Collections > UNC Scholarly Publications > Article > A Method for Visualizing Transaction Logs of a Faceted OPAC

The authors introduce a method for visualizing user transaction logs from a library catalog application. Simple visualization supporting intuitive or qualitative analysis to quickly make sense of complicated patterns can be a useful supplement or alternative to more common quantitative analysis. To this end, a visual flowchart is created illustrating an individual user session. This visualization can be used to qualitatively grasp user behavior within the application, possibly as an aid to identifying patterns or clusters of use. These flowcharts are created by automatically pre-processing apache transaction logs into an XML representation of meaningful user actions, which are then converted via JavaScript in a web browser to HTML table based flowcharts. The particular toolkit introduced is named Visualization for Understanding Transaction Logs (VUTL), and is available with an open source license. The toolkit has been prototyped with logs from the catalog applications of several academic and one public library.