What's on your Community Dashboard?

We’re looking to revamp our North Star. We use it to track if the community is going in a direction we think it should be. And line up it up our business goals.

As part of that, we will soon kick off a new Community Dashboard project. At this stage, we think a dashboard will give us a helpful indicator of the health of the community and our company’s impact on it. (As a side note, we’ve observed there isn’t a tool on the market to help us do that well. We’ve used Orbit and plan to stop using it.)

Would you mind sharing some of the things you’ve experimented with to add to a Community Dashboard? How did you use it? What behaviour did it change? How did it help with your reporting? How did you line it up with business goals? How did it help your/the community?

I appreciate context is super key here and it matters what we think matters in each of our contexts. Yet I’m just super curious to read about “Community Health” ideas/things that helped/hindered, to spark ideas.

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This is a tough one!

I usually look for metrics that proxy the member journey from first impression (awareness) through amplification and referral (network effects).

So say you’re using Google Analytics on a hosted platform, that might look something like:

New Users (visitors)
Returning Users (visitors)
New Members
Returning Members
New Posts
New Replies
New Users via Organic (referrals + search)

…with the organic traffic being a proxy to network effects, since organic search traffic and referral traffic only happens when there’s a relevant destination, usually a longtail post or discussion thread.

Beyond that, the business impact / North Star / whatever KPI is going to depend on what the community’s for.

You could look at community’s impact on attributable signups, purchases or revenue. You could look at offset support costs. You could look at feedback received or issues identified; all extensions of your capabilities made possible by community.

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