Setting Up Demand-Based Computer Labs
January 6, 2023 | Students
The first step to improving students’ access to computer labs is to evaluate true demand.
Computer labs are the gateways to research, information, specialized software, and tools that help students succeed. A wide range of students rely on computer labs to complete assignments, but they’re especially helpful for first-generation students, part-time students, freshmen, and students whose work requires highly specialized machines or programs.
Access to these computer labs and their resources are generally restricted by:
- limited hours of operation
- staffing constraints
- building access
- outsized demand
Students shouldn’t have to compete for resources, trek long distances or rearrange their schedules to access the tools they need to complete their assignments. Usage data can help IT managers set up demand-based computer labs.
The first step to improving students’ access to computer labs is to evaluate true demand. IT teams need to understand how labs are currently being used, and how they’ve been used over time.
Evaluate True Demand with LabStats & Power BI
To better understand true demand, you can use LabStats data in our new Power BI Dashboard templates. Follow the guides below to get started:
How to set up demand-based lab hours
Understanding when your students are using on campus computer labs allows you to cover their support needs without overstaffing. Follow this guide to optimize your lab hours based on usage to give students the resources they need while not overspending on open labs when they’re not being used.
How to set up demand-based lab staffing
Optimize staff scheduling and labor costs based on lab usage. Understanding when your students are using on campus computer labs allows you to cover their support needs without overstaffing. Follow this guide to optimize staff scheduling and labor costs based on usage.
How to find the machines that aren’t being used
Removing unused hardware from your inventory is a logical place to save budget dollars. Also, unused machines can be far more valuable if moved to a higher demand location. Historically, locating unused hardware has been a time-consuming process. Understanding which machines aren’t being used can help you optimize your IT spend and enhance your student’s experience with your public computing resources. Follow this guide to identify underutilized hardware in a matter of minutes, and reduce hardware costs.
Run Quick Reports in the LabStats Portal
Alternatively, you can run the following LabStats reports in the LabStats portal to get an overview of usage:
Now, what can be done with this data?
It’s time to take action. With reports and analyses in hand, IT teams can:
- Change computer lab hours of operation (ie: increase lab hours in popular labs or open later and close later to mimic student traffic)
- Adjust staffing times to better meet demand (ie: more people at the help desk during busy times)
- Redeploy unused computers to areas of higher demand
- Increase software licensing for the most popular programs
- Redeploy software applications new locations where the need is greater
By changing lab hours, staffing and hardware to reflect usage, students can have a better experience and IT budgets benefit. Reach out to our team if you need assistance or would like to learn more about using LabStats reports or Power BI Dashboard Templates.