With the wide variety of books that are rolled out into the market daily, how do libraries determine which books and the number of copies to purchase?
For Singapore's National Library Board (NLB), it relies on a SAS Demand Driven Forecasting solution which generates forecasts based on past data statistics.
The solution analyses NLB's loan data to generate unrestricted, rolling forecast numbers for new titles, existing titles and for unmet demands such as patrons who fail to checkout a book on their visit.
Each forecast is individually calculated using statistically optimised parameters to provide up-to-date projections. The forecasting processes also take into consideration factors that may impact the demand analysis including loans, categories of books, renewals, reservations, authors, and titles.
By using this solution, the library has seen a 60 percent improvement in accuracy when forecasting demand for new and existing titles. Colin Seow, manager for Resource Management at NLB, said: "Through the SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting solution, we are able to analyse past patron and circulation data, and turn these data into useful insights to guide our acquisition decisions."
The solution is currently commissioned across NLB's libraries and is fully automated. It also uses data from different systems, enabling the library's staff to provide better acquisition and collection planning recommendations with greater accuracy.
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