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December 17, 2011 / Kirsty Pitkin

IWMW Plenary 3: Using activity data to support your users

  1. Tom began by discussing the uses of activity data, some of which are good, and some of which are bad…

  2. Franklin: Credit card companies use activity data to detect fraud, so it’s not all bad #iwmw11 #p3
  3. He went on to discuss the practical ways in which universities could make use of activity data relating to their sites…

  4. Franklin: Discussing how activity data can help with student recruitment. What are prospective students doing on your site? #iwmw11 #p3
  5. Franklin: We can use activity data to enhance student retention and improve success by looking how successful students behave #iwmw11 #p3
  6. Franklin: Spotting patterns in student activity helps to provide feedback and encourage those to undertake activities to improve #iwmw11 #p3
  7. Franklin: Activity data can be used to create an Amazon-style recommendation system to increase discovery of research papers #iwmw11 #p3
  8. To put this into context, he cited work by the University of Huddersfield to map library borrowing activity to final degree grade…

  9. Franklin: University of Huddersfield show correlation between the number of books borrowed from the library and degree grade #iwmw11 #p3
  10. Franklin: Students want to know how to move from one grade to another, so analysis of this activity data could really help them #iwmw11 #p3
  11. He also discussed the issues associated with collecting this data, which generated considerable debate on the Twitter backchannel…

  12. Franklin: Some of the things that get in the way include getting consent, data sharing, anonymisation & collection purposes #iwmw11 #p3
  13. “@the_web_guru: Privacy concerns with collecting /using activity data? #iwmw11 #p3” <<< was just thinking this!
  14. Data analysis good, however… you need permission to collect, mechanisms to collect, storage and retrieval #iwmw11 #p3
  15. Contentious stuff around data mining in #iwmw11 #p3. Valid concerns raised from audience. To what extent should education mimic commercial?
  16. Tom concluded by emphasising the positive reasons to collect activity data…

  17. Franklin: Costs of collecting the data are low, & there are some real benefits, so determine those benefits & argue for funding #iwmw11 #p3
  18. Reactions

    Besides the concerns about privacy and changes to the law regarding cookies, here are some of the responses the audience had to Tom Franklin’s presentation…

  19. Big theme of data today. Very much an issue for us and one that a lot of institutions are, no doubt, currently grappling with. #iwmw11 #P3
  20. #iwmw11 In Catalonia we have some (nonpublic) data on consulting Ph.D. Theses and repository. #iwmw11 #p3 Sometimes analysis provided
  21. Library usage correlates to student success/retention? Hmmm…too simplistic? #iwmw11 #p3
  22. Wow – Huddersfield Uni book borrowing mapped against degree result. Frightening! #iwmw11 #p3

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