There’s some interesting data hiding inside of our Integrated Library Systems! Here are four days worth of search terms, about 17,000, that were entered into DCPL’s OPAC earlier in the month.

I’m convinced that there’s more useful data inside of ILSs than generally gets used, and that there are more appealing way to use it than bar graphs. I’m not even close to being an expert about data visualization, but my little video above tells more of a story than a number in a spreadsheet. I used Wordle, ScreenFlow and some zooming tricks to make it so it wasn’t difficult but having the ILS spit out data an and automating the process would be great.

And of course, having to sit here and be passive while watching this is a drag. It would be great to be able to interact with this data and do stuff like compare it to items checked out or where the searches came from. We’ll see what comes of this experimentation.

Here’s the first video I made today which presents pretty much the same data in a slightly different way. I don’t like it quite as much, but I should include it to prove to you that I know about more colors than my beloved grey.

The most interesting stuff going on with circulation data exposure I’ve seen recently is from Dave Pattern who just helped the University of Huddersfield release 13 (!) years of circulation data under a CC0 (again !) protocol. That would make one heck of a word cloud. He spoke about it during the last Talk with Talis that I have yet to listen to but will soon.