I’m working on a redesign of the Admin Dashboard (found at /admin).
It currently displays a lot of data but I believe we could do a better job at providing the right kind of data.
i.e. the things the community builders need to know at a glance to monitor health & growth and to diagnose problems.
What features would be included in your oh-my-god-this-is-the-best-community-dashboard-ever dashboard?
Something I have often felt when staring at the Discourse admin dashboard is a sense of being overwhelmed by tabulated numbers. My eyes skip over most of it. Generally, I feel like some of the tables could be replaced, or supplemented, by graphs.
A good graph can do a fair bit of the mental ‘analysis’ for you, whereas a bunch of figures in a table requires a bit more processing, and most of the time we instinctively avoid that.
There’s already a start of some discussion in Notify moderators when a user reaches TL3, but I’d like to see easier ways of tracking user progress through the trust levels, particularly as users approach TL3.
At my current job, the ability to see year-over-year data is huge. We’ve got a bunch of data explorer queries that pull this data, but having it right there on the dashboard is, at least for me, way better than just seeing “last year”. As our site is internal, new users YOY is not important, but topics, posts, likes, solutions, etc. is.
Continuing on the thread above, better stats for internal/login required/SSO sites would be nice. For example, top traffic sources is essentially meaningless for SSO. All our traffic comes from another internal site where they log in to get to the forums.
Customizable date ranges. On a similar vein as the YOY metrics, the ability to set a custom date range for data would be nice. Right now, I can see today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and all. If I want a custom range (say February 2016) I can get a graph or table, but no quick summary/total. I have to export it, but I sometimes run into the issue above.
We’ve started wishlisting community data (reports + top-level dashboard) that would help us monitor community health recently… I’ll track down my notes so far.
Off the top of my head though, I’d love to see the data become easier to use:
+1 to customisable date ranges. Even better if there was a Google Analytics-style range selector, though that probably belongs on a dedicated Reports page instead of the main dashboard.
Using a 7-day moving average would be fantastic, particularly for any data shown on graphs. There’s too much noise when looking at daily fluctuations… a 7DMA makes it far easier to eyeball trends.
Activity data (number of topics, posts, etc) grouped by forum category, with the ability to drill down into those for more detail.
For context, we use two tiers of categories, and every category’s data lives in a separate report. It would be far more useful to get a quick summary of how all the Author categories are doing (a Tier 1 category, with multiple T2 categories under it), and a quick summary of how all the Customer categories (same situation) are going… that lets us prioritise where our mods should direct more of their time.
Posts/topics/etc per user (as a % of total user numbers) are at least as useful as raw totals across the site.
Number of active users (raw total or %) would be handy to know, and more directly useful than pageviews attributed to logged-in users. “Active” could simply be viewing one or more pages while logged in.
Ultimately it would be valuable to have more fine-grained detail there: how many just browse topics, how many take other actions (like/flag/etc), how many have many 1+ posts, etc. Number of active users is a good top-level data point though.
Hearing you, but I think it’s worth investigating potential ways that it could work before discounting.
IMO one of the most confusing things about Discourse for CMs that aren’t active here on Meta is ‘why isn’t this working? oh – because something changed that I wasn’t aware of’. Updates in the Dashboard (ala Wordpress) seems like an easy solution.
While “what’s new” is a fine idea, it does nothing to advance a community. Is a new emoji picker feature going to somehow get more people to come to a struggling community? The idea of the dashboard is to show you where your community’s weak points are so that you might endeavor to improve them.
We chose 28 day periods because we see activity varies considerably with the day of the week. So choosing a period that always includes the same number of Sundays seemed like it might be a good way to handle that.
In both reports, the break points in our data explorer queries for each “bucket” are powers of 2, but in the reading case, we collapsed some of them to simplify the visualization.
For what it’s worth, as community manager I’d like to know when users move along the engagement curve.
Dashboard should reflect that. Who’s became inactive? Who’s more active recently? Who and how many?