Using Statistics to Set Priorities

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Pike, Robin C.
In November 2015-March 2016, I assigned my Graduate Assistant, David Durden, a project to compile usage statistics and trends for digitized collections between 2013-2015 from UMD Digital Collections and our contributions to the Internet Archive between 2008-2015. The original intent of the project was to provide usage metrics to assist the Digitization Initiatives Committee in prioritizing projects or content areas. The project also uncovered trends that should impact how we think about making digital collections discoverable and accessible. For example, if 50-60% of traffic into UMD Digital Collections comes from outside the University or College Park, MD, how will this impact the potential usage of content when access is restricted to campus due to licensing, copyright, or ownership restrictions? With a growing population using mobile browsers, how will a flash-based viewer restrict users’ access to content? How might we develop content or its discoverability for a growing social media user base? In this talk, I will briefly discuss the usage trends for the represented collections, how we may use these in prioritizing future projects, and issues I will discuss with collection managers as we develop project plans and the Manager of Digital Programs and Initiatives as we develop the digital collections repository.