports and these will be available via download.

  1. Will we lose access to the “classic” reporting interface? Can that access remain until the ability to download the raw data is implemented?

The old or “classic” reporting interface will be retired on 1 November 2018 and the data will no longer be available.

If you wish to keep any of the data, we strongly advise that you download it from the old statistics interface before 1 November 2018.

  1. Can I check how long will the report data be kept for analysis? 1 year , 5 years or etc?

We are discussing how much of a record is useful to have, a report for a resource usage 5 or 10 years back. If you have a view on that, please let us know, your feedback is much appreciated.

  1. For “break down by”, are those fixed options or could we add the customized fields that we capture at user registration level?

You can create custom attributes such as Job role, Cost centre, Department, Major etc. This is configurable via the administration area using the schema editor and marking attributes as ‘reportable’.

If you want to expand on your reporting capabilities and be able to create more detailed reports, please get in touch with your OpenAthens representative and they will be happy to help you set up your unique attributes.

  1. Will there be an API available in the future? I would like to make my own dashboard in PowerBI, but need a hook in.

Whilst we will continue to improve the new reporting service, we are intending on making the raw reporting data available via an API. This will allow you to manipulate/aggregate the data by whatever means you find most useful.

  1. Can I get reports that show all of our individual resources and breakdowns in the same report e.g. resources and group?

We are currently working on multi-dimension reports with the intention of making them a download only feature.

We value your feedback, strive to meet your requirements where possible and will continue to improve the interface. If you have any questions, concerns, comments or feedback please email openathens@eduserv.org.uk.


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