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There is an entirely new interface for viewing metrics in IBM® Connections 4.0. The Metrics application employs the analytic capabilities of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence to collect and display statistics that show how people use IBM Connections. There are two levels of Metrics:
- Global metrics. Global metrics report on overall usage, for example, the total number of people who logged into IBM Connections last week.
- Community metrics. Community metrics report on a particular community, for example, the number of people who logged into the Sales community last week.
With the new Metrics application, system administrators and designated users can view and interact with server-level metrics that show information across all of IBM Connections, and Community owners can view metrics for their own communities.
Using global metrics
Administrators and designated users can work with interactive displays of global metrics by clicking the Metrics tab in the header or Server Metrics link in the footer (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Access global metrics
The Metrics landing page shows a summary of Connections-related reports from all themes (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Global Metrics landing page
You can view more links in each theme section or select one of the options in the navigation pane to choose a theme for a detailed report. All reports are categorized in the following three themes (see figure 3):
Figure 3. Global metrics navigation menu
Alternatively, you can quickly find a report showing, for example, the number of new files, by browsing for it on the View all Metrics page, which lists all reports categorized by Connections applications (see figure 4).
Figure 4. Address a metric in View all Metrics page
View People theme
The People theme tracks the users who visit IBM Connections. By default, it shows the “Number of unique authenticated visitors” report that runs across all Connections applications in a trend chart (see figure 5).
Figure 5. “Number of unique authenticated visitors” report in trend chart
You can click the “Compare Apps” link after the report name to run the corresponding report that compares Connections applications in a pie chart (see figure 6).
Figure 6. “Number of unique authenticated visitors” report in pie chart
To browse application-specific reports in the People theme, select an application in the Show by App filter. For example, you can see a Profiles application report that shows people with the most new followers in the People theme (see figure 7).
Figure 7. “People with the most new followers” report for Profiles application
View Participation theme
The Participation theme tracks actions in IBM Connections, such as downloading files or updating profiles. By default, there are three reports that run across all Connections applications and one applied for status updates:
- Number of visits
- Number of unique contributors
- Number of new status updates
- Number of new updates
Select an application in the Show by App filter to browse application-specific reports in the Participation theme. For example, you can see a Files application report that shows the umber of new files in the Participation theme (see figure 8).
Figure 8. “Number of new files” report for Files application
View Content theme
The Content theme tracks information shared in IBM Connections, such as files and comments. By default, there are two reports that run across all Connections applications:
Most followed content, showing the top 10 followed content items in list report format (see figure 9):
Figure 9. “Most followed content” report
Most active apps, listing all available applications and their metrics data in visits, creates, updates, and so on (see figure 10).
Figure 10. “Most active apps” report
Select an application in the Show by App filter to browse application-specific reports in the Content theme. For example, you can see a Communities application report that shows the most active communities (see figure 11).
Figure 11. “Most active communities” report for Communities application
Working with a report
Figure 12 shows the general UI elements with which to interact with a report:
(1) Report region
. Used to show the report data in chart or table format.
(2) Metric list region
. Used to list all Metric reports matched to selected filters. The selected report is displayed in the Report region.
Figure 12. Report interaction elements
(3) View date range
. Each report shows a start date and end date, indicating the date range of the report; by default, data for the last four weeks displays in the report. You can change the reporting period by selecting a new time period, define your own start and end dates, and change the custom date range or choose another period option (see figure 13).
Figure 13. Custom Date window
(4) Group by
. You can group the reports by user type by selecting a different category. There are four default categories: All people, Geography, Department, and Role. For example, you can display a report of users grouped by geography, as shown in figure 14.
Figure 14. Group by Geography
(5) View table / View chart
. Switch a report between table format and chart format.
(6) Compare Apps / View overall.
Switch a report that has data across all Connections applications between trend chart in overall view and pie chart compares Connections applications.
(7) Metric report
. Click a link to choose a report and show it in the Report region; for example, Number of visits report is the selected Metric report, and the chart is shown in the Report region (recall figure 12).
(8) Drill Up/Down.
Home in on a data point to display more data, or select Drill Up/Down from the pop-up menu. For example, you might want to see only the last few days in a report that covers the past four weeks (see figure 15).
(9) Download Char
t. To save the report, right-click the chart and select Download Chart to save the report as PNG image file.
Figure 15. Work with report menu
(10) View more detail / View less detail.
Switch a report between more detail and less detail format (applied to the top list report).
Figure 16. Switch between more detail/less detail
Using community metrics
New metrics capabilities allow community owners to monitor the adoption and vitality of their community. Insights gained from the metrics can help a community owner take actions that can make the community more useful for members, which can lead to increased community membership and participation.
If you are an owner of a community, you will see a Metrics option in the Community navigation panel (see figure 17). Community owners can view non-interactive reports for their communities, filter metrics by applications, and view metrics in chart or table format.
Figure 17. Access community Metrics
The first time you access the Community Metrics page, no reports display since none have been generated yet in the community (see figure 18).
Figure 18. Generate community Metrics
You can refresh community reports to see the most recent set of data (see figure 19).
Figure 19. Update Metrics window
After the update completes, reports of how people interact with the community display. The Community Metrics landing page shows a summary of current community-related reports from all themes (see figure 20).
Figure 20. Community Metrics landing page
The community report is static with the latest data until refreshed, so once the data is obsolete, a notice will display above the report, as shown in figure 21. You can refresh it to generate a new suite of Metrics report for a community with latest data.
Figure 21. Refresh Community metrics
Many of the ways to browse and work with Community metrics are similar to what we discussed above for Global metrics. For example, you can select:
- one of the options in the navigation pane to choose a theme for a detailed report
- an application in the Show by App filter, which shows all enabled application widgets in the current community, to browse application-specific reports in a theme.
Note, however, that since the Community report is static, the date range of Community metrics reports cannot be customized and the Drill Up/Down actions can’t be performed.
For business owners, you are now ready to monitor how people use Connections applications, using Global metrics. For community owners, you are now ready to monitor how people use your own communities with the Community metrics tool.
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About the authors
is an Advisory Software Engineer working for IBM since 2006. His current role is as the Team Lead for the Metrics feature in IBM Connections, before which he worked on Moderation in Connections, Lotus Quickr, and Lotus Symphony. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zhi Gang Lin
is a Staff Software Engineer working for IBM since 2007. His current role is as the Team Lead for Functional Verification Test for the Metrics feature in IBM Connections, before which he worked on Moderation in Connections, Lotus Quickr, and Quickr & ECM integration. He can be contacted at email@example.com