Decisions Blog

Using External data with Talis Decisions

For most people, the main use of Talis Decisions is to extract and display data from Talis Alto. Talis Alto does not however contain data on everything that is known about a borrower or an item. In an earlier post for example I explained how reports could be produced combining PC booking data with Talis Alto data to produce a more complete picture of activity in the library.

The same principle can be used to extrapolate from data that Talis Alto does hold to infer those that it does not. Here for example is a chart that combines borrower postcode data with a postcode-to-electoral-ward lookup table to derive the number of borrowers by electoral ward:

Ward density

This was produced by combining a query on postcode with a sample of lookup data provided by Map-Logic (the base data are © Crown Copyright).

The report was produced in Desktop Intelligence. The lookup data were imported from a spreadsheet:

WardLook up data

(In this example the borrower data were extracted using Freehand SQL rather than a Universe query: I can supply more details on request to anyone interested)