How do we measure the impact of the tools we develop?

We should have concrete things to measure the impact of the tools we build while keeping in mind our strategy and remembering that we care more about learning rather than technology.

My intial thoughts are:

  1. people contributing to tools (ex. fix bugs, add translation, request features)
  2. people deploying our tools (ex. deploying MechMOOC)
  3. people using our tools (ex. learners taking MechMOOC)
  4. influence of the tools we build (ex. someone blogging about our tools)

Are these the things we should be trying to measure and what are the quantative and qualitative measures we can put in place?

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@vanessa and I talked about this a bit in person, but it’s worth considering what you’re trying to get from the measurements. Are you hoping to A) inform what tools/features to focus energy on, or are they B) purely for bragging rights (a.k.a. marketing)?

Measurements are also more actionable if the change can be viewed over time, or split by some other variable. A silly example: “does the first letter of their name have an effect on how much a user comments”, as opposed to just “how many comments have been made”. A good first step is being able to collect the number of comments, of course, so you can start with B and evolve to A.


Also spoke a bit to @alex and he mentioned that tracking questions or inquiries about our projects would be another good metric.

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@afeld I agree that we want a bit of A and B (although I wouldn’t call it bragging rights :smile: ) The point about time is a good one, allows us to see momentum in use and know when people move on from a certain tool.

I’ll start getting some concrete number together and share when I have something we can work from.

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