K2 has included an availability map feature since 7.2. Some of the main functionality is explained in an earlier post about Availability Maps as well as in the Documentation on Availability Maps. With the release of K2 7.4 the basic functionality has been augmented with two new features.
The first new feature is heat maps. Heat maps are not available without being logged in to KeyReporter – so end users simply looking for availability will not see this. Logged in Administrators, however, will see a flame icon in the upper right corner of an availability page. From there heat maps can be turned on for different time ranges. Then you will see something like this:
Computers that have the most constant logins have a red glow drawn around them. Computers that are used less are surrounded by orange. Finally, the least used computers have no highlighting whatsoever. This is a useful analysis tool – you might find that students are choosing computers based simply on physical placement, OS, or software that is installed.
The second new feature is demand forecasts. Unlike Heat maps, this feature is visible to anyone viewing maps, even guests. The idea behind this feature is to use historical login data to predict future demand. The end result is to show users not only when the lab will be open or closed, but also when they might expect the lab to be busy or not as busy.
This will appear below each Availability Map. Just like for Heat Maps, a color scale from yellow to red is used to indicate low to high demand. Note that as an Administrator, you might want to look at this same sort of data in a more granular format. In either KeyConfigure or KeyReporter you could run Weekly Logins (DIV) for a graphical view or Login Peaks (DIV) for a tabular view.
We continue to add functionality to our Availability Maps. If there’s anything you think would be useful, please contact us and let us know!