Developer Area/Specifications in Development/Site Statistics Extension

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Preamble

I think it'd be really handy if site administrators could get more of an idea as to mahara usage trends. Mahara recently started to display some graphs to administrators to show the current state of play (e.g. number of users, avg friends/user, etc), but it would be cool to see how things have changed over time.

Please note that this is not a suggestion to monitor individual users, but to have a look at trends for the site as a whole.

Note: The statistics in Mahara have been expanded in Mahara 1.6 for the entire site and individual institutions. These statistics look at the overall statistics and not averages.


This is currently a space filler for when I have time to finish filling it in

The basic concept is to add additional functions to the main plugin code to allow each plugin to define various stats to monitor for trending. As an example, the journal artefact plugin could define several metrics to collect such as:

  • current number of entries (and those in draft form);
  • average entries per user;
  • number of journals;
  • average number of journals per user;
  • average comments/entry.

Core mahara could also benefit from several metrics -- for example:

  • logins since the last data colletion;
  • file uploads since the last data colletion;

These metrics could be collected by a cron entry on a frequent basis (e.g. /15 minutes). Nothing fancy needs to be done -- just a query whose results are then stored in a table.

Admin users could then choose to display these in various graph forms to see trends which may influence how they support mahara -- e.g. peak usage times to avoid maintenance within that window.

More information will go in to this proposal at some point in the near future when I've considered it some more...