Case Study: Demonstrating ROI on website investment

Informational websites are only as valuable as they information they hold – naturally they are most valuable if your users can find what they’re looking for. In demonstrating value on investment, reporting on content interaction must be one of your first key KPI measures. So if you have an informational website, then this case study may just help you.
State Library of NSW Logo

Client: State Library of New South Wales
Date: November 2016
Challenge: Tracking engagement to demonstrate value


The Background

The Australian Government provides funding and support to arts and cultural organisations and individual artists nation-wide. Their funding enables organisations such as the State Library of NSW to source and care for our unique and valuable Collections. The State Library of NSW recently implemented a significant redesign of their website. As it has long recognised that its implementation of Google Analytics was less than ideal, they wanted to take the opportunity to significantly improve the reporting from the site.
The Challenge

As with any institution receiving public funding, the State Library of NSW needs to demonstrate value back to the community. Cultural institutions have unique challenges in demonstrating their public value. In the past, value was measured almost solely on people physically visiting the institution. Today however, there are many audiences that extend well beyond their walls. This now requires the organisation to also measure and justify spend on technology investments.

The challenge in this case was to capture the extensive number of user interactions to identify which features of the new site were being used as well as collecting information on the items from the digital collection, and to integrate that data into a tailored reporting structure.

This case study shows how Panalysis and the State Library of NSW has achieved that together.

The Solution 
The State Library of NSW had the basic implementation of Google Analytics on their website in place. As noted, what they needed was a reporting solution that could fully track and measure online engagement for items in the digital collection.The solution in this case wasn’t only to configure Google Analytics within the platform, but also to work with the web development team to design a metadata structure they could implement within the website code, which in turn could tag, track and extract event/click data in a structured way back into Google Analytics. It was decided to use the metadata syntax and to include the collection item’s call number and title into the page.

The standard Google Analytics platform only provides for up to 20 custom data fields. It’s here where Panalysis really added value, being able to design a tracking solution which made efficient use of the 20 available fields – yet deliver a scalable, comprehensive and custom reporting solution for the State Library.


Image: Example digital collection (explore more at

Image: Example meta data structure using custom dimensions 
Image: Example report showing engagement of each collection item


The Results
Panalysis has worked with, and delivered a number of large projects with museums, libraries and government organisations, each who use extensive, structured or bespoke data schemas. This understanding of organisational drivers and cataloging structures in this case made it easy for us to develop a solution for the State Library of NSW. They now have a tailored reporting solution which aligns to their external stakeholder’s requirements.If you have a similar challenge, contact us. We have the experience and capability to make a difference.

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The National Gallery of Australia SurfStitch The Cancer Institute of NSW Real Insurance The Cancer Institute of NSW