The Purpose of Collecting Data

I was reviewing a bit of our nascent network and the data that’s being piped to everyone within the community and I decided to review some of the statistics of usage when we first opened our our Private Beta back in October of last year:

Things started to really pick up!

As you can see, things really started to pick up the moment we began to add new users to our platform; things have definitely not slowed down either as we processed over 66.2GB of bandwidth in the last 30 days and nearly 300,000 thousand requests!

Some of the top images in the first 30 days or so were mostly gifs:

My personal avatar was the most popular at the time!

And, .gifs still make up a very big portion of the data that’s being sent throughout the network (and we need to know about these things because someone has to pay for all that bandwidth costs!).

But here’s the point: You see, some of this data tells us what and when things are happening but not all data that we can gather tells us why certain things are happening, which is much more important for early-stage products, companies, and communities. Some of this data is “fun” data while other types of data can actually be used to make things better.

In other words, data that can be leveraged to create a better user experience is the data that we want to be spending a lot of time on. For instance, understanding how our existing users interface with the app via specific browsers can help us prioritize our Q/A and tests:

Chrome, Mobile Safari, and Firefox are our Top 3.

Being a “data-driven” product and company doesn’t have to be complex nor too detailed, especially in the beginning. The goal is to prioritize, focus, and then above most everything else is simply execution. Our team must be hell-bent on bringing a best-in-class product to market, especially for the type of amazing community that we have supporting us!

We have a number of other analytics systems and services that we’re using and all of those systems are being used for one explicit and intentional purpose: To know our community as well as we possibly can so that we can create, craft, and customize their experience with our product into one that is exceedingly useful and fun!

And good data capture and analysis can help make that vision a true reality.

Now, there is definitely a much larger conversation on how the collection of data intersects with that of privacy (and the protection) for our users, which is a topic that we’ll cover more in-depth later!

For now, what we’re doing is watching out for truly decentralized systems that can provide us with the information we need while also protecting the rights to privacy for our users. If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or know of any technology that we should be reviewing internally, we’d love to hear from you!

Together, we’ll climb the proverbial wall of data and privacy as a community and figure out what’s best for everyone, everywhere.