Using Custom Search for the Elusive Borrowing Renewal Statistics
We recently noticed a question asked in the ILLers Facebook group about how to best find statistics on Borrowing Renewal Requests, and we though that topic might be a good fit as an article here in the Atlas Systems Community.
The question posed was:
“… does anyone know of a good way to find statistics on renewals in ILLiad? We are trying to figure out how many borrowing renewal requests we processed in the last year. I've checked the web reports but it didn't seem like there were any that included info about renewals.”
The easiest solution for something like this would be a fairly simple Custom Search in the ILLiad Client itself. A link to the documentation for that function, should anyone need it, can be found here:
Essentially, all you would need to do here is open up a custom search window and specify three conditions:
- The Transactions “ProcessType” value is “Borrowing”. This will limit the results of the search to only Borrowing transactions.
- The Tracking “ChangedTo” field for the transaction was at some point set to a renewal-specific status. ***More on the specifics of this one in a moment.
- The Tracking “DateTime” field value is within whatever date range is being looked at. In the question posed to Facebook, this time frame was a calendar year.
Now, as to the second condition above, the “renewal-specific status”, the status you’ll want to use in your system may well be different depending on two things:
- How your system is set up with regard to Automatic Renewals.
- What you’re after statistically.
Renewal options at the ILLiad system level can be found here: https://support.atlas-sys.com/hc/en-us/articles/360011810294-Configuring-Borrowing-Renewals, but generally speaking, if Automatic Renewals are turned on, the key status change here is likely going to be “Renewed By…” someone, be it by the customer him/herself, or by the ILL staff. And if Automatic renewals are turned off, your key status is likely going to be “Renewal Requested”.
So, if Automatic Renewals are turned on, your Custom Search is going to look something like this:
And if Automated renewals are disabled on your system, you’d just change the ChangedTo value being looked at to instead be “Renewal Requested”, like this:
This sort of Custom Search should cover basic counts of Renewals processed. It’ll return a list of the transactions that meet the specified criteria, as well as a total number of records returned.
Please note too that, if you allow multiple renewals on items, or if the ChangedTo value being looked at in your custom search is too general (for example, “[Tracking.ChangedTo] Is like %Renew%’), you may well see the occasional duplicate transaction in there. That just means that the duplicated transaction has gone through the looked at status change more than once. To avoid this, be as specific as you can with the ChangedTo value.
And of course, you can further fine tune the search to look for other specifics, either by adding more conditions or by refining the values being looked at further.
For example, if you wanted to know how many renewals had been denied by lending institutions during the specified time frame, you could just change the ChangedTo value being looked for to “Awaiting Denied Renewal Processing”, and so forth.