63

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.

At any rate, here's the old moderator site analytics page (on Stack Overflow): Old Stack Overflow analytics

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:

New Stack Overflow analytics

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):

Old Super User Google analytics.

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:

New Super User Google analytics.

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-analytics on 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.

  • 5
    I upvoted after reading just the title. – Mysticial Jul 16 '15 at 22:01
  • 8
    Are you intentionally teasing us with image links that mortals can't view? – Mysticial Jul 16 '15 at 22:04
  • 1
    I wish /admin/analytics were getting this makeover. – hairboat Jul 16 '15 at 22:09
  • 1
    @Mysticial: Well, I hope that in the future many more people will be able to use the second link in each pair. ;-) But truthfully, it's for my own benefit: I keep mistyping the url and there's no where it's currently linked to on the site. – Jon Ericson Jul 16 '15 at 22:11
  • Should have been more clear - I meant time resolution - like daily, weekly, monthly totals for stats. – Undo Jul 16 '15 at 22:19
  • @Undo: That's correct. You can get per day or per week. If you need something else, you could download the per-day CSV and import it into R or a spreadsheet or whatever you prefer for data analysis. – Jon Ericson Jul 16 '15 at 22:21
  • Nice! Nit: Is it always true that new visits < visits < page views? If so, maybe order the selectors on the views chart bottom to top that way, to match the lines? – Monica Cellio Jul 16 '15 at 22:22
  • The mod analytics seem okay. Slight nitpick that might have always been there (and is probably of the lowest priority here): Can "google analytics" be capitalized? – HDE 226868 Jul 16 '15 at 22:48
  • 1
    It would be nice for /site-analytics/google to say somewhere on the page itself that the tables are derived from the past month. At the moment, I don't see that information anywhere besides this meta post. – senshin Jul 16 '15 at 22:54
  • Also, I'm seeing "10.0.0.230:8080" as a referring site on /site-analytics/google but not on /admin/analytics (on Anime.SE). Is this a bug? (Like, is that the IP from which you guys do internal testing or something? I don't know how subnets work.) – senshin Jul 16 '15 at 22:55
  • @senshin: That's a good idea. In addition, I plan to add a link to the privilege help page that will explain the page in some detail. We need to get the implementation nailed down first, though. – Jon Ericson Jul 16 '15 at 22:56
  • @senshin: Yes, that's a private IP address, but I don't know why it was included. It should have been filtered out. I'll check on it. – Jon Ericson Jul 16 '15 at 23:00
  • So will this mean 20-25k rep users will suddenly no longer be able to track tag badges? – Troyen Jul 17 '15 at 0:19
  • @Troyen: Thanks for reminding me about that. If we don't do anything, yes, that will be the case. However, that quirk is something I'd like to fix. If nothing else, I'd ask to exclude this privilege (which is micro after all) from that tracker. – Jon Ericson Jul 17 '15 at 1:29
  • 5
    Looks like it's alive, time for status-completed. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Sep 7 '15 at 14:00
6

The traffic sources pie chart of the moderator analytics also shows the values as percentages. I find that number more useful than the absolute value, it is much easier to compare.

The pie chart should either show just the percentages (the absolute values are still visible in the table), or both the absolute value and the percentage.

Another small thing that applies also to the moderator analytics is the error in the last data point of the traffic graph. This data point is often misleading because it contains traffic data for less than a whole day. The data point should only be shown if the data for the whole day is known, avoiding that artificial drop in traffic for the newest data point.

  • The last data point (in both pages) is for yesterday by default (the new pages don't allow one to go to today, the mod only pages do) – Oded Jul 17 '15 at 15:39
  • @Oded also added percentages to both charts. Thanks for the report. – Jon Ericson Jul 17 '15 at 17:37
6

- should have caught that myself :/

When one graph is enabled:

single line, single scale

When three graphs are enabled:

three lines, bold scales

Can we not triple-print the scales?

  • 5
    Triplicate or bust. – Adam Lear Jul 17 '15 at 3:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .