Data Driven Management Enhances Libraries Collections

Data Driven Management Enhances Libraries Collections
Elizabeth Ten Have
February 4, 2016

Collections DataThe combination of rising costs for information resources and the growing span of Drexel’s academic programs requires attentive balancing of the Libraries’ collections budget. Recently, the Libraries launched a Data Driven Management program, which provides greater capability for analysis of collections data to aid in making collections decisions.

The Libraries takes into account a number of factors when making decisions regarding the collection:

  • Curricular demand
  • Research need
  • Quality & usability
  • Uniqueness & availability
  • Usage
  • Cost: cost-per-use, cost-over-time
  • Maintenance requirements: personnel, systems & other infrastructure costs

The new Data Driven Management program has enhanced the Libraries’ use of data in three of these areas: uniqueness & availability, usage, and cost factors.

Recently the Liaison team utilized this new expertise to examine a long-licensed health sciences database of journals, reference works and electronic books (Database A). A similar resource entered the marketplace last year and both liaisons and faculty were impressed with its offering (Database B), but the Libraries’ budget could not support both. The data analyses of Database A showed that nearly all of its content was available to the Drexel community through other licensed databases, that content linked directly to course shells was also available through other channels, and lastly that cost-per-use had risen significantly over the last few years.

These analyses coupled with a second trial of Database B and additional faculty input led us to cancel the Libraries’ license to Database A, directly subscribe to the two unique journals that Database A brought us, and to license Database B for the Drexel community. Additionally, the Libraries realized cost savings of about $5,000 for FY16, and another $5,000 in FY17.

Having capacity to dig deeper into data about the Libraries’ collections will continue to enhance our ability to deliver relevant and high quality information resources to the Drexel community.