Overview Statistics toolkit

Created to make it easier for you to get the most out of the data you collect

Close up image of library document
Close up image of library document

It has been developed together with a recommended supplementary dataset to help you :

  • collect local staffing, financial and activity data
  • make effective use of this for service improvement and reporting to stakeholders

Why do you need the toolbox?

Do you wonder:

  • if there was more you could do with your annual statistics returns?
  • that ​you should be collecting something different?  ​
  • how to present statistics to make them work for your service?  ​

If you do, the Toolbox can help.

What is in the toolbox?

We’ve done extensive research into:

  • what you collect
  • issues with collecting and using data
  • how statistics have been used

These Toolbox sections were created from the results of this research: 

  • Supplementary Dataset:  additional data that may be useful to collect 
  • Case Studies: a metric to help you produce case studies to show how local or national statistics have made a difference
  • Infographics: how to display your data visually, with 3 tools and further reading
  • Dashboards: examples of performance dashboards from health library and knowledge services 
  • Dashboard Templates: examples of templates 

Please send feedback and comments to Heather Steele ([email protected])

Why do we collect certain statistics? (Or how are the statistics used nationally?)

Nationally statistics are used for various reasons: 

Staffing data 

  1. Answers questions from HEE about workforce numbers and staff qualification.
    ESR does not provide granularity e.g. distinguishing between Library Assistants and Senior Library Assistants.
  2. Helps managers to make business cases by providing comparative data e.g. number and bands of library assistants 
  3. Checking the profile of the LKS workforce – are we seeing fewer or more para-professional posts? 
  4. Tell us how many training places are needed for Knowledge for Healthcare priorities 
  5. Identify who should be attending Leadership training 

Activity and financial data 

  1. Inform development of the national Knowledge for Healthcare strategy 
  2. Inform national procurement of e-resources 
  3. Support negotiations of the CLA licence i.e. interlibrary loan activity 
  4. Help build model for possible future funding of NHS provided LKS
  5. Identify which organisations do not receive LKS services
  6. Trends in inter-library loan activity 
  7. Measure efficiencies through CAS collaboration 
  8. Monitor trends in user education 
  9. Monitor changes to income streams 

What is the recommended minimum to collect?

Apart from the national statistics return we do not recommend a minimum as we do not wish to be prescriptive.   

However, we do have a supplementary dataset  you may use for collection.  It is not exhaustive. 

Where can I find other useful statistics?


Where do I find the documentation I need?

For the part 1 staffing and part 2 activity statistical returns, and documentation, visit the annual statistical return section.

Who or where do I need to submit it to?

Please seek advice from your local HEE LKS lead. 

How can I get training on Excel?

Contact your ICT department (or education department).   

There may be some online courses available or courses held at your local college.

Can I get training on statistics?

This is a very large topic and we cannot be detail them all.

If you have an identified development need, seek out training/support within your organisation or online courses, e.g. via edX.

Contact your regional/local CPD leads for advice and support.

Can I get any support on my statistics?

Contact your regional CPD lead  for a list of statistics Champions or [email protected] . 

Who should be involved in collecting or analysing statistics?

All staff should be involved with the collecting or analysing of statistics. 

We all have a responsibility to ensure that statistics are consistent.   If you have an idea,  raise it with your manager. 

Where can I find out more about metrics?

The metrics template has been adapted for the statistics toolkit. 

How can I use statistics to justify/improve statistics?

See our case studies for examples.

What can I do with the information once I have it?

This depends on what information you have collected, why you’ve collected it and who you are presenting it to.   

Please refer to other sections of the statistics toolkit for ideas. 

How can I present my statistics appropriately?

There are many ways of presenting your statistics.  See the infographics section.

Is there a Dashboard?

There is no national dashboard at present. 

See examples that other Trusts have used and shared in the dashboards section. 

How can I create an infographic?

See the infographics section.

Where are your case studies?

See the statistics and metrics case studies. 

Can I submit a case study?

Yes. Submit via the metrics submissions form.

Can I use benchmarking?

Benchmarking should be used with caution as it is not easy to apply.  Seek advice before proceeding. 

What statistics tools are available to me?

There are various tools available e.g. SPSS or SeekTable.  We cannot make recommendations.  

You may find NHS Improvement’s Making Data Count website useful

How can I use my LMS to extract data for statistics?

Contact your LMS provider for support. 

How can I use my online resources to extract data?

Please contact providers for support (e.g. Wiley, Ebsco, etc) 

Where is the NHS Costing Framework?

The costing framework is available for trained users.

How do I figure out cost per access usage figures?

Use COUNTER5 reports.

See the Guide to Usage Statistics for Discovery Services, Databases, eJournals and eBooks.

eResources Usage Statistics webinars are held regularly each year.  Check the Knowledge Services Briefings for dates.

How do I measure ROI (return on investment)?

Some useful papers may be found in the Value and Impact toolkit

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021