News from your SAS community managers

What are these community metrics all about?

by Community Manager on ‎03-11-2016 11:25 AM - last edited on ‎03-11-2016 11:32 AM by Community Manager (1,209 Views)

If you follow the Community Matters board where we talk about all things SAS Support Communities, you likely noticed the graphs representing various metrics across the tabs above the Q/A list. What are those all about?

Here’s the skinny. The SAS Online Communities team tracks various community activities to watch progress overtime, help us make decisions about features and programs, and track overall community health. Each month we’ll update the graphs – built in SAS Visual Analytics by the way – to capture the previous month’s metrics. You’ll see a blog post here on the Community Memo with explanations and observations that correspond to the each new set of graphs. Please, chime in with your thoughts as well. We hope the charts will be a foundation for fruitful discussion about ways to improve your experience on the SAS Support Communities.

What are you looking at with the current graphs?

Accepted Solutions: You’ve seen us remind community members to mark correct answers to questions as “solutions” on a regular basis. As of January, we put a couple of specific features in place to encourage this etiquette as well. For example, if the original poster (OP) of a topic hasn’t accepted a solution to a thread that has replies within five days, he/she will receive an email reminder to do so. Also, members can now Reply, Accept as Solution and even Like a response from their email, rather than having to visit the actual community.

You’ll note the Accepted Solutions graph shows an increase in topics marked as such from Jan. to Feb. Perhaps these two features have stimulated this behavior. That 40 percent of topics are marked as accepted solutions is on par or better than other high-tech communities. Of course we’d like to see this proportion climb but are encouraged by the biggest increase in this activity since our tracking began in Sept. 2015.*

Participation: Two primary goals of the community is to serve as a place where you learn new or improved ways to use SAS and connect with fellow practitioners. The learn goal is wholly achieved as the majority of our visitors land on a particular thread via a web search, presumably get the answer or guidance they needed, and move on with their day.

Far fewer of you – 6.3 percent as of Feb. to be exact – sign in and participate, or connect. We’re pleased to see the slight increase in participation, and hope the good answers and expertise from you continue to move that engagement along.

Reply rate: We closed out last month’s reply rate at 89 percent, a healthy ratio of replies to total number of topics added. As mentioned in the yellow note next to the graph, not all topics warrant a response and not everyone aptly asks a question.

In Jan., we included a checklist of considerations just under the Post button on the New Message page to encourage thorough initial questions (see screenshot below). While we can’t say for sure that this prompted better questions and thus contributed to the 15 percent increase in replies from Jan. to Feb., it certainly didn’t hurt.


Checklist on New Message:






Solution views: You should get quick answers to questions on the community as easily as possible – and solved threads are in a much better position to offer that experience rather than unsolved threads. Let’s continue to encourage fellow members to accept solutions to increase this behavior and watch this activity grow.


That’s the round-up of observations to date. Now it’s your turn. Do these numbers intrigue or surprise you? What do you hope to see improve on the community?


*Data was analyzed since our migration to the new SAS Communities platform in Sept. 2015.

by Trusted Advisor
on ‎03-24-2016 07:34 AM

Thanks for providing and explaining these interesting statistics.


Here's a suggestion: Give thread starters the option to tick a checkbox like "This is NOT a question." This could help to reduce the bias in the reply rate statistics and to make the list of "Unanswered Questions" even more useful.

by Community Manager
on ‎03-24-2016 07:54 AM

Thanks @FreelanceReinhard -- that is a nice feature to have, but unfortunately it's not something our current platform supports.  We do have the ability to mark a message "read only" (useful for announcements) where replies aren't accepted, and we use that occasionally.


We don't get hung up on hitting the 100%-solved rate -- rather we pay attention to the trends.  We like to see solutions/topics ratio on the rise or at least stable.  It's one community health metric among many that we watch.