How Southern Cross University Uses LabStats

Southern Cross University (SCU) is a public university at the southern end of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. 

SCU has been using LabStats for 10 years and the IT team currently monitors 1,000 machines across 3 campuses.

We interviewed Paul Brown, Manager of Customer Service and Kelly Stewart, Desktop Services Team Lead on their experience with LabStats. Here’s what they had to say:

Southern Cross University – LabStats

Use Cases

Hot Desks

Paul’s team gets a lot of requests for hotdesks, so understanding how they are used helps better plan for capacity. Hotdesks are computers and laptop docking stations for staff. When a new request comes in, they use LabStats to look at the hours of utilization of nearby stations. They’re able to make decisions based on facts, rather than guessing or asking people how well used the spaces are. 

Funding and Space 

LabStats is called upon whenever there’s pressure on budget or space. There have been instances where a lab is identified as underutilized, and Paul’s team has been able to remove some of the workstations and reuse that space for other purposes.

Application Management

Kelly and her team often have a lot of software that gets installed for a future session. LabStats enables them to determine whether or not that software is required throughout the year, so they can better manage the standard operating environment.

Experience with LabStats

Paul shared a few of his experiences with LabStats’ support, updates and the overall return on investment:

LabStats Support

“The LabStats support team has always been very responsive. Despite the timezone differences they’re always available. I’ve had several conversations with representatives where they phoned me up during my business hours, which has been really helpful. We’re very happy with the work that they’ve done for us.” 

Updates

“They’re always making us aware of updates; there’s a good channel for letting us know when things are about to change. For instance, I know the API is changing later on this year, and we’ve got plenty of notice to make changes to our integration to that API before the new one goes live.” 

ROI

“LabStats represents a very good return on the investment. We find we use it a lot to provide data to allow the decision making process to be based on facts. I think it would be very difficult to have those conversations without LabStats providing that information for us.”

Interested in learning how other colleges and universities are using LabStats?

How Mount Royal University Uses LabStats

How Indiana University Northwest Uses LabStats

How Manhattan College Uses LabStats API

How the University of Texas El Paso Uses LabStats

To learn more about LabStats, schedule a walkthrough.

Tips for Creating LabMaps

Students have busy schedules and shouldn’t have to spend hours looking for a computer on campus. If your school has LabStats, you can quickly and easily create a LabMap for each of your computer labs. A LabMap is an image of your computer lab that shows students the availability of computers in real time.

How do LabMaps work?

LabMaps are powered by LabStats computer lab monitoring software. LabStats is a client that’s installed on computers, that tracks when, where and how long the computer is used. The usage data feeds into dynamic icons that you place on a static background, so students can find available computers on campus in real time.

You can display LabMaps on your school website, information kiosks or announcement screens throughout campus.

Creating a background

Background images can be simple or highly detailed. Your school may have layouts of labs or classrooms already created, or you may want to create your own. If you don’t have time or resources to design layouts, this could be a great project for design students or an intern.

Background image examples:

Background images should include tables or spaces for each station you track with LabStats. You can also include chairs, room orientation features and additional resources. 

What to include:

  • Tables or stations (can be as simple as a rectangle)
  • Chairs (optional)
  • Doors (to provide a sense of orientation)
  • Printers
  • Windows
  • Whiteboards and/or projectors
  • Accessibility stations
  • Collaboration spaces

Using dynamic icons

Dynamic blue, green and gray icons indicate the live status of each computer. We recommend including an icon key in every LabMap so students can quickly find an available computer.

LabMaps help students find available computers, so it’s important to design them with simplicity and readability in mind. To create a LabMap, just upload a layout of your space, and drag and drop the icons in place. Here are a few tips for designing your LabMaps:

1. Limit icon rotations to improve readability.

If you have round tables or a complex layout, it might be tempting to set each icon to face its chair. However, rotated icons are more difficult to decipher. Maps are easier to read if icons are all facing the same direction.

2. Limit background colors to improve icon readability.

Too many background colors can be distracting. We recommend simple backgrounds or black, white and gray layouts so the colors of the icons stand out. Everyone loves a little whitespace, after all.

3. Include orientation markers like doors and other room elements so students can find open computers.

Help students find the computer they need by including doors in your layouts. You can also include other recognizable elements like printer tables, lab assistant stations, or collaboration spaces to give students a sense of where the computer is in the room. This doesn’t have to be complex or to scale.

Interested in how other schools have used LabMaps? Check out these awesome examples:

Iowa State University LabMap

Iowa State University

The large icons and simple background make this LabMap easy to read, and doors help orient the room. View Live

Utah Valley University LabMap

Utah Valley University

The icons are all facing the same direction, so it’s easy to spot the available computers. The entrance and lab assistant desk are marked to orient the room. View Live

New York University LabMap

New York University 

This is a great example of a complex layout, where the map can help students navigate to computers without being distracted by other elements. View Live

Check out how other schools have built LabMaps here.

Students only have 24 hours in a day, and wandering around campus or driving home to access a computer takes away from the time they could be using to study, finish homework, or prepare for an upcoming exam. Effectively using and communicating LabMaps to students can improve their on-campus experience and keep them on path to success. 

The One Tool Every Lab Assistant Needs

That really happened. We watched a lab assistant send a student to a lab 5 blocks away where he knew every computer had Photoshop on it. When we talked with him later he admitted that a few computers in his lab have Photoshop installed, but he wasn’t sure which ones and didn’t know how to find out. 

Lab assistants are often students and part-time workers. They take on a job that requires a wide range of technical and campus knowledge, with little training and a high turnover rate. They’re great at fixing tech issues, helping professors transfer slides to digital formats and showing students how to log onto their school emails. 

However, lab assistants need more when it comes to helping students find tech resources on campus.

The Problem

Here’s the problems computer lab assistants are facing:

  • They don’t know what’s installed in their own spaces
  • They don’t know what’s installed in other labs around campus
  • They don’t know what computers are available outside of their lab

Lab assistants don’t always have the tools they need. They’re desperately trying to help students, but may end up sending them clear across campus (or across town).

The Solution 

Give lab assistants a tool that can help them find available computers and software around campus. 

LabFind for Lab Assistants

LabFind is a mobile app that’s included in the LabStats subscription at no extra cost. Lab assistants can download the app on their phones for free, sign in with their school email and get instant access to tech resources on campus.

Lab assistants can use LabFind to show students:

  • The least busy labs on campus, right now
  • Labs that are open the latest
  • Other labs that are nearby
  • Software in their lab
  • Software in other labs
  • Printers, 3D printers, projectors, collaboration spaces and more
LabFind Mobile App
LabFind Mobile App

Once they find the resource they’re looking for, the lab assistant can just click “Navigate” to get walking directions for the student. 

Helping Students and Themselves

A lab assistant can help a hundred students find the resources they need with the help of LabFind, but they’ll still be the point of contact for a lot of questions. 

This job description for a Student Computer Lab Assistant cuts straight to the point with this required skill:

“Maintaining a good attitude when repeatedly answering the same questions to the same students.”

EOSC.edu

The Win-Win

Lab assistants can use LabFind to show students where the computer or app they need is located, and then have students download the app to find it on their own next time. The app is free to download and easy to set up, students just need a school email to log in. 

If we empower lab assistants with LabFind, they can empower the students to find tech resources and get directions on their own. Everyone wins.

How Faculty Can Empower Struggling Students with Access to Technology

First-year students have a lot on their plates. After the whirlwind of enrollment, financial aid, purchasing required materials and moving onto campus, the dust seems to settle as they start attending classes. Or does it?

For students who may be overwhelmed by all the changes, opportunities and responsibilities of their first year, some may opt for the minimum viable input to just get through. What does that look like?

Struggling Students

Schools have put a lot of resources into providing counselors, student success centers, advisors and more to assure students have every tool at their disposal to succeed. The problem with these resources is that they often require students to put forth additional effort to get help.

Consider what obstacles these students may already be facing:

  • First-year students or incoming freshmen who are not college-ready
  • Transfer students who have struggled through the process of transferring credits and are navigating a new campus 
  • Low-income students who are balancing work and school with unreliable transportation and/or technology
  • At-risk or struggling students who are not able to keep up with academic demands
  • Students with tight schedules who are balancing work and family responsibilities
  • First-generation college students who are unsure what resources are available to them
  • Commuting students who spend little time on campus or rarely utilize on-campus resources
  • International or non-native speaking students who are learning a new language and culture while navigating college

Here’s the challenge: the students who would benefit from guidance and resources the most, tend to engage the least. They may be hesitant to draw attention to themselves, or simply don’t have the time or energy to sort through the various channels. 

These students may put forth the minimum effort to stay afloat: just attending class. So how can we better reach struggling students?

Faculty’s Unique Role

Instructors are in the unique position to connect with struggling students, and can have a significant impact on overall retention. 

“Individual instructors — especially in the first semester and first year — make a huge difference. If colleges are willing to collect data at a more granular level, it almost always reveals that certain professors have learned how to reach at-risk students effectively and teach them skills to survive at the college. Other instructors can, and should, learn from them.” Inside Higher Ed

While this is an admirable call to action, professors already have substantial workloads. We can’t expect every professor to identify and reach out to at-risk students–and the students themselves may wish to remain under the radar or resolve issues independently.

Instructors have the unique opportunity to point students to the tools they need to succeed on their own–regardless of whether their needs have been identified or not.

Access to Technology

One way professors can support student success is to ensure all students (not just those who are at risk or who voiced a need) have access to the technology required to complete their assignments.

Every assignment can be supported by easy access to the tools to complete the assignment. For instance, when assigning a research paper, instructors can direct students to computer labs and printers on campus. When assigning a group presentation, they can help students find quiet workspaces and projectors to practice their presentations. For assignments requiring specialized technology like a 3D design project, professors can put directions to 3D printers right in students’ hands through a mobile app. 

LabFind is a free mobile app that supports student success by breaking down the barriers to technology. With LabFind, students can search for the closest available computer, specific software or find a printer nearby. 

This is especially helpful for new students who may not be familiar with the campus, and whom may not have specialized software like SPSS or Adobe on their personal or home computers. With LabFind they don’t have to spend precious time looking for a computer, but can easily navigate to a computer with the software they need, and spend their energy on completing the assignment. When LabFind is shared in class through professors (especially in the first semester for new students), it may improve student retention.

Students don’t need to reach out for resources or request help, but rather are empowered to find critical resources on their own, in real time. Instructors aren’t expected to mentor every student individually, but can simply encourage students to download LabFind to find the tools to complete their assignment.

Access to technology doesn’t have to be a barrier to student success, and can be shared directly through faculty members to ensure first-year and at-risk students don’t miss out. Simple changes can start to improve retention and student success on your campus.

Increasing Discoverability of Tech on Campus

New students often face a mountain of hurdles, including navigating campus and knowing where to access resources, before they even begin their first assignment. Non-traditional students may face limitations on their study time due to work or familial commitments and foreign students are getting used to a new language and culture all while taking classes.

Discoverability of tech resources on campus is about removing barriers to success so students can get to work faster and spend more time focused on their assignments.

LabFind is a mobile app that increases discoverability of campus tech by directing college and university students to available computers and other resources on campus.

In addition to computers, students can use LabFind to navigate to:

  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Copiers
  • Projectors
  • Whiteboards
  • 3D printers
  • Group spaces

LabFind helps students who need to:

  • Find space to work on a group project
  • Print immediately
  • Practice a presentation
  • Brainstorm or storyboard
  • Use expensive or specialized technology

Improving the Student Experience

LabFind is just one of three ways LabStats partners with colleges and universities to improve the student experience by bringing hard-to-find resources to the surface. This greatly benefits new students, international students, non-traditional students, campus commuters, students who require accessibility resources and other student groups with outstanding access needs.

Capabilities can be added to LabFind anytime—and at no additional cost—to enhance the student experience.

Get started

If you have the cloud-based version of LabStats, your campus IT team can set up LabFind right now, or schedule a tutorial to be guided through all of LabFind’s features. If you don’t have LabStats yet, schedule a walkthrough.

How Indiana University Northwest Uses LabStats

Missy Borter and her team of technicians in the University Information Technology Services (UITS) department shared their experiences with us.

Life Before LabStatss

Tracking usage of Student Technology Centers has changed dramatically since UITS adopted LabStats. Previously, student workers kept a tally sheet, marking each person that entered and exited the lab on the hour. The tally sheet was the only source of utilization tracking, and left UITS with questions about departmental specialty labs and software usage.

“In just a few days after installing LabStats, we were able to have all our questions answered and explore new possibilities with LabStats data.”

And the team did just that. They started tracking all student-facing computers and seeking out ways to optimize for ease of maintenance, improved student experience, and overall budget.

Catering to Commuters

UITS was able to see where and how students were using technology by tracking hardware usage with LabStats. They noticed that students on the commuter campus averaged 2 minute sessions on kiosk computers, but that those kiosks saw over 200 logins a day. They combined LabStats reports (Login History, Average Usage History by Week, Application Launch History) with reports from printers in the same space to conclude that commuting students just wanted to stop by and print materials needed for class. 

After collecting usage data for a year, UITS determined they could reduce computers in departmental areas and Student Technology Centers and put money back into resources the students actually wanted. They created Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) stations for commuter students and added mobile charging stations around campus.

“After our success with reducing computer costs and creating BYOD areas, we are now installing LabStats on any computer a student utilizes, including classroom lectern computers. It is our job to create a successful environment and be good stewards to our students through technology, with LabStats we can make this possible.” -MB

UITS also identified peak and vacant times in the Student Technology Center with LabStats reports. UITS used the data to inform staffing schedules, placing more staff on hand during busy times, and discussed closing the less used areas to make room for departmental special events like placement testing or new student orientation.

They were surprised to find that students utilized less software than expected. The usage was focused on Microsoft Office and Google Chrome, as most student work is turned in electronically. The local and web application usage data is helping UITS plan for the future of online learning and driving technology plans moving forward.

Winning at Preventative Maintenance

“Hot Seat”

By tracking computer usage, UITS discovered that certain computers in their Student Technology Centers were getting used much more than others, requiring more maintenance over time. To combat this, UITS created a layout that identified the most used computers as “Hot Seats.” Then they replaced the Hot Seat computer periodically with an underutilized computer in the same area. Simply identifying and rotating computers has reduced maintenance, improved performance and given the workhorse computers a longer life.

Power Outages

Every morning UITS technicians check LabStats to ensure all computers are checking in properly. With this process, they were able to discover and resolve power outages in classrooms before the classes started. Now the technicians don’t have to interrupt a class just to plug in a computer or perform other similarly simple fixes.

Lasting Impact

Departments: Understanding Specialty Labs & Software

UITS funds classroom labs for departments that require specialty software and equipment, including Geo Science, Fine Arts and Testing. Before LabStats, no one knew if these labs were utilized and to what capacity. LabStats allowed UITS to see exactly how the specialty equipment and software were being used. They were able to bring the data to each department to discuss how to better utilize each space and help inform future purchasing decisions.

Budget: Crazy Savings

UITS used the Login History report to see how often each computer in the Student Technology Centers was logged in to over the course of an academic year. They realized that many computers were used less than 10 times a week. With this data, they decided to eliminate 55% of computers in the Student Technology Centers, saving over $55,000 without sacrificing service levels. 

“Without LabStats data, this project would not have been possible.” -MB

Sample Login History Report

Leadership: Leadership and Data 

UITS shared LabStats data with senior leadership, department heads and the office of the Registrar. They made recommendations backed by data, and worked together to determine if department classrooms should be added, or if software should be purchased or removed. They also provided the Registrar with more robust reports for each technology-enhanced classroom. This increased communication was made possible by LabStats’ easy-to-share reports.

Thankfully the days of tally sheets are gone, and with LabStats the team is now seeing big savings and a better experience for students at Indiana University Northwest. 

Who is LabFind for?

LabFind is a mobile app that empowers students to find available computers, software and study space, live in real-time. How exactly do students (and others) use LabFind to get to what they need? Let’s look at a few examples.

Freshmen, Transfer and First-Gen College Students

Students who are new to your campus may not know where to find computer labs, or be familiar with open-lab hours.

LabFind makes the process of discovering campus technology easy for new students by putting directions to every computer on campus right in the palm of their hands. Students can search for open labs, quiet labs where they can settle in and work on a big project, or find a lab near their dorm or classroom.

Students taking electives or exploring

Students taking elective classes or those who are brand new to a program may not have a personal computer with the right hardware requirements or software to complete their assignments. 

For instance, a student may have a personal Chromebook, but needs to use a MacBook Pro with Adobe Photoshop to complete the final project in their Photography 101 elective class. LabFind can direct that student to a MacBook Pro with Photoshop to check out from the school library for the duration of the class.

Group Assignments

LabFind can simplify planning for group assignments. Students can use LabFind to find the least busy labs on campus, along with spaces to work that have whiteboards. Students can also find group study rooms where they can collaborate without disturbing others. 

Students Preparing for Presentations

Whether a student is living on campus or commuting, it can be tough to practice a presentation without the right equipment or space. Students can use LabFind to find a quiet room on campus with a projector, where they can practice a speech or presentation.

Students with last-minute needs

Even if students have personal computers, many don’t have access to printers–or at least not right when they need them. For the students who finish typing their paper the morning it’s due and need to print it on the way to class, LabFind can help them find the closest printer on campus.

Night-Owls

For the students who need to work on projects late into the night or over the weekend, it can be challenging to find an open computer lab on campus. LabFind lets students search for the labs that are open the latest and choose the lab that has the specific software they need. 

Adjunct and Contract Professors

Professors often direct students to the resources they need to complete assignments, but that burden can be alleviated with LabFind. For example: if an adjunct or contract professor (who’s less familiar with campus) assigns a 3D design project, they can easily direct students to LabFind to search for 3D printers on campus.

The bottom line is that LabFind makes your campus technology more discoverable, and therefore more usable, by students, faculty and staff on your campus.

Get started

If you have the cloud-based version of LabStats, your campus IT team can set up LabFind right now, or schedule a tutorial to be guided through all of LabFind’s features. If you don’t have LabStats yet, schedule a walkthrough.

Must Haves to Launch LabFind on your Campus

Students can use the LabFind mobile app to find an available computer on campus and get directions to it in an instant.

Because LabFind is powered by LabStats monitoring software, students will only be able to find computers that have the client installed. Information like lab locations and hours of operation need to be set up first to appear in LabFind.

Set up is easy, especially if you already have groups and schedules configured in LabStats. 

Setting up Groups

Students can use LabFind to search for the closest, least busy lab or the lab that’s open the latest. When students search for a lab in LabFind, the app displays information based on the enabled labs.

Groups in LabStats
Labs in LabFind

Groups in LabStats are versatile, and can be used to identify physical locations of labs, departments, campuses or any organizational structure you set up.

Enable labs so they appear in LabFind

When you set up LabFind, you’ll need to identify the physical location of each lab, and then click to enable the ones you want to show to students.

To learn more about setting up groups and labs:

LABSTATS

LABFIND

Creating and Assigning Schedules

When students search for an available computer in LabFind, the results include lab hours. Students can also search for labs that are open the latest when they have to cram for a test or pull an all-nighter.

Open and closed labs in LabFind

Lab hours show up in the schedule section of LabFind and are used in the background to filter search results. 

Schedules need to be created in LabStats and assigned to groups so they show up in LabFind. This is important even if your lab is open for twenty-four hours. Just set up a schedule from 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM so the lab shows as “open” in LabFind. Twenty-four hour labs without schedules set will not show up in LabFind.

Getting it Right 

Cleaning up your groups and schedules in LabStats makes all the difference in making LabFind a powerful tool for students. Get your campus ready for LabFind with these resources:

You can also schedule a LabFind Training to get one-on-one help setting up LabFind and getting your groups and schedules in order.



Tracking Usage Beyond Student Computers

Although created to track student computers on college campuses, over the years we’ve heard creative ways that CIO’s and lab managers are using LabStats. Turns out, student facing computers are just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s far-reaching benefits to tracking usage of faculty, staff and other computers around campus.  

But first, let’s dive into the benefits of tracking student computers.

Student Facing Computers

These are the resources students use on a regular basis, including computer lab and classroom computers. Keeping your finger on the pulse of student needs and available resources enables you to proactively manage campus tech and improve the student experience.

Benefits of tracking

  • Compare the popularity of different software applications and computer specs to inform budget decisions
  • Notice trends and adjust proactively when resources fall out of favor or are in high demand
  • Verify that ADA resources are available and used to prevent liability exposure
  • Direct students to resources they need
  • Attract students with cutting edge technology
  • And more

Risks of not tracking

  • Basing initiatives and expenses on educated guesses and estimations
  • Limited ability to plan strategically
  • Deployment of software is either everywhere (site/enterprise license) or potentially missing the students that need it
  • No way to know if newer software packages are becoming more popular than the traditional software
  • No way to assess the burden of “free” software on the network
  • No way to verify if you have the right balance of accessibility resources

In short, tracking computers enables lab managers to understand student needs better serve all students. Who else on campus might benefit from this type of proactive service, and what does it look like?

Faculty Computers

Professors typically receive blanket solutions for hardware and refresh schedules, regardless of what they really need. However, usage data can inform more specific solutions to ensure every professor, TA and faculty member has the hardware and software they need most.

Benefits of tracking

  • Right-size resources
  • Provide wish-list tech
  • Verify appropriate usage
  • Find out if faculty prefer a particular hardware setup over another, such as desktop vs. laptop PCs and possibly reduce hardware they don’t use
  • Adjust the refresh schedule according to usage to keep heavy users happy and save money on rarely used equipment

Staff Computers

Staff computers are the computers in the administration office, those used by library staff, student center workers, counselors or other staff on campus.

Benefits of tracking

  • Verify the need for software, especially expensive software
  • Clean up software images so staff only have what’s needed
  • Simplify refresh schedules
  • Improve the accuracy of IT resource planning in annual budgets

Kiosks

Many schools have added standing kiosks to common spaces and libraries around campus. Kiosks are usually student or public facing, and can display campus maps, LabMaps and event schedules.

Benefits of tracking

  • Improve student experience
  • Improve staff efficiency
  • Understand how people are interacting with kiosks to proactively improve the user experience and highlight the most sought-after information
  • Determine if you need more kiosks or other student facing tools based on usage and traffic patterns

Open Lab

An open lab is an area with computer stations that can be accessed by students and the public. This is especially beneficial to track as they often have a wider range of users with different needs.

Benefits of tracking

  • Maximize budget by understanding where and how computers are used
  • Increase IT department efficiency by aligning service time-spend with hardware use
  • Improve user experience by right-sizing available software and hardware according to use

Classroom Lab

Whether the lab is exclusively used for classes, or for both classes and open lab space, it’s important to track usage specifically.

Benefits of tracking

  • Verify that appropriate software is installed
  • Clearly understand opportunities to maximize resources by using classroom labs  for a dual use: open lab access during non-classroom hours
  • Understand opportunities to expand resources without adding infrastructure
  • Enable focused resource rollouts for class specific software
  • Provide a teacher-viewer login to run reports on specific classroom activity

Esports Spaces

Esports are a growing trend on college campuses with competition arenas and devoted practice spaces. Tracking usage of these computers is essential to justifying spend and anticipating budgets for upcoming years.

Benefits of tracking

  • Track demand: are Esports spaces large and well-equipped enough to accommodate student athletes?
  • Add additional resources as needed based on usage trends
  • Establish a cutting edge IT reputation
  • Serve a previously underserved student group

Virtual Desktops (VDI)

LabStats works with physical thin clients and can track virtual desktops. There are far-reaching benefits to tracking VDI as the trend grows.

Benefits of tracking

  • Assess future VDI trends vs. traditional lab spaces
  • Provide restricted access to expensive software while still making it available for those who need it

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD may be the future of campus tech, so collecting usage data early is key. BYOD computers use university credentials to access software and other resources provided by the university, so it’s important to see how these are used in comparison to more traditional on campus resources.

Benefits of tracking

  • Understand what software is and isn’t being used by BYOD devices
  • Plan for future needs based on usage trends and patterns
  • Predict expenses to simplify budget planning

Single Purpose Computers

The most overlooked computers on campus are those that are used for a single purpose. Think science lab computers that are connected to machinery, computers exclusively used with 3D printers, Bloomberg terminals or podium computers that only see action during conferences or presentations.

Benefits of tracking

  • Verify resources are being used as intended
  • Ensure software versions are up to date
  • Minimize image size

Library and Student Center Computers

Study spaces and library computers may not fit into the “computer lab” umbrella, but should be tracked. Student center computers or support resources for ESL students can greatly benefit from usage data insights.

Benefits of tracking

  • Show traffic patterns to improve layout of large spaces
  • Establish staff schedules around peak demand
  • Provide feedback to departments about use of resources from users within their department
  • Reallocate computers according to student traffic and use patterns

Take a mental inventory of all the computers on your campus that you’re not tracking. What valuable insights might you be missing? Is a lack of insight costing you money or preventing you from providing a better experience?

Risks of not tracking other hardware on campus:

  • Pay for computers that have limited use
  • Overlooking machines when addressing IT updates
  • Assume you are getting value out of the kiosk or computer when that may not be the case
  • Bottleneck growth of Esports at your institution due to ill-equipped or overloaded spaces
  • Unknown virtual activity shares many of the same possible consequences as unknown hardware activity
  • Unable to prepare for a change in demand for BYOD in the future
  • Unknown vulnerabilities (physical or digital) that could negatively affect expensive hardware

Risks of not tracking other software on campus:

  • Pay for software that is not used
  • Old versions of software may be lingering on “out of sight” computers, increasing vulnerability and compatibility issues, eventually demanding more time from IT staff
  • Risk expensive, unjustified software expenses
  • Prone to issues due to outdated software or improper use
  • Supporting software packages that are underused

With insights into these additional computers, you have the opportunity to increase faculty and staff satisfaction, improve IT department efficiency, and verify that user needs are met without overspending.
To see what insights you could gain through usage data, schedule a walkthrough. If you already have LabStats and would like to see how you can start tracking additional computers on campus, schedule a tutorial.


How Manhattan College Uses LabStats API

Manhattan College sought to improve the student experience by making computers on campus easier to find.

Information Technology Services (ITS) at Manhattan College manages 15 computer labs with more than 450 computers across campus. ITS needed a way to communicate computer availability to students in real time.

ITS used the API to access data from their LabStats instance, and built a custom platform called “LabSeat.” LabSeat showcases real time availability of computers on campus through charts and maps.

LabSeat at Manhattan College, powered by LabStats API

The charts show the percentage of use of each lab in color coded bars. Green bars highlight availability, while yellow bars indicate the lab is 75% full. Classroom labs, open labs, and kiosks are all represented.

Charts showing real time availability with LabStats API

LabSeat includes links to see the lab hours and classroom times.

ITS at Manhattan College also linked their custom solution to LabMaps. The map shows real-time computer availability using green, blue and gray icons that update automatically using LabStats usage data.

LabMap at Manhattan College

LabMaps is a feature included with LabStats software, while “LabSeat” is a custom solution developed using the LabStats API.

LabSeat and LabMaps have improved the student experience at Manhattan College. Students who are working on group projects can find labs with a row of available computers so they can study together. Students looking for a lively environment to work can find a busy lab, while those looking for a quiet study space can find a lab with that’s less busy. This is especially helpful during midterms and finals.

“LabSeat is especially useful when it’s time for finals and you need to find a good studying spot in the computer labs.”

Anita McCarthy

Three years after its launch, LabSeat is still showing value. LabSeat was recently showcased in a Virtual Technology Showcase, which highlights ways technology can improve students’ daily experiences at Manhattan College.

This is just one of the many things you can do with the LabStats API. To learn more, schedule a walkthrough.