What would you like to see on your Discourse 2.0 Admin Dashboard?

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?

What info do you want to get at a glance?


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.


Here is my quick brain dump:

  • 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.

  • Better data exports. Admin Panel Usage Export Missing Dates - this old topic of mine is still very relevant, it really hinders my ability to quickly pull data and make reports.

  • 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.


If possible, I think a “new Settings since last upgrade” might be a good thing for those that miss seeing the news here.

Similarly a “your locale’s translations are __% complete” might fit in the “problems” area of the dashboard page.


Yes yes yes. So much yes.


Careful with scope creep here… the admin dashboard has never had that info, and adding “version this site setting was added” would be quite confusing as well, since there is a lot of trivia / noise.

I think it’d be best to focus on holistic metrics, rather than Discourse specific stuff, by that I mean metrics that can span other products.


This is kinda off-topic, but I have a branch in my Github repository where I started to implement something along those lines. Maybe I’ll get around to finish it sometime… :wink:


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.

Curious about this. Why?


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.


That’s fair.

A link to another repository of info would prob be a good compromise.

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Some prior art:

Lots to say on this topic! but I’m in leisure-reading mode until next week.


I’d like to see a “Ten most recent staff notes” table, helping mods identify any users that require staff attention, and also identifying recent staff interventions (e.g. official warnings).

“Staff notes” are very useful, but the plugin lacks reporting.


Switching between timelines and/or comparing metrics over time

When I click through to something like “Visits” to see that plotted over time, I currently have to go back and then click through on something else like “Posts” to see that plotted over time.

It’d be nice at minimum to be able to switch between those two once I’m looking at a graph. Better would be to see things plotted on the same page to get some insights into how things are correlated.

Reading metrics

How much people are reading seems like one of the most fundamental :wink: things we should be measuring.

We’ve started to play around with better ways to measure this and so far, something like this is looking promising:

Number of Users who have read at least N Posts over 28 day periods

Writing metrics

We are also exploring measuring writing activity similarly:

Number of Users who have created at least N Posts over 28 day periods

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.


On the admin dashboard, I’d love to see:

  • Number of votes cast (today/yesterday/last 7 days/last 30 days/all), with delta and graphs :wink:
  • Average time spent on site / average reading time (today/yesterday/…)

I also agree with @jomaxro that better data exports and customisable date ranges would be a huge help.

In terms of version changes…

Maybe just a link to the applicable #releases post here on Meta?


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?


Average time spent in writing a message would also be a nice stat to have.

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I’m interested to know how you’d use this.


Quick messages = quick happy messages OR flame war
Slow mesages = more thought out messages

This was how I considered. Not sure how to use it :smiley:

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Are you saying you’d like to see a statistic on users activity, like a chart of some sort? Just curious as to how you would utilize this function?

I like that idea. It could lead to an early or earlier promotion to Regular status or delay a promotion based user participation. :smile:

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