What, in your opinion, are the duties of a moderator, and what activity can we datamine from the database that will give us a good idea whether a given individual already performs those activities, or activities like that?
For instance, I believe a good moderator should have at least a shallow understanding of a broad range of popular topics, so they can better understand moderation issues across several topics, rather than needing niche moderators for each topic. Therefore I found out which of the current nominated people have the generalist badge and noted it on the comments below them.
I suspect there must be detectable patterns elsewhere in the system that speak towards
- Amount of moderation (level of moderation participation vs simply answering and voting)
- Good vs bad moderation (??? Maybe agreement with community, maybe first to vote to close, or last to vote to close means something...)
- Overall activity level on site
- Level of participation in comments (guidance to others, comment votes)
While high rep is one useful measure of site participation, it hardly has any bearing on whether the person actively moderates in the form of open, close, delete, flag, acting on flags, etc. Reading comments from a given user could give a great deal of information on their ability to communicate with others, their adherence to site rules and policies, and their approach to situations that need attention - I'm not sure this could be automated into a nice number, but perhaps there's some keyword searching that can be done on comments to give a log of relevant (ie, moderation type) comments.
So what data is collected or could be collected, and how could that data be transformed into heuristics to give us a better feel as to how a potential moderator is already moderating, and whether their actions are in line with your desired goals for moderators?