Stack Overflow’s dashboard offers an user engagement dashboard, including date range comparison, benchmarks, tag filtering, and more.
NOTE: We use the generic word "community" in this article, not to be confused with Stack Overflow's Communities feature.
Community is the heart of every Stack Overflow site, so we designed the enhanced dashboard to help you assess and improve the health of your community. The dashboard uses data and metrics to give you insights into:
The overall health and engagement of your community.
Who your top contributors are.
Which tags and topics are seeing the most activity.
How your internal marketing strategies are driving engagement over time.
Site administrators will also receive a weekly email with activity stats for the main site, including charts and lists similar to those of the dashboard.
Charts and lists
Access the dashboard by clicking Dashboard in the main navigation menu. The dashboard consists of two columns of widgets, with charts on the left and lists on the right.
You can change the order of widgets by clicking the handle (six dots) in the upper-right corner of any widget and dragging it up or down.
To learn more about any chart or list, click on the i (info) button next to its title.
Dashboard charts consist of a line graph with the selected date range on the horizontal axis. Some charts show two related metrics on the same graph, with a legend explaining the meaning of each line color. Float your mouse over the chart to reveal detailed statistics at each data point.
The Answer ratio chart includes direct links to posts that match the following criteria:
With an accepted answer
With unaccepted answers
With no answers
Click View posts, then click one of the links to view a list of posts in a new tab. Looking over these posts can help you identify problems with engagement and improve the answer ratio on your site.
There are several list widgets in the right-hand column. In addition to changing their order, you can interact with these lists to change the information they display.
Trending tags lists allow you to expand the list from three entries to seven by clicking View more.
Some lists offer multiple views. Select the view you want by clicking one of the links at the top of the list.
In this example, the user breakdown list offers Questions, Answers, and Reputation views.
Filter and compare
The dashboard offers several ways to filter and compare data. At the top of the dashboard are controls for filtering the statistics by tag, Community, and date range. You can also select a previous date range for comparison.
Filter by tag or Community
You can filter the Dashboard by one or more tags, or by a Community. Click Filter to view the Filter dashboard. Click By tags to filter the Dashboard statistics by one or more content tags. Click By Community to filter by a Community.
To filter by one or more tags, type into the search box to locate tags that match your search text. Click the desired tag in the search results to add it. You can add up to 10 tags to the Dashboard filter. Click Apply filter to see the filtered statistics.
To filter by Community, click the Community name in the Select a Community pull-down menu. After you've entered the tag(s) or Community for your filter, click Apply filter.
To remove one or more tags from your filter, click the Filtered button. Click X in the corner of any tag to remove it, then click Apply filter. To remove all filtering by tag(s) or Community, click Clear filter.
NOTE: SOE will not display benchmarks and certain widgets when filtering by tag(s) or Community.
When filtering by a tag, SOE will display the tag's subject matter experts (SMEs, if any). Site admins can click Manage to add or delete SMEs for the tag. Regular users can click View to see more details about the tag's SMEs.
Click the date range button to select a range of dates for the dashboard statistics. The Show last pull-down menu offers these options:
Last 4 Weeks
Last 3 Months
Last 6 Months
Last 12 Months
To use one of the predefined date ranges, select it from the menu and click Apply changes.
To choose your own date range, select Custom. Click two dates on the calendar to define the date range, then click Apply changes.
In addition to updating charts and lists, selecting a new date range will update the users and reputation stats at the top of the page. Re-introduced in the 2022.3 release, this line shows the number of activated users your site had in that period of time, as well as how much their combined reputation changed.
Several of the dashboard charts will show statistics that compare the selected date range to a previous date range of the same duration.
To compare stats against a previous date range, click the Compared to button and choose from the following options:
Previous 3 months
Previous 6 months
To compare current data to a past data trendline, click Compare dates at the top of the charts area.
SOE plots the current data with a blue line and the comparison data with an orange line. This allows you to see how the two time periods compare on the same chart.
In addition to past trendlines, certain charts will also show a benchmark value as set by the site administrator. Click Benchmarks at the top of the chart area to select the benchmark trendline. Benchmarks (goals) will appear as horizontal orange lines.
In the example below, the benchmark for interaction rate is 20.
To learn more about setting benchmarks, see the Enhanced Dashboard Settings article.
Site metrics and definitions
The enhanced dashboard contains a variety of metrics to help you assess the health of your SOE community.
Interaction rate: Weighted average number of answers, votes, and comments per question.
Median time to answer: The median time it takes for a new question to be answered.
Questions: Total number of new questions asked over the selected timeframe, both from your SOE instance and any integrations.
Answer ratio: Percentage of questions answered (accepted + unaccepted). This is an average over the selected timeframe.
Daily active users: Active users that have logged in over the selected timeframe. This metric distinguishes between contributors (users who add questions or answers) and consumers (users who only read existing content).
Searches: Total number of searches over the selected timeframe, both from your SOE instance and any integrations.
Answers: Total number of new answers over the selected timeframe.
Edits: Total number of edits over the selected timeframe.
Tags trending up: Top tags increasing in use on new questions asked or answered over the selected timeframe.
Tags trending down: Top tags declining in use on new questions asked or answered over the selected timeframe.
Trending content: Most viewed questions and articles over the selected timeframe.
User breakdown: Top users broken down by number of questions, answers and reputation gain over the selected timeframe.
To download SOE dashboard data in CSV (comma-separated value) format, click Download CSV in the upper-right corner of the page. This export file gives you the same data you see on the dashboard, including any date range or tag filters you've enabled. If you're filtering by a tag, you'll see the tag at the end of the file name (for example: ...tag_flowers.csv).
The dashboard admin settings page has a link to download unfiltered legacy dashboard data. Learn more in the Enhanced Dashboard Settings article.
Interpret the data
Because every community is different, it’s best to look at the trends within your community as opposed to comparing metrics to others. Fluctuations in your metrics are to be expected as your community grows and matures. Only when there are significant changes (or consistent negative trends) should you take action. Remember: you can reach out to your Stack Overflow customer success manager at any time to discuss the dashboard and how to understand and apply its reports.
NOTE The Questions and Searches metrics also track activity in installed integrations. These charts can give you valuable insights into how your users are integrating Microsoft Teams or Slack into their SOE workflow.*
Here are some ways the dashboard can give you insights into the health and engagement of your community.
Interaction rate shows how invested your users are in the community. A rate above 5 shows that your users are engaging with their peers, putting in time and effort to post content.
The Questions and Answers charts show engagement and activity within your community. Community size and maturity affect these metrics, so it’s important to look at them over time to ensure neither are dropping significantly.
Watch the Questions and Answers metrics when you've added new groups of users to the site, or after you launch awareness/engagement projects. Spikes in activity can indicate new groups are using the site and finding value in your community, or that your marketing efforts were successful.
Median time to answer measures how quickly users are getting answers to their questions, and can be an effective indicator of return on investment (ROI). The quicker users receive an answer, the more efficient and productive they can be. Median time to answer should decrease as your community matures, especially as they begin to effectively use integrations and webhooks.
Answer Ratio will become more important as your community matures. Use this metric to identify potential knowledge gaps or engagement issues. When filtering by tag, a high percentage of unanswered questions could indicate the need for more experts/users watching that tag (or a need for more webhooks or integrations). You’ll also want to look at your accepted answers rate, which should be above 40% to ensure users can always find the most helpful answers.
Daily active users tracks the number of active users on the site per day. An upward trend indicates increasing user engagement. This metric distinguishes between contributors (users who add questions or answers) and consumers (users who only read existing content). Comparing the contributors and consumers lines will help you determine whether your active users are adding information to your site or consuming existing information. Healthy, growing user engagement will show an upward trend in both lines.
A positive trend in the Edits metric shows that your users are taking ownership of the community and investing in the site to improve its overall health. Similar to visits, negative trends here could mean there’s less new content to interact with.
Searches is another effective way to measure ROI. More searches can indicate that your users see Stack Overflow as a source of truth in your organization. Comparing this metric to usage across other productivity tools can help you visualize user workflow, and may reveal older tools that are no longer needed.
Tags trending up and Trending content show you what content and topics have your community most engaged. Tags trending down shows you where community engagement is dropping off.
Lastly, User breakdown can help you identify your top contributors, emerging mentors, and internal experts. You can also use these reports to choose winners for contests such as Hackathons or Answerathons.
If you need further support or have questions, contact your site administrator.