I wanted to do a little research with data.stackexchange.com to identify the determinants of moderator performance on SE subsites.

However, I didn't find performance metrics for moderators. The variables like the number of edits or closed questions reflect activity, they don't reflect the quality of the job done.

I was thinking about available alternatives, like the fraction of retracted actions done by a particular moderator. But they also have disadvantages.

Does SE have any conventional moderator performance metrics? Like, for example, information that voters pay attention to during moderator elections?

  • 12
    Why would we have KPIs for volunteers?
    – Oded
    Jul 6 '15 at 15:38
  • 3
    Most moderation activity show up in the data dumps at all, and what can be inferred (e.g. flags handled) can't be ascribed to a particular moderator. Jul 6 '15 at 16:00
  • 3
    @Oded Everyone is a volunteer here, apart from stackexchange.com/about/team . It doesn't prevent SE to have very clear KPIs for Q&A activity. Jul 6 '15 at 16:42
  • @MonicaCellio Thanks, Monica. Then only moderator team performance can be inferred from the open data. Still, are there any commonly accepted things that say whether a team performs well? Jul 6 '15 at 16:46

As Monica mentioned in her comment, a lot of the moderator statistics aren't attributed to a user in SEDE or the data dump. However, various sites have come up with metrics they thought were important (or at least interesting).

  • In the April 2015 Stack Overflow election, candidate activity profiles were created. These showed user activity for various activities taken on the site (revisions, posts, accepts, suggestions, earning a badge, leaving a comment or performing a review). This was compiled by scraping the user profile, thus is only public data.

  • The elections page shows several badges that are considered important (and on a few sites required).

  • The candidate score is another way to show what has been considered important across multiple sites and elections. It is a combination of reputation, earned moderator badges, editing badges and participation badges. (More details about implementation here)

It's up to you (as the voter) and you (as the community) to determine what you consider important. The above are various ways to looking at how involved a person has been on the site. It may indicate how well someone will perform, but it's my experience that the technical side of being a moderator is easily taught (and learned). The hard part is how the newly elected moderator will deal with the people aspect. People skills aren't as easy to teach and to get an idea of how someone will do in that regard, you have to see how they've interacted with the community in the past.

  • Excellent answer! Once elected based on their activity as users, moderators retain the position until they're sufficiently active and no post-election metrics are applied to them right now? Jul 6 '15 at 17:53
  • 2
    Moderators are required to remain active in the community. If they go inactive for an extended period of time, their permissions will be removed. There is also a removal policy in place, should a moderator need to be removed.
    – Andy
    Jul 6 '15 at 17:56

information that voters pay attention to during moderator elections

Once elected, moderators do not run for re-election again. Apart from the very first election, in which some pro-tem mods may choose to run, the candidates do not have a record of moderator actions.

There is no publicly available stats on the actions of any particular moderator, except that the "last visited" date gives away a moderator who is no longer active.

Not much is available for the entire moderator team, either. This post gives the median time for moderators to handle low quality flags, but be warned that the sample size varies greatly between the sites.

  • Well, to be fair, a moderator, once elected on one site, may then choose to run for election on another site, at which point records of their activity on the former site may (in principle) prove to be useful information for voters on the latter site.
    – senshin
    Jul 6 '15 at 23:47

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