A simple score from 0 to 100% to align your team around how often you're meeting your ideal environmental levels
Conserv cloud is a free, cloud-based environmental monitoring tool. You can create an account at https://app.conserv.io.
Presrvation metrics should help us answer the simple question "How are we doing?" — read more in our article "Understanding Preservation Metrics".
Take the example of the common temperature and relative humidity chart so common in environmental monitoring reports.
It takes a lot of calories and words to explain to your colleagues how you're doing based on the above chart.
What if instead of the typical chart you could tell your team, "Most months we meet our RH goal 99% of the time and this month we met our RH goal 94% of the time"
With an immediate sense of "How we're doing?" your team can then focus on the causes of good/bad performance and what you can do to improve the collection environment.
The range and fluctuation calculations
The calculation of the range and fluctuation metrics are very straightforward. Count of all of your readings that are within the levels you've set and divide by the total number of readings for the period.
You could do this calculation in a spreadsheet, or you could let Conserv Cloud do it for you.
Getting range and fluctuations working for you
In this article we're focusing on relative humidity as an example. Range and fluctuation metrics are also available for temperature and illuminance.
Range and fluctuation metrics rely on the levels you've set for your collection spaces. Looking at the graph below, you can see we've made it easy to visualize your levels.
In this example we have an RH tange level between 40-60% and an RH fluctuation target of less than 10%. With these clear goals it's easy to identify problematic periods of time.
When you have good buy-in for levels from the rest of the collection team, you have a shared vision for where to focus.
For guidance on setting the right relative humidity levels, start with our article "Setting relative humidity (RH) levels for your collection".
From these levels it's easy to see that you're doing very well with the RH range and fluctuation metrics, 94% in both cases.
Note that the colors for readings are consistent across the application - Red is always RH, blue is temperature, green is illuminance, etc.
Think of observations as the way you tell the story of your collection - for others and for your future self. Whenever your readings are outside of the ideal environmental levels you can make annotations to help diagnose the challenge.
When you combine readings, levels, metrics , and observations you have a powerful set of tools to understand and improve your collection environment.
Collections professionals can now follow the mantra of "these are my numbers I want them to go up." With the range and fluctuation metrics you can get your team aligned on "how are we doing?" and begin to lead the conversation on what needs to be done to improve your collection.
The primary purpose of good metrics is not just to answer questions; Good metrics also help your organization ask better questions to address the root cause of problems.