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Finding Zero-Use Computers and Applications

Zero-usage is not the computer with the least logins, but the one with zero logins. If a computer has zero logins, it could mean that it requires maintenance, that students can’t find it, or that students don’t want to use it.

To find zero-usage computers, you’ll need both LabStats and a spreadsheet editor like Excel.

First, get a list of every computer you’re tracking.

Go to the Stations tab and click on Manager. This is your master list of computers.
Click Download to download this list as an Excel spreadsheet.

Next, get a list of computers that have been logged into.

  1. Go to the Reports tab and click on Login Summary by Station.
  2. Select the timeframe.
  3. Click Submit.

You’ll see a Results page that shows a list of computers and the number of times they have been logged into. We are going to compare this with the master list of computers in Excel. So to do that, click on Download Results and then Download Raw Results.

Now you should have two Excel Spreadsheets: Your Station Manager sheet, which shows all the computers that are being tracked, and your Login Summary sheet which shows all the computers that were logged into during your selected timeframe.

  1. Open both Excel sheets.
  2. Delete any extra rows from the Station Manager Export and then open the Excel sheets side by side.
  3. In the Login Summary sheet, highlight and copy the Station column, and then go to the Station Manager sheet, right-click and paste into a new column.
  4. Enter a new heading for this column (‘Logged In’, for example) or leave it as is. You may have some blank cells at the top. Delete those to align the header rows.

Now you have a list of all stations and the list of stations that have been logged into on the same sheet.

Any computer with zero usage will show up on the station list on the left, but not on the logged-in list to the right. We need to compare the two columns and find cells that don’t have a match.

  1. Highlight both columns by holding down ‘Ctrl’ and click on Conditional Formatting, then Highlight Cell Rules, then Duplicate Values. This will highlight anything that’s a duplicate by default, but since we’re looking for unique cells:
  2. Change Duplicate to Unique in the pop-up and click OK.

Any cells that are highlighted in red are computers that have not been logged into in the timeframe that you have selected.

To see all of the zero-use computers at the top:

  1. Highlight the whole sheet, go to Data, and then Sort.
  2. Under Sort By, select Station Name
  3. Under Sort On, select Cell Color
  4. Under Order, select Red
  5. Click OK.

The highlighting is dynamic, so you can copy the zero-usage stations into a new column. Name this column something descriptive like “Zero Logins” and add the dates so that anyone else who uses this spreadsheet has a quick reference point.

Now that you have your list of computers that have not been logged into, you can start tracking down why.

Do you notice any trends within the data in this spreadsheet? Are these computers spread around campus, or isolated in a lab that students don’t use? Are they avoided because they’re an older model, have maintenance issues, or face the instructor’s desk?

Use this spreadsheet with LabStats data to notify your team, assign tasks, or update administration or department heads. Most people will be surprised to discover how many computers are unused.

Zero Power Computers and Zero-Use Applications

You can use this same process with different reports to discover computers that have not been powered on or applications that have not been launched.

Zero Power Computers

To find computers that have not been powered on, compare the Station Manager with the exported Power Sessions report.

Zero-Use Applications

To find computers that have an application downloaded and unused, compare the Application Sessions report with the installed stations’ list, downloaded from the Applications tab.

Updated on March 7, 2020

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