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I got access to site analytics today, something that I was probably unreasonably excited about. Site analytics are underwhelming.

I only see the history and traffic sources pages. Is there more it than that? Can I graph, for example, votes by user reputation or anything? Referring source by post tag?

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    $\begingroup$ Congrats on reaching the last milestone! $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 18:54

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Yes, this is a rather limited privilege. It was the first of several planned micro-privileges. Unfortunately, we haven't added any more since, so we have a sort of underwhelming top privilege. Part of the reason for this is we haven't had a dedicated PM for Q&A. But the other reason is we haven't committed to the idea of smaller privileges.

The expected benefit of having new privileges is that they keep people engaged with the site. When you hit a new privilege level, you get a notification and a new feature to play with. The theory, particularly at the top end, is that people will not only be interested in working toward earning new features, but also more excited about continuing to use the site after earning the feature. I asked for suggestions about a potential 30k privilege that would extend the reputation game for people who had achieved all the system had to offer. Unfortunately, even on Stack Overflow, there aren't a lot of people who benefit from the new level.


The benefit of site analytics is that it helps top users understand how the site functions on a high level. For instance, I find the traffic sources particularly useful. Traditionally we assumed sites would function best if they had 90% or more of their traffic coming via Google. That's certainly the case for Stack Overflow and most of our early additions to the Stack Overflow network. But some of our newer (and very successful) sites, such as Worldbuilding have significant traffic coming in via Stack Overflow and other network sites. I first noticed the phenomenon with The Workplace around the time we introduced the "Hot Network Questions" section of the sidebar, but there are several sites have significant traffic (but still less than half) from other sites on the network. So traffic sources helps you understand what audience you are currently reaching.

We considered adding search keywords the the report, but they are unreliable. Many of the other sorts of things you might be interested in are available via the Stack Exchange Data Explorer. For instance, you can get a list of tags by average views. That said I'm happy to consider other adding data to the report if helpful for community leaders in understanding how the site works. Feel free to post a feature request on Meta Stack Exchange.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you Jon this was very helpful. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ To play devil's advocate for a moment - if the highest privilege right now is at 25k, there aren't a lot of people who make it to 30k, and new privileges keep people engaged with the site, surely that's an argument in favour of adding high-end privileges? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2017 at 8:41
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Almost everything you can get from site analytics you can also get from the following two sources (which do not require any reputation):

For example, SEDE can be used to see the distribution of votes by user reputation: the Users table has columns for Reputation, Upvotes, and Downvotes. The breakdown of sources by post tag is not available anywhere.

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