Remember when I asked a few months ago: Help us identify micro-privileges for top users? The idea was to be able to start rolling these out quickly and not take too much developer and designer time. In particular, the idea I suggested in the question, site analytics, should have been a quick turnaround. However, when I pitched the idea internally, the developers worried about how slow the page loaded and the designers (rightly) noticed it was designed by and for developers. Add in some vacation time (mine) and this quick, little project blew right past 6-8 weeks.
Please note that the existing moderator analytics page is not going anywhere or being changed. At least for the moment, this will be a new page reserved for users who have earned the privilege: 25k on graduated sites and 5k on undergraduate sites.
What you can't see is that the graph takes several seconds to load the first time. Our developer, Oded, wrote a new version of the page that loads nearly instantly. Thanks to Kurtis Beavers, our designer, it also looks much cleaner:
Among the changes:
Instead of 5 different ways to smooth the data, there's only one. The "Smoothed" checkbox sets the data per week instead of per day.
Instead of a dropdown with 15 different graphs (choose 2), the new page shows three standard graphs:
- Posts—Pictured above.
- Votes—Like the existing "Voting" chart, includes up, down, up and down, and accept votes.
- Traffic—Includes the existing "Number of Visits", "Number of New Visits", and "Total Page Views" in one graph. The data series are relabeled "visits", "new visits" and "page views".
Not included is data on:
- Question and answer vote splits.
- New users.
- Suggested and regular edits.
- Low reputation and anonymous feedback.
- Closed and deleted posts.
- Newsletter subscriptions.
Generally we've found these less useful than the statistics we included.
A link to download a CSV file for offline analysis.
While the post and vote data can be found on SEDE, this page includes information from deleted posts.
Looking at the image of the new page, you might notice it's one of two tabs. The "google analytics" tab reflects data found on the bottom of the moderator analytics page (from Super User, this time):
It wasn't until I started thinking about this project that I noticed only the right sides of those tables have a border. We fixed that in the redesigned version:
We are well aware that this version doubles the number of pie charts, which aren't ideal. My justification for retaining the traffic source pie is that it's handy to be able to tell at a glance how much Google traction the site has earned. (An early draft of this page showed a pie chart of search engines. In every case I looked at, the result was a circle labeled "google" with a radius line representing the competition.) It's also helpful to see the relative frequency of incoming links from various sources in the last month. (Though it's a bit misleading to use a pie chart here, since it represents the top 10 referrers and not 100% of them.)
The data comes directly from Google Analytics, which means there are some oddities:
DuckDuckGo shows up as a referring site and not a search engine.
The numbers are sampled so it's not uncommon to see implausible results such as several search engines at 211 visits.
We have a limited API quota, so we aren't currently allowing arbitrary date ranges. Currently, only the last month's worth of data is shown.
Search terms are so unreliable that we just aren't showing them. Maybe we can find an elegant solution for the next iteration of this page.
Whew! Now that we have all those details out of the way, here's where your feedback can help:
If you are a moderator on any site, please visit
/site-analyticson your site and let us know if you find any bugs as an answer. Also, let us know if there's any data on the moderator analytics page (
/admin/analytics) that you think belongs in this view.
Making every effort not to bikeshed this feature and with the understanding we aren't adding data not already available to moderators, what could we do to make this page a more tempting carrot?
Please understand that we are making this a high level privilege because we think our most engaged users can make the best use of the data and not because we are being secretive. We won't sign these folks to confidentiality agreements or anything, so they are free to use the data for things like answering meta questions. But mostly the idea is to give a fun little perk to people who have given so much more to the community and the success of the site.