I know this question might seem like a duplicate, but none of the questions give an exact answer.

The FAQ mentions that data is updated monthly. Which of the following is a correct interpretation of the word "monthly" here?

  1. New, up-to-date data is pushed out on the first day of the month?

  2. New, up-to-date data is pushed out on some other (approximate) day of the month.

  3. New data is pushed out in tiny increments each day (i.e. on June 5, the newest data on data explorer will be from May 5; on June 6, the newest data on data explorer will be from May 6, etc.).

It'd be great if someone could clear this up, as it seems to be a common question on meta.

Thanks! :)


2 Answers 2


The equation for determining the day that the Data Explorer is updated is quite complex*:

Given d, the set of days in the current month m, let w represent the days that waffles** is free, where wmd.

The day when the Data Explorer is updated is then represented by n(current)wmwm + 1, where 27 ≤ n(current) - n(previous) ≤ 62

* For completely artificial definitions of complex
** But not waffles, because those being free would be delicious madness

In terms that abuse maths notation significantly less, the Data Explorer is still updated when waffles (or a waffles stand-in) has time to run the export process that transforms the operational database into the one used there, and this happens approximately on a monthly to bi-monthly basis.

Since other external factors impact when there's free time to do this (like how many Stack Exchange bugs we're blaming waffles for this month), there isn't a specific date that you can be guaranteed that it will be updated on at the moment.

  • 2
    Do you know why this is a manual process instead of an automatic one?
    – Rachel
    Jun 5, 2012 at 14:36
  • 1
    From what I understand it's now a fairly automatic process that mostly just requires a manual turn-key. I'm not sure if it runs on the live database or the current day's backup (probably the latter), so I don't know what considerations come into play as far as making the process entirely automated go.
    – Tim Stone
    Jun 5, 2012 at 14:56
  • ...is this answer for real? (lol) Jun 5, 2012 at 17:38
  • So let's say I no longer care about the "exact" day of the month, or the speculation that goes into determining it. Then on what day (approximately) do these updates usually occur. I read elsewhere that the updates are pushed out on or around the 10th of each month. Is this correct? Jun 5, 2012 at 17:40
  • 1
    @AlexLockwood I'm not sure that the schedule has been consistent enough lately to really make a claim one way or the other.
    – Tim Stone
    Jun 5, 2012 at 18:00
  • Hmm... fair enough :). Thanks for the info! Jun 5, 2012 at 18:54
  • 2
    Keep in mind that releasing the data is sanitized in part to limit some data enough to determine that certain activities are tied to certain users, and to allow for things like "tags which get deleted nightly" and the like. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it was part of their backup-restoration-testing strategy (it would be if I were there, can only make data dumps off backups)
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 5, 2012 at 21:08

You can get the datetime of the last data update to use in your query


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