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Analytics: Getting to Know Our Users

Who is using OLS systems like the CUNY Catalog (Aleph), OneSearch, Academic Works, and this blog?  What devices are being used to access our sites?

OLS wants to provide these and many other valuable answers. Most of the OLS library systems have some built-in reporting ability.  Unfortunately, these systems are separate silos of information, not easily related to each other.  In April 2015, OLS standardized use of Google Analytics (GA) on all platforms.  We will be reporting on the information provided by GA and from the other, product-specific sources in future blog posts. The data provided below reflects GA data from April though December 2015.

So, now that we have all that data:  Who are our visitors?

Language = English

99% CUNY Catalog (Aleph)

98% OneSearch

87% Academic Works

At Academic Works, these international uses are well distributed. The languages that reach 1% are: Chinese 2%; Spanish 2%; French 1%; German 1%, and Russian 1%.

33% Blog

Blog reader languages are, in fact, unclear because it has a high percentage of “unknown” language readers: 57%. The only other language over 1% is Russian at 9%.

Location = USA

99% CUNY Catalog (Aleph)

99% OneSearch

47% Blog

Blog reader locations are better reported than languages because the percentage of “unknown” locations is only 15%.  The locations that reach 2% are Russia (12%), China (3%), and Japan and Germany at 2%.

***Academic Works — Deriving correct location information for Academic Works is a work in progress.

All Platforms

From where do our users do their searching?

         Aleph   OneSearch AcadWorks  OLS Blog
Desktop   96%       88%       85%       87%
Tablet     2%        4%        4%        1%
Phones     2%        8%       11%       12%

Browser (top 4)

Chrome    23%       45%       47%       68%
Firefox   57%       19%       22%       12%
I E       10%       15%       11%        5%
Safari    10%       20%       16%       13%

OS, All (top 5)

Android    0%        3%        5%        1%
IOS        2%        7%        9%       12%
Linux     42%        1%        1%        1%
Mac       16%       28%       22%       57%
Windows   39%       61%       62%       26%

Mobile (tablet + phone)

Mobile Devices (top 5)

iPad      45%       29%       19%        4%
iPhone    13%       25%       41%       89%
Galaxy S5  2%        3%        2%        0%
Unknown   23%       18%        9%        2%
Win Tablet 6%        5%        1%        0%

Mobile OS (top 3)

Android   13%       24%       33%        5%
IOS       58%       54%       60%       93%
Windows   29%       22%        4%        1%

We’re in the process of building an analytics dashboard, so our next analytics post will include a link to the OLS Analytics dashboard.

If you’re interested in CUNY library analytics, be sure read Roland’s blog post: Impact of Primo on SFX


  1. Is the Linux number for Aleph correct? 42% of all users? More than Windows?


    Alevtina Verbovetskaya (she/her) Reply:

    It may be explained by look-up terminals located at some of the libraries. For example, Brooklyn College has a bank of 8-10 of them in the reference area and I believe they’re running a Linux-based OS. The OPAC also refreshes every 1200 seconds, which may be factored into the numbers. (Those look-up terminals’ only reason for living is the OPAC… and they’re on 24/7.)


    Joan Kolarik Reply:

    Do you know if they run Firefox? The Firefox numbers were higher for Aleph too. These numbers are wonderful and fascinating by the way! I’m psyched for the dashboard.


    Alevtina Verbovetskaya (she/her) Reply:

    I think the default browser is Firefox throughout the library and I believe they’re using a Firefox-based browser (maybe IceWeasel/IceCat?) on their look-up terminals.

    We’re working now on breaking out the numbers by college, too, so these kinds of questions will soon be answerable through the dashboard!

    …Actually, I just looked at the numbers myself: CSI accounts for 84%(!) of the Linux traffic to the OPAC. Brooklyn comes in second, with Kingsborough in third place.

  2. The high use of Linux for Aleph searching is interesting. I don’t see laptops listed. Would they be included with desktops?


    Alevtina Verbovetskaya (she/her) Reply:

    “Desktop” refers to all non-mobile, non-tablet devices, which includes laptops.

    And, yes, the Linux numbers are surprising! We will soon announce a dashboard that you can consult which will break out the data by school, too, which will help answer questions like, “Which school has a Linux-based setup that’s sending all this traffic to the OPAC!?” 🙂


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