Visual forum statistics

(Dan Dascalescu) #1

My old MyBB forum had a simple charting feature that showed the userbase size over time. It came in handy in this presentation I gave about the growth of the forum, where I overlaid certain events on the chart.

/admin/reports/signups is a start, but less visually compelling.

Haven’t found any plugins that display charts, but they would be a nice visual addition to the Discourse dashboard:

  • users over time
  • posts and topics over time
  • attachments over time
  • top posters / most active users (bar chart) - that kind of exists at /users

Daily/Monthly Active Users can be generated with Google Analytics, but the process isn’t easy, and won’t cover any data retroactively (i.e. before installing GA), or from imported posts.

What is the most awesome plugin for Discourse, that does not yet exist?

This would be very handy! As a Community Manager, it matters a lot to have visual analytics.

(Alessio Fattorini) #3

I’m a community manager too, and have such visual chart could be really handy,

(Leo McArdle) #4

A while back I started a plugin a bit like this for use on Mozilla’s Discourse instance called “Are we Discoursing yet?” (to fit in with a bit of a trend: Areweyet - MozillaWiki), the result of which can be seen at

I haven’t really found the time to do any more work on it recently, but the source is at: GitHub - mozilla-cit/arewediscoursingyet: Are we Discoursing yet? (plugin is in plugin branch, frontend is in gh-pages branch).

At the moment it’s rather tailor made for Mozilla (and also rather badly made, it was only after I’d created it that I realised that Discourse was already creating exactly the stats I wanted…), and I doubt I’ll get round to improving it, let alone creating a general purpose plugin, anytime soon.

Of course, if somebody wants to jingle a bag of coins in front of my face that might change things.

(Alessio Fattorini) #5

I need these kind of statistics and graph:

  • How many new users last months?
  • How many posts? Against previous months!?
  • How many logged in users?
    We have already such data, build up handy graphs should be pretty easy.

Smf and other forum tool have this charts and they’re pretty cool and useful, I’d like to use them with my stakeholders

(Jeff Atwood) #6

These graphs mostly already exist, click through on the dashboard.

(Alessio Fattorini) #7

Yes, but I can’t have a grpah as in the example given above!
Discourse data and graph are good but not very useful because there aren’t aggregated data, for example new users/posts/topics/loggeduser by month or quarter could be enough. That data are very interesting and useful from the community perspective since I can use them as ROI :smile:
Export such data from reports and sum them after it’s not very handy.

Check also:

(Alessio Fattorini) #8

Check something like this, IMHO I miss this data and a graph based on them

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #9

I would love something fairly close to the GitHub Contributors stats:

Imagine that with options for “Topics, posts, likes” etc., which could be shown all-at-once (with differently color-coded graphs) or individually. The simple date-range selector is also a wonderful feature.

I love checking out the GD Contributors tab, it tells stories. Look at these three for instance:

What happened here? Did they just happily scratch their itch and that’s all there is to it, or did we do something wrong that deterred them from continuing to contribute?

RGSoC 2016: Visual Forum Analytics Community Discussion
(Jeff Atwood) #10

Not sure, you could email them to find out. Might be a good idea. (I think they just moved on to other stuff, which is usually the case.)

(Alessio Fattorini) #11

Like this approach, as cmgr working hard on retention and keeping existing member active such informations are extremely useful!

(Mittineague) #12

I think any stats would need to be “broad trends”

A person might leave a forum for any of countless reasons. Health, family obligations, new employment etc. Real Life has a way of getting in the way and making one change course from time to time.

True, it may not always be a “lack of time” reason, one may leave because they are no longer interested in what is being discussed, maybe there is to much “noise” for their liking, maybe they found someplace they like better. (cough, Facebook)

And I’m not so sure contacting members for an “exit interview” would provide the true reasons or even be a good thing to do.

On the other hand, I do think that seeing an increase or decrease over time would suggest how well a forum is doing. As long as it is remembered that - to steal from SEOers - correlation does not equal causation

(Alessio Fattorini) #13

From my experience people leave just because they’re not interested so much in your community or only distracted by something else, so they forget to visit, join or be active.
Mentioning them, sending a PM or asking their thoughts about a topic works pretty well in my case: retention is my primary goal currently.
Have those data, graph or statistics help me to know who ping or how/where move forward.

(David García-Navas) #14

Perhaps that topic is restricted to tl3, i don’t have access to view it :confused:

Btw, thanks to the Data Explorer Plugin and the query that @riking created, we have a great visualization of the interaction in our :discourse: instance.

The way to do it:

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #15

We’ve started to support visual forum analytics now:

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #16