|Steering Group Update||Reporting SIG Update||Business Analyst Update||Watch This!||Bee Facts|
The FOLIO project has asked each implementing site to do a feature prioritization and gap analysis by the end of April. The Steering Group charged the Library Systems and Integration Support team with leading the work. The FOLIO Implementer Group’s charge regarding the feature prioritization/gap analysis can be found on the FOLIO wiki. This is the spreadsheet listing all the features that are to be ranked, lists the related FOLIO issues, and includes the 2018 responses from schools that had planned to go live in 2019. You may find the videos that have been produced as part of this process of interest. They are linked in the Watch This! section below.
Locally, the LSIS team has been holding reviews of the list with DUL staff who have been serving on the FOLIO SIGs, since they have been involved with the FOLIO conversations thus far. Please feel free to review the spreadsheet and any of the FOLIO issues in areas you’re interested in, but please do not fill in answers on the official FOLIO spreadsheet. Instead, please forward your questions to Julie Brennon, Jackie Gottlieb, Matt Harrington, Erin Nettifee, or Karen Newbery.
By Angela Zoss, Ph.D., Assessment and Data Visualization Analyst, Assessment & User Experience
I’ve been attending the weekly meetings for the FOLIO Reporting SIG since last September. The Reporting SIG is focused on:
- gathering data on the reporting needs of institutions implementing FOLIO
- sharing report requirements and reporting expertise with developers of any FOLIO apps that are implementing internal reports
- guiding the development of a “data warehouse” that will collect data across FOLIO apps and support broad reporting needs
The SIG spent much of last year gathering and prioritizing specific report requirements from member institutions, and we are just ramping up on the development of the data warehouse (officially known as the Library Data Platform, or LDP). The LDP is not an app like the other FOLIO apps. Instead, the LDP is being built as a relational database using open source database software called PostgreSQL.
For the last few months I’ve been directly involved in the design of the LDP through my participation in a report prototyping subgroup. The subgroup starts by looking for specific reports that have been requested by multiple institutions and rated as high priorities. Then the fields specified in the requirements for that report are matched up with data elements in the data storage modules for the FOLIO apps. Those data elements are then organized into the growing database schema for the LDP, according to both best practices and ease of use for report writers. Once the schema has been updated, LDP developers generate fake data to fill up the database tables and enable queries. Finally, the subgroup writes SQL code that can be used to generate the original report requested.
Using a relational database means that any reporting tool that can pull data from a database can be used with the LDP – we won’t be locked into one particular reporting interface. The report prototype subgroup has created a GitHub repository for sharing SQL code for different reports, and subgroup members have been testing that code in various reporting tools (e.g., Tableau, R, Crystal Reports, Aqua Data Studio). Some tools can ingest SQL code directly, whereas others may need a bit of transformation. Documenting processes like that and/or sharing additional code for particular tools will be ongoing work for the subgroup.
At Duke, though, we ultimately hope to implement a generalized reporting interface that can make it easy to create custom queries on the fly without having to learn or use the SQL code to query the LDP directly. More on that project in the months to come!
By Julie Brannon, Business Analyst, Library Systems and Integration Support
“What are the biggest challenges in your role?”
“Tell me about the tasks you perform each day…”
“What are the biggest pain points you experience in Aleph?’
If these questions sound familiar, then you’ve likely spent time with one of the IT Business Analysts as we delve into conversations with a list of approximately 120 staff members from across DUL and the professional libraries. We’re eager to gather existing documentation about existing processes, learn how you do what you do, listen to your perspectives about the transition to FOLIO, and transcribe your vision of future functionality.
These interviews are the highlight of my workday and I’ve already enjoyed the opportunity to meet with 17 interesting and welcoming professionals who are patient and generous with their time. These discussions provide the basis for inventories of existing business process, lists of reports and services, and system integrations. We’re busy translating those conversations into process workflow diagrams, business requirements, and future test cases.
So, if you haven’t already, please start gathering those documents, examples, complaints, and wish lists because sooner or later one of us may stop by your desk to ask “So, what documents about your work currently exist?” or “What reports do you wish you could run?”
Have you seen FOLIO yet? Check out these video overviews! These videos were produced to show the new features that we’re prioritizing, but they show more than that. Get a feel for how different apps work, how to navigate in FOLIO and what some of the screens look like!
ERM Functionality and Time Line
Launch Course app
Rank features for Kiwi
Introduce superusers to FOLIO 101
Review data requirements for historical Aleph data
Load Aleph-only users
Load budget allocations
Continue developing local training courses