Comparing multiple datasets using the Cross Dataset Analysis tool

What is a cross dataset analysis?

The Cross Dataset Analysis tool allows you to compare up to 4 variables from one or more datasets. This can provide some really useful insight for seeing trends across services or resources over time. For example, you might want to compare:

  • Book circulation vs. the number of items borrowed via ILL
  • Book acquisitions vs. the number of items borrowed via ILL
  • Book circulation vs. e-book usage
  • Questions asked at the reference desk vs. the circulation desk
  • Usage of LibGuides, your library website (via Google Analytics), and your research databases
  • E-journal usage vs. the number of articles borrowed via ILL

That just scratches the surface, but hopefully it gives you some ideas as to how you can put the Cross Dataset Analysis tool to good use!


Running a cross dataset analysis

  1. Click on Cross Dataset in the command bar.
  2. Select the Date Range you want to analyze in your report.
  3. Choose whether you want to Aggregate the data monthly or annually. For example, if you're looking at a date range of one year or less, monthly would be the best choice to view data over time. But if you're looking across multiple years, then you may want to view your data annually instead.
  4. Select the variables that you want to compare.
    1. For each variable, first select the dataset. You can select from any dataset you've been given permission to analyze. (Don't see one you're looking for? Contact your admin and ask to be given that permission.)
    2. Select one of the available fields to use in your analysis (not all field types are able to be used in a cross-dataset analysis).
    3. Select the individual variable from the field.
    4. Choose the chart type for this particular variable.
    5. If desired, you can reorder the variables by dragging and dropping each one into a new position.
  5. Click the Run This Report button.
    1. The variables will display in an interactive chart using the chart types you selected.
    2. Under Complete Trends Data, you'll find a data table containing the monthly or annual totals. Click on the Toggle Trend Details link to display a year-over-year (y-o-y) comparison and a comparison to the first year of data (vs. 1st).

Running a cross dataset analysis 

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