What types of usage data do information managers actually want?

A new survey from research and advisory firm, Outsell, Inc., highlights the importance of frequent and detailed usage data for information managers in order to show the value of content spend.

The research – a combination of responses from current and former members of Outsell’s information management community, feedback from information managers, and industry analysis – confirms the value of usage data in supporting R&D, product innovation, and competitive advantage.

Content that’s worth the spend

Most information managers are tasked with proving that high cost content is worth the expense. According to the survey, collecting comprehensive usage data on a regular basis is crucial for many information managers because it offers real insight into what content is worth the investment. Respondents noted that not only does usage data demonstrate the specific value of subscriptions, it also allows them to accurately allocate charges within the organization.

Respondents were clear about what they want to do with usage information. For example, they need to be able to:

  • Convert data into visuals
  • Compare different pricing models
  • Access statistics that are in a useable format (i.e. electronic)

What information managers are looking for in usage data

It’s vital for information managers to understand the extent to which content is being used and by whom. To this end, respondents want to see COUNTER-compliant statistics demonstrating:

  • Downloads, searches, and views broken down by specific users, location, and by journal
  • Number of hits, downloads, and prints
  • Usage by date, broken down by month, quarter, and year
  • Patterns and trends

All of these metrics fall into what we at CCC like to call ‘measures that matter’ – measures that can be used to provide clarity around the content your employees are using.

Related Reading: Defending Content Spend 101: Make Sure You Involve the Right People 

Current challenges

According to some survey respondents, standalone usage statistics are not enough. The data needs to tell a story that goes beyond numbers, and provide a more precise picture of what content users are most interested in.

Information managers continue to look for even more data that can be used to help them better understand their clients, how they interact with the products they license, and how the content fits into their workflows.

The strategic solution

In an environment of declining or flat budgets and rising content costs, information managers need to monitor content use and demonstrate the ROI of their subscriptions. Usage and value statistics help information managers meet the information needs of their end users and show the strategic business value of content to their organization.

RightFind® Business Intelligence helps information managers gain insights on content usage and justify their content spend. Data is presented in a way that is quickly understood by senior management, resulting in increased visibility of information services and the strategic value of content. Contact us to learn more.


Author: Casey Pickering

Casey Pickering is a Product Marketing Manager in CCC’s Publisher Business Unit. Casey develops go-to-market strategies, conducts market research, creates customer personas, drives strategic marketing efforts, and develops product positioning to drive interest in our product offerings. A passionate Boston sports fan, Casey is a graduate of Northeastern University and enjoys spending time outside with her family including her Bernese Mountain Dog, Riggins.
Don't Miss a Post

Subscribe to the award-winning
Velocity of Content blog