Community Analytics Course


(Richard Millington) #1

Hey everyone,

For the past year now, I’ve been contemplating running a community analytics course (I’ll probably change the name before @Bas_van_Leeuwen hits me with a hammer).

Generally speaking, I think we do a terrible job with community analytics today. We have bad tools, use them badly, and tend not to understand the results we get anyway. I suspect there is a big opportunity here.

However, it’s also pretty technical, needs a decent grasp of some core theories, and it’s going to require more time than our standard courses.

So a few questions here:

  1. Do you think this kind of course is a good idea? (i.e. would you be interested in taking it? )

  2. What specific outcomes would you love to see? What would be a game-changer for you?

  3. What tools/techniques would you most like to learn?

  4. What would else be useful to know?

Any help would be warmly appreciated.

Has anyone moved from Jive to Discourse?
(Mohsen Malayeri) #2

I totally agree that the analytics side of online communities is untouched and even most of platforms are not addressing the issue.
Topics I’m interested in:
A) Metrics to measure in different lifecycles of a community.
B) Analytics based on the community objectives to better calculate ROI.

(Rex Williams) #3

Yep, good idea. Metrics drive behavior.

Culture is a big subject that management wants people to change, but I don’t think there are good ways to measure that. A good community changes culture but I don’t think leaders see that.

(Kristen Gastaldo) #4

I’d take this course. But I wonder if it’d have to be platform-specific. Sometimes I feel like I know the number I’m trying to find - but not quite sure how to get it out of the platform.

(anf chansamooth) #5
  1. Yes I’d be interested (assuming it’s within my one-man band budget, or if I can get a client to pay for me to take it)
  2. Clarity on identifying key metrics to track + process for accurately tracking them, stakeholder management and communicating/reporting with stakeholders
  3. How to create a community analytics dashboard, with structured process for collecting the right data and updating the dashboard regularly.

(Jessica Malnik) #6

So much this. What gets measured is what gets managed.

I’d have to disagree with you on this one. I find the analytics inside community platforms to be lacking and either vanity metrics or focused solely on engagement within the online community.

The KPIs that really matter and drive real ROI or impact in the business are more nuanced and specific to that community’s purpose and goals.

While I think an analytics course is a good way to educate people on theories, frameworks and techniques to use, I can’t see it being much help with the practical implementation. It is the applying what they learned that is the hardest part.

(Joel Rangelle) #7

I would love a community analytics course.

To me, however, the problem is not the interest in data analytics. The problem is that the technology provider of the community software doesn’t aggregate the appropriate data to begin with, which means you can’t form any insight even if you wanted.

(Sarah Hawk) #8

This is an interesting perspective – I’m interested in what makes you feel this way. Are you talking about a specific platform, or platforms in general?

(For context, I work on the team that builds Discourse and I recently rewrote the stats dashboard.)

(Joel Rangelle) #9

I was talking in general, although I’m very interested in Discourses stats if you can post a sample image.

I feel like most comminity softwares measure the most mundane and trivial items: number of registrations, number of members, number of posts and topics as if somehow more quantity means better quantity. Those numbers suffer from aggregation (the statistics are at such a large level they don’t allow specific insights) or relevance (who cares if you have 100,000 registered members over ten years if there are only 20 people posting every month now).

The level of insight is only as good as the provided data.