Do you really need to measure that?

Useless Dashboards

For anyone working with data, it is easy to create a dashboard. Every chart speaks to us. Patterns are fascinating, just for being there. It’s like that french scientist who I heard talking on the radio. He wants to dig a hole through the earth’s crust. It’s gonna cost a ton of money. But why? I was wondering. Of course, as a scientist, the only reason is to see what is there. There needs no further, higher meaning. The same goes for dashboards for people who like data. They just look nice. It’s a piece of art.


When creating a graph the first thing should be the message. The why. What you show depends on who will be looking at it. What is important for them? What are their goals?

But why?

Data for the sake of data is useless. Before you start collecting anything, be clear what you want to see.

  • A growing community = number of (recurrent) members
  • An active community = number of daily logins/ posts/ replies; time between logins or interactions
  • A supportive community = Level of warm language in messages (but what is a warm message?); speed at which new members are integrated
  • A safe community = ???



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Behind every problem is a web of connectors and links. I look for patterns and offer solution. — I’m also raising 4 humans: I know problems can be solved.