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Gate Count datasets: everything you need to know

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The Gate Count dataset provides you with powerful reports to help you easily analyze the traffic at one or more locations. This includes hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly breakdowns of your gate counts, with breakdowns by day of the week, weekend vs. weekday, location, and month.

Perhaps what's even better is how easy LibInsight makes recording your gate count data.

  • If you use a bidirectional gate counter (e.g. it counts people twice, when they enter and leave), LibInsight will automatically take your starting and ending readings, calculate the difference, and divide by two to calculate the number of visitors.
  • If you use a unidirectional gate counter (e.g. it counts people once, either when they enter or when they leave), LibInsight will automatically calculate the number of visitors based upon your starting and ending readings.
  • If you calculate the readings yourself, no problem! The manual count method allows you to enter your own visitor totals.
  • You can enter gate readings by hour, day, or month, depending upon your preference.
  • Widgets are available to make it easy for staff and student employees to enter gate readings without having to log into LibInsight.

Example gate count overview report

In this Springboard, you'll learn how to create and configure a gate count dataset, as well as record, upload, and analyze data.

Create a gate count dataset

Gate Count datasets are only available in LibInsight Full. To create a new dataset, Admin users can go to Admin > Manage Datasets and click the Add New Dataset button.

Navigating the the Manage Datasets page and adding a new dataset

Before you begin, you may find it helpful to do a little planning. This can make the process of creating your dataset go more quickly.

  • What type of recording mode works best for your data? When you start recording data, the type of recording mode that you've selected will determine how (and how often) a user will record a new record. You can choose from: hourly, daily and monthly. 
  • Who should have access to the dataset? By default, only Admin users are allowed to manage, record data to, and analyze a dataset. However, you can choose to extend each of those permissions to selected Regular users, or all Regular users in your system. For example, if you only want a few people to add data to your dataset, you would extend them Record permissions. But, if you want everyone in your library to be able to view and analyze (but not edit) the data, you could choose to give Analyze permissions to all Regular users.
  • What libraries will be you recording gate count data for? It can help to sketch out a list of all of the libraries/locations/departments where you want to collect and analyze gate count totals. Once you have a list, consider what type of counting method each gate uses. After adding each library (you can think of a library as any location where you're gathering gate count readings) to the dataset you'll have to select the correct counting method for it. You can choose from:
    • Automatic/Bidirectional if you use a gate that counts each person twice: once when they enter and once when they exit.
    • Automatic/Unidirectional if you use a gate that counts each person once: either when they enter or when they exit.
    • Manual if you would rather just enter the total number of visitors, instead of actual gate counter readings.

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Record data to a gate count dataset

Records can be added to a gate count dataset by manually entering data (from within LibInsight or via a widget), uploading files with your gate count totals, or via the API.

  • Manually recording data from within LibInsight allows users to record individual totals for any date and time for any of the libraries in the dataset.
  • Uploading data allows you to pull in data for your libraries in bulk. For example, if your gate counter can output a spreadsheet of your totals, it would be more efficient to load those files into the dataset as opposed to recording each count manually. 
  • Widgets allow you to add data to your dataset from outside of LibInsight -- that can be especially helpful as you will likely have staff or student employees entering the data.
  • The API allows you to post data to the dataset automatically. If you have a gate counter with its own API and a developer on staff, you could create a script with both APIs that would allow you to record the data from your gate counter automatically.

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Analyze a gate count dataset

Once you have some data in your dataset, you can utilize LibInsight's powerful analysis tools to get a better understanding of what the data you've collected means. For gate count datasets you'll have access to:

  • Overview report:
    • A chart allowing you to break down your visitors by week, month, or year.
    • A statistical summary of your data, including the total, monthly average, and median number of visitors, as well as the busiest and least busy days.
    • A data table breaking down your visitors by month and library.
    • Pie charts showing the distribution of visitors by library, as well as by month.
  • Daily/Hourly reports: provide a breakdown of your visitors by day or by the hour including charts showing the distribution of visitors.
  • Trends report:  allows to see how the total number of visitors has changed over time. You can create charts to visualize trends in your data for the past 2 years, 3 years, 5  years, or even 10 years (if you have that much data!). In addition, you'll get a data table with each year's totals, with the ability to see year-over-year changes and the percentage change against the first year of the report.

Additionally, you can compare your gate count data with other datasets using the Cross Dataset Analysis tool. For example, you may want to compare your book circulation totals with the number of visitors to the library to see how often they're checking books out when they're in the library.

Lastly, you can pull your gate count data into a dashboard to provide an overview of how gate count impacts your library's metrics. Dashboards can be used internally, or you can create public-facing dashboards to give your community real-time insight into the usage of their library's services.

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