Using Data for Space Planning on Campus
June 22, 2022 | Data
With LabStats API and BI Reports, you can identify when spaces are underutilized and improve management of space on campus.
Usage data reports may reveal opportunities to rearrange spaces on campus to better meet the needs of faculty and students post-COVID. For those who are back on campus, hot desks, laptop docks and kiosks for quick printing may be in higher demand than they were just a few years ago. Computer labs and classrooms may be competing for the same space as students and staff return to on-campus learning.
LabStats data helps university IT teams optimize computer lab hours of operation and staffing according to actual demand. Specifically, teams can use this data to:
- Ensure computer labs are open at the time students need them
- Reduce labor spend by staffing strategically
- Staff your labs based on student demand and actual lab usage
If you’ve been tracking computer usage with LabStats, you can review the Median and Peak Capacity Utilization to see how computer labs and classrooms are used–and how that usage has changed over time. How can you use data to make changes to spaces on campus?
- Add a class to a computer lab
- Combine a classroom and computer lab
- Convert a lab into a classroom
A couple of these space-saving strategies were used by Macalester College in combination with LabStats data.
Mini Case Study: Macalester College
Macalester College is a private liberal arts college in Minnesota. With just over 2,000 students, they have limited space and limited resources. So when the Psychology department wanted to add a class and host it in an existing computer lab in the Psychology building, IT was skeptical.
The IT team turned to data to see if it was possible to add a class to their already busy computer lab. They ran Login History reports in the LabStats portal.
Login History Reports
After running the reports, they discovered that students didn’t use the computer lab between 9:40am-11:10am on weekdays. With data in hand, they approved the additional Psychology class for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:40am.
IT adjusted the computer lab hours around the new class, confident that students wouldn’t miss having access to the lab during that time. The new schedule provided students with the best experience by keeping similar classes in close proximity and allowed the Psychology department to feel ownership of the space.
In another area on Macalester’s campus, there were ongoing space challenges with an active learning classroom. So in 2018, IT relocated a computer lab into the space.
With the investment in hiding furniture, IT needed a way to track usage to ensure the computers weren’t overlooked. They used the LabStats API to create a simple map to communicate computer availability and monitor activity.
Think about the space you already have on campus. Are there rooms designated for classes, while others are exclusively used as computer labs? What would it take to make those spaces more flexible? Is it possible to accommodate both departmental growth and a higher demand for open computers?
With LabStats API and BI Reports, you can identify when those spaces are underutilized and improve management of space on campus. Contact us to start a free trial to learn more.