Setting up LibInsight Lite for the first time

We know - getting a new system is both really exciting and fairly daunting all at the same time. You have this shiny new system...with nothing in it. What do you do with this totally empty system?? Let's walk through the things you ought to learn & discuss before you start setting up your system and then help you set everything up!

Are you a new LibInsight Full customer? This Springboard is geared towards users getting started with the lite version of LibInsight. If you are getting started with a new LibInsight Full system, don't worry -- we have a Springboard tailor made for you! Learn more about setting up LibInsight Full for the first time.

Who is this Springboard for?

While it's initially sent to the first Admin level user created in the system, that doesn't mean only that person should take a look! (Unless you're a solo librarian...then it just makes sense, of course! ;) ) This guide is for anyone who is helping to initially set up the system. Others may or may not be Admin level users in the system, but they can still understand the options and help discuss / form the plan for how you'll use the system, so feel free to share the information!

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Join our Springy Training Team for the LibInsight: Custom Datasets workshop. This session is for folks are interested in making use of the Custom Dataset -- the only dataset type available in LibInsight Lite. Custom datasets allow you to design your own dataset from scratch, allowing you to analyze data for just about anything. You define the type of date/time stamp to use, as well as the different types of fields..

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What is the difference between LibInsight and LibInsight Lite?

So, just what's the difference between LibInsight and LibInsight Lite? Although they share many core features, there are some important differences that make LibInsight Lite, well, lite. :)

Feature LibInsight LibInsight Lite
Maximum number of datasets you can create Unlimited Varies. Your subscription will limit you to a certain number of datasets (contact our Sales Team to increase your limit).
Types of datasets you can create You can create both specialized and custom datasets. Specialized datasets provide you with analytics tailored to certain types of data, such as e-resources, circulation, acquisitions, gate counts, finances, reference transactions, and more. You can only create custom datasets. These will allow you to run general anayltics on your data, including field analyses, time-based analyses, distributions, and cross-tab reports.
Supports COUNTER and SUSHI data Yes! The E-Resources/COUNTER 5, E-Journals/Databases (COUNTER 4), and eBooks (COUNTER 4) datasets both support a range of COUNTER reports, allowing you to upload and analyze your e-resources data. You can even connect to a growing number of SUSHI providers to import your data directly from your vendor. No, custom datasets do not support these types of data.
Share datasets with other LibInsight users for collaborative data collection Yes, the Shared dataset allows you to create and share datasets with other libraries using LibInsight. You can even contribute to the ACRL Statistics dataset, which is automatically shared with every LibInsight library. No, Shared datasets are not available.
Automatically import data from other Springy tools You can automatically import and analyze top-level data from LibGuides, LibCal, and LibAnswers. This is not possible with custom datasets.
Upgrade any time! If you're currently using LibInsight Lite, but want to take the full version of LibInsight for a spin, contact our Springy Sales team for a quote!

Step 1. Configure your system settings

Before you start adding user accounts for your colleagues, it can be helpful to get your system settings configured first. This will make sure that all of the settings are the way you want before users start adding data to your datasets (more on those below) in your system. The most important of these is the Your Local Time setting, as this affects things like automatic timestamp recording, date/time-based analysis reports, and more, so be sure to select the proper time zone for your system.

Learn more

Step 2. Add user accounts

This is where you can start giving your colleagues access to LibInsight Lite. When you add an account, be sure to select the appropriate level of permissions for that user, based upon how you need them to use the system. For example, if you will have other folks helping you manage the system, you'll want to make sure they have admin-level access. If you want to allow someone to record data to, administer, and/or analyze a dataset, then they need to have at least a regular-level account. 

Once you've given everyone access, encourage them to explore the system hands-on. Don't forget to share our documentation and training resources, too, in case they need any help!

Learn more

Step 3. Set up your datasets

LibInsight Lite allows you to create and set up a limited number of custom datasets -- your subscription will determine the number of datasets you can create (contact our Sales Team to increase your limit) -- to collect and analyze data for all aspects of your library. LibInsight Lite's custom datasets can handle any number of fields and field types, form layouts, report variations, etc. -- enabling you to define specific fields and data points relevant to your library's statistics scenarios.

Setting up your datasets can be a collaborative effort, especially if you'll have multiple staff members managing datasets, recording data, and running analysis. Just keep in mind as you're setting up your datasets that system admins and regular-level users that have been given permission to define and administer a dataset are the only people who can manage each dataset's settings. All other regular users will only be able to add records and use the dataset in analysis and dashboards if they've been given permission to do so. With this level of dataset-specific permission control, you'll want to make sure your staff all have the necessary access to your datasets.

Learn more

Step 4. Start recording/uploading data

There are three primary ways you can add data to your datasets in LibInsight LIte:

  • Manual entry: users who have permission to record data can enter it manually via the Record Data page in LibInsight Lite. Depending upon your dataset's settings, users can add one or multiple records at a time.
    • When manually adding records, you can create and use pre-defined entries. Think of these as templates that can make recording commonly-added records quicker and easier: when a user selects a pre-defined entry, it will automatically populate the Record Data form's fields using the entry's preset values. Users can then make any changes they need before submitting the new record.
  • Upload in bulk: in addition to manually adding individual records, you can upload data in bulk via a CSV or Excel file. LibInsight Lite will provide you with the list of field names your file must include in order to be uploaded successfully.
    • In general, the column headings in your spreadsheet must match the field names in your dataset. All required fields (such as the Start Date) must be present, but optional fields (such as Internal Notes) may be omitted.
    • When uploading a file, make sure that you select the date format that matches the format used in your file's Start Date column. You can set the default date format for file uploads by customizing the System Date Format in your system settings.
  • Widgets and APIs: these allow you to add data from outside of LibInsight Lite.
    • Widgets can either be fully embedded in a page, launched via a button or side-tab, or display as a standalone page with a direct URL. No matter which type you choose, widgets can be configured to allow anyone (including non-account holders) to add records or require users to first authenticate with their LibInsight Lite user account.
    • APIs allow you to add data via a hosted script using the POST method. LibInsight Lite will provide you with the form data and parameters to use for adding records to your dataset.

By default, users who have permission to add data can also edit or delete their own records. Users with Admin permissions, however, can edit or delete any user's records in the dataset.

Add and manage data

Create widgets and APIs

Step 5. Analyzing data

While analyzing your data isn't part of your initial set up of LibInsight Lite, it is the reason why you have gone through the first four steps above. Once you have some data in your datasets, you can utilize LibInsight Lite's powerful analysis tools to get a better understanding of what the data you've collected means. For each of your datasets, you'll find the following reports:

  • Data grid: provides a list of all records included in your report. From this view, records can also be edited and deleted. Admins have the ability to edit or delete any record. All other users can only edit or delete the records that they've entered.
    • You can filter the data included in your report by one of several date & time filters, as well as by field value(s).
    • Use the Export Data tab to download a copy of this data in CSV format.
  • Field Analysis: provides you with an in-depth look at the responses for individual fields.
  • Time-Based Analysis: allows you to track your data over time. This can include the total number of entries added to your dataset, as well as the sum of Numeric fields and distribution of Select fields. You can analyze data by year, month, day, or hour.
  • Duration: If your dataset includes both a Start Timestamp and End Timestamp, this report will allow you to analyze the duration of each record.
  • Distributions: provides a breakdown of your data over time (i.e. year, month, day of the week, hour of the day) and by the Entered By user.
  • Cross Tab: allows you to compare the relationship between two fields.
  • Trends: allows you to see how the totals of your numeric data have changed over time (i.e. the past 2 years, 3 years, 5  years, or even 10 years). In addition, you'll see year-over-year changes and the percentage change against the first year of the report.

In addition, LibInsight Lite includes other tools to help you analyze, visualize, and share your data with others:

  • Dashboards: dashboards allow you to display charts of key data points from one or more datasets on a single page. Dashboard pages can be public or private, allowing you to create and share dashboards internally with staff or with the public. You can get more information on dashboards in Step 6.
  • Cross-Dataset Analysis: allows you to compare up to 4 variables from across one or more datasets. This can provide some really useful insight for seeing trends across services or resources over time.

Learn more

Step 6. Set up dashboards

If you want to take your analysis a step further, while also giving others a look at the data you've been collecting, you can set up dashboards. Dashboards allow you to create shareable custom pages that provide a broad overview of the 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.

Learn more

Setup Checklist

Before you go, consider reviewing the following checklist to make sure you have everything set up and ready for action. If you missed something, no worries! Check out the sections above for help tying up any loose ends.

System settings

  • Have you configured your system settings, such as date & time settings and access rules?
  • Have you added any custom header, footer, and JS/CSS code to style your site?

User accounts

  • Does everyone who needs a user account have one? (Remember: a staff member must at least have a Regular account to be able to record and/or analyze data.)
  • Have you set up each user's dataset permissions, as needed?
  • Has each user been introduced to LibInsight Lite, including what datasets they have access to, how to record data, and how to analyze the data?


  • Do you know what data you want to collect?
  • Have you created all of the datasets that you need to collect that data?
  • Do your Regular users have access to the datasets where they need to record data?
  • Have you instructed your staff on who should be recording data, when/how often that data should be recorded?

Analysis & Dashboards

  • Do you have a plan in place for who will be running analysis on the data you're collecting?
  • Do your Regular users that will be running analysis and creating dashboards have the proper access to each dataset to allow them to do so?
  • Do you have dashboards created to provide an overview of your data? If not, do you have a plan for who should create dashboards and what data should be added to them?

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