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Is There A Need?

The goal of evaluating the FAQ data that you pulled is to determine if we need any new FAQs. As I mentioned on the first page of this guide, the decision to add an FAQ is both art and science. There's no magic formula that will tell you, "Yes, people need that information! Add those directions!" FAQ additions are more about understanding what students need that we're not addressing.

Putting It All Together

Data evaluation takes time and requires you to look over what you pulled to determine trends. This isn't an exhaustive list of what you might do, but in general, you should:

  • compare Query Analyzer data against EDS popular searches and librarian recommendations for potential FAQ needs;
  • review the submitted queries from Query Analyzer against the librarian recommendations to identify patterns; and
  • look for multiple, similar unsubmitted queries over multiple days to identify similar entries.

Interpreting Query Spy Data

The exported Query Analyzer data can be, at first glance, overwhelming. Consider using the following steps to divide it into manageable groups.

  • Using Excel, sort the data into the three Query Analyzer categories:
    1. not submitted
    2. clicked on question
    3. match via auto-select
  • The last, match via auto-select, can be discarded, as the user was able to find an answer to his/her question.
  • The not submitted group is usually the largest category. By reorganizing them into broad groups, you can find patterns and determine potential FAQ needs.Questions can be reviewed against the popular search requests and the librarian recommendations to determine if there is gap in the existing FAQs that needs to be addressed with a new entry. 
  • Sort the unsubmitted queries into the categories within Excel for analysis (you will need to assign the categories manually). Then review the entries for patterns to determine if there is a need for new.

Query Categories

This table provides examples of the categories that can be assigned to the queries. It can be modified as needed.

Category Description
Topic Actual research question
Database Name of a specific database
CWE APA; Writing assistance
Department Pertains to another part of the university such as learning teams or a college
Library Skills How to use the library
Scholarly/Peer Reviewed What are scholarly or peer reviewed articles and how to find them
Technical Queries about downloading, passwords, and/or saving articles
Source How to find a type of resource: video, magazine, autobiography, etc.
Software Searching for a software product
Citation Partial or complete citation or doi
Course Question about a class, including ERR location and assignments
Group Where to find a collection, usually an old library group like "Specialized"
Dissertations Where to find dissertations; how to publish them
Undeterminable Cannot determine the query
Academic Questions about tutoring, handbooks and academic policies
Book General question on how to find a book
Author General question on how to search for/by an author in the library
Service Inter-library loan, Ask A librarian, Request a Specific Document
Journal Name of a specific journal
Article General question on how to find an article in the library
Website Searching for an outside website