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Why Data is So Important: Position the Library at the Centre of Institutional Goals

The library is crucial in supporting effective teaching and learning, key to many university strategies. Demonstrating the value of the library, and raising the library’s institutional profile is more important than ever, and can be supported by data.

When physical library spaces aren’t available, Talis Aspire holds the answers to student engagement. Using Talis Aspire Advanced Management Information System (MIS), you can understand how students are engaging with library services online and how students are engaging with the content online, regardless of the other library tools or systems in play.

What can Talis Aspire tell you?

Learning analytics

We know that as the role of the library evolves, and gets more involved with Teaching and Learning, engagement with resource lists becomes more important. 

With Talis Aspire Advanced MIS, the library can derive additional indicators of student engagement, alongside analytics the university has, to provide a more holistic view.

Understanding how resources lists contribute to the way students are learning at the university can guide Teaching and Learning approaches and strengthen relationships with faculty.

University College Birmingham channel Talis Aspire data into Power BI, among other uses. Jessica Wainwright, Library Resources Manager, explains: “We can see at a glance which years and departments are the most engaged with their reading lists and which publishers or suppliers are being utilised the most by students. We are using the data to create a report at the end of Semester 1, an end of year report after Semester 2 and to help us develop our liaison and engagement strategies for the following academic year.”

Identifying student success and the relation to library services or teaching and learning tools can be achieved with Talis Aspire Advanced MIS. Resource list data can tell you when and how often content in the lists is clicked on, or engaged with by making personal comments or reading intentions. 

We know that when students participate in active learning with the resources directly related to their studies (e.g. content found within the resource list provided by the academic), they’re more likely to succeed. For an extra level of detail, Talis Elevate can provide analytics to get deeper insights into how students are engaging with content.

Learner analytics

As well as helping students succeed academically, there has been a growing focus on supporting student wellbeing. This affects drop-out rates, retention, and attainment levels.

The learner analytics available in Talis Aspire Advanced MIS can provide you with data to help you build up a picture of the learning journey.

From a personal tutor perspective, you’ll be able to find out how students are engaging with academic materials and tools, and the library service. By combining resource list data with other data sources from across the university with Talis Aspire Advanced MIS, you’ll be able to identify where students may require more support.

Another way that universities are using Talis Aspire Advanced MIS is to help them make data-driven decisions. The data available can support demonstrating return on investment in collections, as you’ll be able to find out how much a resource is being used, and across how many lists. Are students clicking on the item? Are academics adding the item to their new lists?  To find out more about this, we’ve written a post on using data to effectively manage the library budget, click here to read it.

This post was created exclusively for the Talis Informer, a quarterly newsletter from Talis aimed at those leading and influencing Higher Education libraries. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, please get in touch at For even more content and discussion, join the Talis Informer mailing group here.