Over the course of the last several months, the development team at Vanilla Forums has been working on a new set of product analytics for our community forum software. This undertaking has allowed the team to build a new data collection and storage infrastructure to better help you get insights into your community behaviours.
When building an analytics feature, the reports and visualizations are just the tip of the iceberg, most of the functionality exists below the surface. This was a significant project.
The new set of analytics provides insights on not just posts, questions, and members, traffic, and most importantly, customer engagement. In total there are 45 metrics and charts now available. These analytics are meant to provide insights beyond what you can get from website traffic packages such as Google Analytics (which we recommend you use in addition to our native analytics.
We haven’t just added new analytics, we’ve completely redone the analytics section of the dashboard and added several new features:
- The ability to filter by Category and User Role
- New data visualizations
- Stacked live graphs
- Pie charts
- Leaderboards that show top 10 lists
- A personalized dashboard
- Administrators can pin important charts and metrics on the dashboard
There are currently 4 categories of analytics. Here is a description and sample chart for each:
Traffic metrics and charts provide information about traffic to their community. The following example chart shows Unique Visits by Role Type:
Segmenting by Role type can help get additional insights. For example, in the above case you can see how many visits are generated by regular members vs. your staff logged in as moderators or administrators.
Vanilla users will also have access to metrics and charts that provide information on the posts that are being created in the community.
The following sample chart highlights Contributors by Category:
As a community manager, insights such as which categories are getting more posts, which users are posting more, how many users are posting, etc. will help you get a better understanding of the level of activity and areas of interest by the community.
This can become actionable information useful to your colleagues across your organization.
Questions and Answers
These analytics will be useful to Vanilla users who are using Vanilla’s Q&A function. This feature will provide metrics that will help users get a better sense of how well customers are served by the community when asking questions. For example, below is a chart showing the Number of Questions Answered Over Time:
This information will provide Vanilla users with information on community engagement and sentiment. The following graph highlights Sentiment Ratio:
Additionally, engagement metrics includes the leaderboards which outline the top posts that are generating the most engagement. For instance, users will be able to easily see the discussions that receive the most comments, as well as discussions that receive the most positive reaction.
Access to these metrics will help community managers know what topics and conversations interest members the most. On the other side, community leaders can see which areas receive the least engagement and can use that information to help promote those areas or phase them out if necessary.
Overall, these analytics can help determine what content helps keep the community active - helping grow your community.
Availability & Documentation
These analytics are bundled into certain subscription plans, and are available as an add-on for other plans. All plan levels include basic statistics on the Dashboard homepage, and can plug into third-party analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Please contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.
A full list of analytics can be found at Advanced Analytics Docs.
Vanilla Forums is dedicated to providing the most user-friendly, yet comprehensive experience to our customers. We are always looking for new ways to give our customers the best chance to create a successful community!
If you have any questions or feedback on the analytics, do not hesitate to contact us!