OCLC Researchers discuss importance of data mining, highlight recent work

Brian Lavoie, Lorcan Dempsey and Lynn Silipigni Connaway examine opportunities for libraries to make their data work harder and report on current OCLC Research data mining projects, in Library Journal.

Just as commercial firms create value by leveraging data stores, libraries can improve their own visibility and value by making their data work harder.

Libraries possess many valuable data sources such as bibliographic data, circulation statistics, records of reference transactions and interlibrary loan requests, indicators of user behavior, and more.

Writing in the January 15 issue of Library Journal, the authors state that "existing data sources such as WorldCat can be processed to support such activities as collaborative collection management, collection views, library decision-making, better support for user behavior, and trend spotting."

In addition to discussing opportunities for libraries to leverage value from their data, the authors describe OCLC Research projects that explore ways of using data to create enhanced user experiences, and generate intelligence to support library management decisions. Projects address such topics as the system-wide print book collection, audience levels, "last copies," and digital materials cataloged in WorldCat.

More Information

Lavoie, Brian, Lorcan Dempsey, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. "Making Data Work Harder." LibraryJournal.com, January 15, 2006.

OCLC Research Data Mining Projects

For more information:

Brian Lavoie
Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Bob Bolander
Communications & Programs Manager
OCLC Research